We stand in solidarity and condemn the recent killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks and countless others whose lives have been cut short. Black Lives Matter.
The Board, Administration, and Teachers of Swallow Hill Music stand steadfast in our belief that we must all own the work that lies in front of us to break down systemic barriers to racial equality. We are taking this moment to acknowledge we have work to do to live up to our own expectations.
Swallow Hill has brought community together through music and songs for 40 years – promoting self-expression and enhancing lives as an important thread in the arts and cultural fabric of our region. Four years ago our Board and Staff set a new course for our music community as we drove a stake into the ground and put our focus on creating community outreach programs that would bring music education and experiences to our under resourced communities. We moved deliberatively and with a sense of urgency – we knew the importance of our work and the impact we could make providing opportunities in our communities of color where those opportunities previously didn’t exist. We have proudly partnered with public schools in Denver, Aurora, and Thornton and work with more than 2,000 children every week. Now, community outreach efforts share an equal role in Swallow Hill’s programmatic pillars, joined by our concerts and music school.
We now recognize, with our eyes wide open, that we have an obligation to our entire community to once again set our sights on a new path forward for Swallow Hill – we take this moment to acknowledge that we must strive to fully diversify our work – from the members that serve on our Board of Directors, to our administrators and teaching staff, to the programs we present in our community and where and for whom we present them. We recognize that diversity brings richness into our conversations and deliberations, diversity generates creativity and fresh and bold ideas and approaches, diversity adds depth to our relationships and diversity fuels the social capital we so desperately hunger for across our city, region, state and nation.
We plan to reach out in the community to create partnerships, joint learning sessions, and opportunities to celebrate shared roots in our musical traditions. We know that it is the African-American spirituals that serve as the foundation for all American music and these multi-cultural roots bind us all together.
Our Board of Directors, administrators and teachers are stating unequivocally that moving forward, we will hold up as a guide star, our desire to live up to our own expectations and the expectations we know our community have established for us.
We invite and encourage you to share your stories, thoughts and ideas on how we drive our vision forward. Together, through Swallow Hill, we raise voices, we make spirits shine, we celebrate our humanity, we rejoice in our vulnerabilities and we bring the joy of music to life every day.
Swallow Hill Music
Paul Lhevine, CEO Swallow Hill Music
Tracy Zabel, Board Chair