By Gretchen Eichberger of the Northwest Michigan Folklife Center
Editor’s Note: Gretchen, along with Tim Joseph of the Spirit of the Woods Music Association, organized the 3-part concert series “Well May the World Go” to honor the legacy of folk music icon and social activist Pete Seeger (1919-2014). Gretchen and Tim graciously offered to donate the proceeds of these events to FLOW, and we are honored to be a part of the great community that has come together to celebrate Seeger’s legacy. Read Gretchen’s blog on her site here. All photos credit Gretchen Eichberger.
The INSIDE OUT GALLERY was the site for the final concert of the WELL MAY THE WORLD GO concert series. We sincerely hope there are more, as all around the nation and world, people continue to gather and pay tribute to Pete Seeger. Sponsored by Spirit of the Woods Music Association, Northwest Michigan Folklife Center, and Institute for Sustainable Living Art and Natural Design, these concerts celebrated the life and legacy of Pete Seeger, a champion for civil rights and environmental protection.
FLOW for Water was our beneficiary, and we are proud to say that through these concerts, generous financial support was raised for their mission of protecting our Great Lakes.
Regional folk music artists Robin Lee Berry, Ingemar and Lisa Johannsen, Tim Joseph, Byron Joseph, Patrick Niemisto, Norm Wheeler, Luan Lechler, Sonja Shoup, Glenn Wolf, John Storms Rohm, Tim Burke, Marley Demers, Peacemeal, Bob Downs, Frank Youngman, Michael Hughes, and Victor McManemy along with many others, turned out to lead the Traverse City community in a high energy afternoon of singing and activisim. The singing built more emotional ties and harmonies- literally and figuratively. It appears we as a people in this little pocket of Michigan are a strong unit – proud and strong of our homeland and the waters that give us life.
At the halfway mark, Liz Kirkwood, Executive Director of FLOW for Water and it’s Founder, Jim Olson, spoke to us about their work. They are truly folk heros, working for our common good, educating the PEOPLE about the PUBLIC TRUST.
A sincere THANK YOU to everyone who came to sing out , contribute their hard earned money, build community and advocate for our most precious natural resource – WATER.
I recently stumbled upon the most recent issue of The Sun, and I wish to include this interview excerpt by Howard Jay Rubin with Pete Seeger in 1981 for The Sun magazine. The interview was reprinted in the 2014. April/May issue
HR: Do you think we’re really making progress in this fight against pollution?
PS: To a certain extent we kid ourselves by thinking we are having successes. Perhaps we are only slowing down inevitable disaster. It’s perfectly possible. T.S. Elliot says “This is the way the world ends/ Not with a bang but a whimper.”
Maybe we’ll just poison ourselves to death. On the other hand who knows? We have made progress. The middle Hudson is swimmable now, where it was not swimmable ten years ago. And now CLEARWATER is trying to organize a petition campaign in New Jersey and New York State to demand that the cleanup be continued, no slowed down simply because President Reagan wants to balance the budget a little better. There are lots of ways to balance the budget. It’s going to take about 1 billion more to complete the sewage plants along the Hudson, and that’s a lot of money. It’s five dollars for every man, woman, and child in the USA. But we spend a couple of billion dollars on sking; we spend a couple of billlion on T-Bone steaks and fancy foods; we spend more than a couple of billion on vacation homes for our well-to-do people, and several billion dollars on pleasure and boating and trips. Don’t let anybody tell you that America cannot afford $1 billion to make the water that flows past the Statue of Liberty swimable again.