Active Listening is a series that unites composers with audiences who care about social justice. The goal of this series is to inspire empathy, educate listeners, and offer steps to actively support each cause. Each composer has chosen to address a social justice issue they feel passionate about, and with each installment, actions which listeners can take are provided. A new installment of this 10-part performance video and interview series will be released on the first Wednesday of each month through September 2019, featuring works commissioned and performed by pianist Lior Willinger. This project has been funded by an award from the Presser Foundation.
This Active Listening installment celebrates the willpower and determination of local community efforts. When the Baltimore homicide rate escalated to a record-setting high in 2017, Erricka Bridgeford and other community leaders knew something had to be done. The first Baltimore Ceasefire weekend began as a way to completely alter the indifferent culture towards violence in the city. How strongly could a city come together for three days to commit to zero murders and celebrate life? How could a city’s narratives be rewritten by collectively caring about each life lost due to violence?
Whenever someone is murdered in Baltimore, the Ceasefire movement invites everyone to gather for a Sacred Space Ritual, a pouring of love and light into the ground where someone’s life was taken. Love into Concrete is a musical response to this emotional experience of loss, compassion, and community.
Love into Concrete by Judah Adashi
In the interview video below, Baltimore Ceasefire co-organizer and 2017 Marylander of the Year Erricka Bridgeford joins composer Judah Adashi in discussing the many aspects of the movement including the Baltimore Peace Challenge, Ceasefire weekends, Sacred Space Rituals, and music. The Baltimore Ceasefire has grown into an everyday movement working towards a city with zero murders.
So what can we do?
Judah and Erricka offer the following:
If you live in Baltimore, you can:
- Host or attend a life-affirming event during a Ceasefire Weekend.
- Commit to community outreach between Ceasefire Weekends.
- Take the Baltimore Peace Challenge.
- Attend Sacred Space Rituals.
But you don’t have to live in Baltimore to support Baltimore Ceasefire! Anyone can:
Our common goals are attainable through commitment and collaboration. Erricka’s words resonate, “Whatever your heart leads you to do, go do that thing… There will be people who want to join you in making that thing a reality.”