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Art of Recovery  

"This is your song, we are just facilitating the conversation," I encouraged the women at the start of our songwriting workshop with Hands Healing HeArts (HHH Arts) in 2016. At this time, HHH Arts was an arts-based project for women moving forward in their lives while struggling with the ongoing effects of drug addiction. Nat Colten and I were guest artists, tasked with facilitating a songwriting workshop with the women. After a five-minute free-write, the women shared their thoughts about what they hoped their song would communicate. Collectively, the group wanted a song that painted the ups and downs of addiction and recovery for an audience that may not have any idea what it's like, and communicate that addiction can affect anyone at any time. Each participant wrote 5 words or phrases that they thought of when they meditated on "recovery," and several phrases repeated: "road to recovery," "God," "hope,"lies,"addiction," "honest," "family," and "bent but not broken," which became the title of their song.  Nat and I pieced together "Bent But Not Broken" using the women's draft verses, poetry and journal entries they had written earlier in the year,  and our collaborative conversations from that day. As a songwriter, this was the most collaborative and meaningful workshop that I had facilitated. I also believe it's one of the most important songs that Nat and I will ever write.    

Joanna Hay Productions' film "Art of Recovery" documents this first year of Hands Healing HeArts' programming, and a year in the lives of several women on their road to recovery in Franklin County. Their song, "Bent But Not Broken," weaves its way throughout the film. You can see this important, timely, compassionate and engaging film on Kentucky Educational Television (KET) this month and next (KET May 20th 3:30 PM, KET2 May 20th 10:30 PM, KETKY June 3rd 7:00 PM, KETKY June 16th 12:00 PM, KETKY June 17th 7:00 PM, and KETKY June 27th 6:00 PM). There will also be a special showing at the Speed Art Museum Cinema in Louisville, KY on June 10th. View the trailer below: 

This year, Hands Healing HeArts has expanded to include programming for women and men in drug court and their children. I am currently working as their Youth and Family Program Coordinator, conducting arts workshops with local artists in public schools and with family service organizations, as well as establishing sustainable creative youth development programs for children and teens in Frankfort. Learn more, support and follow our journey a hhharts.org.  

Love to each one of you, wherever you may be on your journey of healing.

Jeri K. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Airwaves 

A big shout out to community radio stations for giving local folks a platform to share their stories. I am grateful to have been on two community radio stations in February and March: WLXU 93.9 Lexington Community Radio and WXOX 97.1 ARTxFM in Louisville!

You can listen to some of my original tunes and my interview with Chuck Clenney on his show "Bluegrass Bios" on Lexington Community Radio. We discussed my experience playing music in Costa Rica and how growing up in Kentucky - the landscape, people, and culture - has shaped and continues to shape my songwriting. Like any interview, there were several details that I messed up or recalled leaving out once the microphones went off the airwaves, so I've noted those here: another great place to hear local music in Frankfort is at Josephine Sculpture Park events, the 2018 Frankfort Art Walk is  April 27th,  and here's the application for the Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition's Catalyst Summer Camp. Also while on the airwaves, I couldn't remember some of the lyrics to my new song, "Space of Quiet." So, here it is in its entirety... 

If you speak Spanish, would like to practice listening to Spanish, or would like to hear live cuts of my original songs, "The Blues" and "Abandoned House," you can listen to my interview with Luis de Leon on his program "Acentos" on ARTxFM in Louisville! We discussed what I learned in Costa Rica and how I will apply what I learned to my work in Kentucky. You can also check out the Facebook live video.

Jeri Katherine with Luis de Leon from "Acentos"

If you don't do so already, I encourage you to tune in to your community radio stations to learn about the great work going on close to you, how you can engage with your community, and how you can tell your story on the airwaves!  

Love to y'all.

 

A Magical, Unfolding Beginning 

Hello, good folks!

2017 was a year of growth and exploration. I received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant grant from the U.S. Department of State to teach, engage in community and live in San Carlos, Ciudad Quesada, Costa Rica. I packed my bags, made lifelong friends from all over Latin America and the U.S., taught culture and managed the community service program for 45 incredible high school students in the Access Microscholarship program, assisted in public school English classes, and Nat and I performed and gave workshops about Kentucky music and dance for schools, universities and community groups. I want to give a special thank you to Rose Mary and Federico - from the band Jabiru (check 'em out!) - who opened their home and friendship to us and let us into the heart of the local Costa Rican folk music scene.

Over those 10 months, we created a beautiful life. I loved and am loving, learned and am learning, more than I can yet express or recognize. Gracias a San Carlos, a mis estudiantes y colegas, y a mis amig@s. Sé que nos veremos pronto. Pura vida.

Performing at the Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica in Santa Clara

So, what does 2018 have in store? As inspired by the words of Melody Beattie: This is a beginning. I'm letting it be magical. I'm letting it unfold.

I'm putting myself out into the universe musically with this NEW WEBSITE, writing new tunes, booking shows, collaborating with artists and organizations, and being open to opportunities that come my way. Please peruse and share the new site, and feel free to reach out to me in the "Contact" section. You can still keep up with my past, present, and future music endeavors via Facebook or Instagram, as well.

February Shows

May you seek to engage the wildness in your own heart, mapping the way in love.

Best wishes to you and yours,

Jeri K.

 

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