Camden, Maine: How much can and should one person do for the world? Caleb Edwards asks a heartfelt question.
 
Caleb Edwards – story source
Malcolm Brooks, Will Foote, Caleb Edwards – teaching artists
 
When I listen to the news in the morning
It always makes me feel trapped
And it scares me
That people who can do enough won’t
 
And me, I’m letting everyone everyone down
By not working harder
I want to go to bed at night
Not dreading the day to come
 
I want to come home and sit down
And say that was a good day
Now I can rest
I want to come home and sit down
And say that was a good day
I did my best
But can my best be good enough?
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Rockport, Maine: For Mimi Bornstein, the yearning to give can be so strong, especially in times of unexpected solitude.
 
Performed by Mimi Bornstein and Charles Brown
Co-written by Mimi Bornstein and Malcolm Brooks
Mimi Bornstein – story source
 
Video Editing by Luke Fatora

Hands are made to help us to live
My hands long to give
 
My hands are empty
They long to share
With someone
Alone out there
Alone out there
 
Hands can dress a wound after a fight
And caress at night
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Li Meiling left her home country of China, but that doesn’t mean she can leave home. Her family has a long reach.
 
Co-written by Li Meiling and Chloë Isis
Story source: Li Meiling
 
I was raised by my grandma
My parents are always busy
When I wake in the morning
They’re already at work
They sent me to boarding school
Since kindergarten
My dad used to hit me
And he drinks a lot
 
I want to play guitar
Do art, and dance
And to have the right to love
Who I want to love
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Six women from across the U.S. have co-written songs from their stories of sexual misconduct and domestic violence. In this program, these songs are performed by up-and-coming artists.

“Songs of #MeToo—A Prelude of Change” pairs these songs with the preludes to Bach’s Cello Suites. As the women represented here find their voices through song, the cello finds its voice through Bach’s preludes. This program is a journey of discovery and becoming.
 
Something was Stolen from me
Performed by Halley Elwell, Co-written by Anonymous Nora Willauer
 
Bach Cello Suite No. 1, Prelude
Performed by Cecelia Swanson
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Nora Willauer – teaching artist, cello, vocals
Patrisha McLean – story source
 
From the Songs of #MeToo project
 
Co-written by Patrisha McLean and Nora Willauer

You swept me off my feet
You erased my history
You took all of me
And filled it up with you
 
You’re a bully
You’re just a bully
 
I was scared you’d leave me
I was afraid you’d kill me
I tied myself in knots
because I knew what you could do
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The Push Farther Project – Live at Union Hall, December 2019
 
Belfast, Maine: Alex meets a potter named Dehmie and they become friends. She makes and glazes a colorful oval pot as a gift for him. Alex senses that the gift may be a sort of communication between two like-minded artists.
 
Dehmie calls the clay pot a “boat” as she gives it to him and says, “Whenever you look at this boat, think of how I believe in you.”
 
Alex told this story to Khalid and Will, who collaborated with him to create this documentary song. The recording is a run-through after the first draft of the song was completed.
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Antwerp, Belgium: One family shares their path west to freedom and safety in Belgium. From crossing a deadly river and borders, they find that being together and sharing their story become their main purpose.

Zeynep and Kemal Yilmaz and their young daughter – story sources
Will Foote and Jonny Westhorp – Teaching artists

And here is Will Foote, performing the song live:

There was moonlight
On the river Meriç
Shallow but dangerous
It can swallow you
Looks calm but deep down
Stepping in the boat
Be so silent
And invisible
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As part of the Documentary Art Project, Hannah Wells offers her artistic interpretation of a recording by Hazel Delehey, Genevieve Roby, and Will Foote.
 
Back story: At a middle school in the Ukraine, Genevieve Roby sees a group bullying her friend Anja. Genevieve takes a stand and intervenes, but she is one against many.
 
I was in middle school
Friend from India
Named Anja
She was made fun of
For how much hair she had on her arms
Coming from one girl to another
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Learning that a long-time friend is gay and has decided to move away, Malcolm Brooks wrestles with losing contact but wanting what’s best for his friend.
 
You finally told me your secret
You told no one for years
You tell me that soon you’ll be moving
There’s nobody like you here
 
You tell me you can’t keep pretending
And fighting the grain of the world
You have to be true to your body
And do the things you feel
 
They told you, you had to change
Now everything is changing around you
My wish for you
Is that you never have to be something you’re not
Don’t ever get lost
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From the Identities project
 
Québec, Canada: Sharon MacLeod receives a phone call that her son Alexander is in critical condition at the hospital. He may not live through the night.
 
Something has happened to Alexander
Had barely turned 15
Got a phone call from a woman I’d never met
 
I wish that he
Could have grown to become a man
And I could be
Just another mom
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Hasting Brook, Maine: As a young boy, Don Mitchell witnessed a fire raging through his Maine village. But then, in the ashes, beautiful raspberries began to grow.
 
Film Design and Artwork: Clio Berta
Story Source: Interview with Don Mitchell by his son Roger Mitchell
 
This work is part of the Documentary Art Project.
 
The fire came, the fire came, the fire came down
 
Well, she started at Hasting Brook
Hasting Brook by the big falls
Between Jackson Sluice and Adam’s Ridge
She took out strip of land
And the trees, she took ‘em all
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Before you knew them, someone you love had suffered beneath the hands of others. A father feels so much tenderness for his adopted daughter. He doesn’t always know how to help her, but he finds joy as she discovers her own unique gifts that she uses to overcome her past.
 
Anonymous – story source
Khalid Taylor, Alex Wilder, Malcolm Brooks – teaching artists

She showed up on our doorstep
Way out in the country
My little baby, baby in the rain
 
Innocent and broken,
The child of a broken woman
My little baby, baby in the rain
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Someone you’ve known for a long time may have another side to them. Forgiveness may not be easy.
 
Teaching Artist: Hazel Delehey
Story Source: Anonymous
 
He was being accused
All the things were true
He’d been stealing the money
From the charity
For a very long time
I’m not good at forgiveness
Got to live with it, got to deal with it
Keep going
With an arm’s length of love
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Oberlin, Ohio: Daniella Hope sings of personal challenges but finds strength in friends she calls “Day Ones.”
 
Co-written by Daniella Hope and Alex Wilder
Story Source: Daniella Hope
 
Vocal: Daniella Hope
Piano: André Jamal
 
It’s hard to have faith in some things I can’t see
but I saw, no I felt, then I saw, and I believed…
 
A constant battle of feeling am I good enough
When I feel consumed by darkness
Negative thoughts consumed by feeling unworthy
I just want to give up
When I can’t remember my light
I know my day ones will guide me into my light
With their love shining all over me
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