From the Identities project
 
Brussels, Belgium: Sacha De Keizer (on the left in the photo) grew up negotiating a French home life and a Flemish school life. Additionally she found herself acting as “a third wheel” confidant in her parents deteriorating marriage.
 
They divorced, and and she lost her family, her home, and even her loyal dog Happy. She says, in an understatement, there was “Collateral Damage.”
 
For me everything that is family
Is my house and my dog
She is the only one
who went through it all with me
I am the third wheel in the marriage
There was collateral damage
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From the Identities project
 
London, England: Camila Solis Torrez, who grew up with her Bolivian mother in England, recalls a time in 6th form when she yearned to be friends with people who shared a Spanish cultural background.
 
She finds them, but then she discovers that she is different from them. She’s not interested in fashion or the things they love to talk about. She becomes so isolated that her mom says, “Your room looks like you’re depressed.”
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From the Identities project
 
London, England: Noura Safar is a university student in London whose mother is half-German and half-Iranian. Her father is Iraqi. She grew up as an only child with Germany as her home, but her heart feels alive whenever she visits the Middle East.
 
In either place, she feels she’s only half of herself. She has learned that she has a half-brother from her father’s previous marriage. She’s reaching out to this half-brother, hoping, as an only child, to find a sense of kinship. She emails to introduce herself, wondering, “Should I say My Dad, Your Dad, or Our Dad?”
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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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My Father Said – Lead Sheet
 

Nora Willauer – teaching artist, cello, vocals
 
From the Songs of #MeToo project
 
If I spoke up
After 40 years
Would it take away
What you’ve done
Would my life get any better
If you spent yours in jail
 
My father said
Do you have your legs
Do you have your arms
Then you will be okay
These words have kept me standing
And I’m still here
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Something Was Stolen – Lead Sheet
 

Nora Willauer – teaching artist, cello, vocals
 
This song is part of the Songs of #MeToo project.
 
Grandpa came to visit us
For two weeks I didn’t talk
I was three, I shut down
Mom told me the tale
 
Something was stolen from me
Something happened to me
I feel like I’m chained
I want to be free
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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
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Cat Bennett, a farmer in upstate New York, reveals her experience of the changing American dream.
 
What do you do when money fails?
For me, wealth was measured in healthy food
And getting to play outside. I never noticed we were poor,
I had cows to hug and trees to climb.
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Before his passing at the age of 96 in early 2017, Lester Tenney recounted this story and inspired this blues song about finding hope during World War II. After Lester heard Will Foote on a sketch recording, he requested a CD so that he could practice singing like Will. He and Will differed in age by 73 years, but something about this song bridged that gap.
 
When we walked by the Filipino’s hut,
We saw the apples and we knew
Americans were sending us a message, saying
Prisoners, we have not forgotten you.
We were Americans on a death walk,
Prisoners of the Japanese.
We didn’t know whether we were going to live
To walk, to walk, to walk another ten feet.
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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.
 
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.
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Grace Tamlyn vacillates between compassion and ambivalence. She raises the question, can you care for someone even if they never care back?
 
The cat was never playful
But I was getting paid
A friend came over
The cat bit my friend
So she didn’t come over again
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