Thursday, July 29, 2010

ETHEL, Social Innovation, and the Chickasaw Nation

Lately I've been poking around the Berkana Institute website reading (and rereading) Margaret Wheatley and her good work. The first thing on the website in big bold script: "Whatever the problem, community is the answer."
Tonight I had the great pleasure of hearing the string Quartet known as ETHEL. They were playing a free concert, the first in the Lincoln Center Out of Doors Series, which runs through August 15th. Ethel uses music as a medium for building connections between people, styles, and cultures. For the last couple of years they've produced a show called Ethel Fair, and tonight it was time for singer-songwriters Juana Molina and Dayna Kurtz to climb into my heart. I believe they'll be staying there. The concert at times seemed like an out of body experience, and even when it was just rock-n-roll, the addition of a string quartet was enriching for all and more fun than a barrel of monkeys.
About those connections Ethel's out there building: watch the video below and then check out their latest CD OSHTALI, where Ethel plays works for string quartet by student composers from the Chickasaw nation.
I love it when my worlds collide.


  1. Greetings from ETHEL!!

    It is deeply reaffirming that you heard us this way! People step a little outside their usual routine when they collaborate with us, but it is a place of strong, empathic support and the rewards are often geometric. The artists at Lincoln Center were smart, generous and hugely creative. It was a uniquely beautiful evening and we are delighted you joined us!!

  2. Dorothy,
    I had a great time at the concert, and love the collaborative nature of the band, but I'm especially moved by your work with the Chickasaw students, and the way you guys worked with them. Thanks for your beautiful work.