My SwS Project: from there to here

My blogger-buddy Anna visited Las Cruces, New Mexico for the first time a few weeks ago and posted a few photos and thoughts on the desert.  What a treat to see the familiar through her newbie eyes.

How serendipitous!

Mama Goat, Tater & Kids

Final Goat Family Portrait: Larry, Terry Scape, Mama Goat and Tater

I’ve been immersed in that period of time during our between homes journey lovingly referred to as living ‘on the compound in the desert outside Las Cruces, New Mexico’.  Place where my Goat Suite Saga was born.

In less than two weeks portions of my Swimming with Swans project are going to be presented for the first time to the general public. MamaGoat, Tater, TerryScape and little Larry along with all of us humans and critters of the compound will be introduced to a group of locals as far away from life in the desert as one in the US can get. I often joke that we came from a Mile High here to the Swamplands…but we also came by way of the High Dry Desert.

Most readers of this blog know that I received a Puffin Foundation Grant for the recording of my Swimming with Swans: the music. One of the requirements for gaining the grant involved the pre-securing of a venue in which to present completed grant-proposal material.

Here’s the thing, The Goodwill Cultural Center found me.

Goodwill Parochial School with restoration sign

Goodwill Parochial School becomes The Goodwill Cultural Center

If not for Camden Writer and author, Brenda Bevan Remmes, I would have never known of this special spot nestled within an isolated area between Mayesville and Sumter, South Carolina*. Steeped in a long history of struggle, nurture, and yes, healing – The Goodwill Cultural Center aka The Goodwill Parochial School was recently restored to serve as a local heritage and arts center – offering historical, cultural and educational events to the public.

Brenda introduced me to this gem in the swamp about two years ago when the GCC held one of their first sponsored events by the Magnolia Singers from Charleston – shortly after the Emanuel AME Church shootings. I was amazed at the group’s desire to reach out in their hurt and offer insights into their culture while spreading a healing balm through their talented singing.Goodwill Cultural Center logo

WINDOW TO THE WORLD

REFLECTING ON OUR PAST AND ENVISIONING OUR FUTURE, WE AFFIRM THE RICH HERITAGE OF THE GOODWILL SCHOOL THAT OPENED DOORS OF OPPORTUNITY IN 1870, AND THAT IS A WINDOW TO THE WORLD TODAY THROUGH THE GOODWILL CULTURAL CENTER.
(mission statement)

I don’t pretend to understand the South. However, I have found a slice of something I like to call the ‘true spirit of a southern community’ in the Goodwill Cultural Center.

Over the course of these two years in attending various events at the GCC, I’ve observed the interactions between the locals. It’s obvious to this outsider the love and commitment these individuals have towards each other and towards working through its own healing-path. A sort of living reconciliation rooted in historical interconnectedness which touches me deeply.

This is a slice of the South I admire; a slice of the South not often seen by outsiders.

As such, I am both humbled and honored to be a small part in the GCC’s continuing legacy as a featured guest on Saturday, June 3rd.

 *about a 45 minute drive SW of FloTown

8 thoughts on “My SwS Project: from there to here

  1. Jane Chesebrough

    I am happy for you regarding your release of your “My Swimming with the Swans” Way to go. And what spirit those people have in singing so soon after the shootings. Humbling.

    Reply
  2. Anna Scott Graham

    What a great place to be presenting SwS! I’ll be with you in spirit via words, deserts, and other assorted manners of musicpeace!

    PS…. Still thinking about LCNM; just spent a weekend with our son in Reno, and man, deserts are NOT all alike! :D

    melodichealingpeace

    Reply
    1. laura bruno lilly Post author

      You are right about the myriad of deserts available to us Americans! The LCNM one is Chihuahuan, the ones in AZ are mostly Sonoran and I’m sorry but don’t know the names of those in NV except we always referred to them as High Plains Deserts…
      Have you ever been through Death Valley in your native CA? Another prime example of the diversity of deserts!!!

      goatsashealingpeace

      Reply
  3. L. Marie

    Oh how beautiful, Laura! I’m so glad they reached out to you. And how wonderful that your music will be heard in a place with such history. It seems the perfect venue for you! I hope at least part of the event will be on YouTube so I can experience this event!

    Reply
    1. laura bruno lilly Post author

      Wow…hadn’t thought of that. Our ‘go-pro’ camera is with our son in Colorado. Maybe someone will vid it on their iphone? You opened up a different slant on my presentation prep (not a bad thing!)
      Ideas?
      And yeah, what an honor to be welcomed in this manner.
      hugs

      Reply

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