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.
Throughout the nation and around the world, people are gathering to celebrate the life and legacy of Pete Seeger. A revered folk musician and activist, Mr. Seeger championed for many environmental causes and social justice. He believed in the power of song and the power of community. Here in northwest lower Michigan, we are rallying together to keep Pete’s spirit and cause alive, as there is so much to work for in THIS PLACE. The spirit of community filled the century old Mills Community House with the songs, stories and poetry honoring legendary folk music musician and activist, Pete Seeger. Approximately 120 people filled in the late afternoon. As the concert ended, the light of the setting sun poured in through the windows.
This series of concerts could not come at a more timely fashion. Along with celebrating the life of this American icon, the concert series is taking donations at the door, with proceeds benefiting FLOW for Water. Flow’s mission is to advance Great Lakes policies that protect our common waters. Flow educates decision makers and communities about the public trust doctrine and the commons as a ways to protect the priceless Great Lakes. We were fortunate to have both Liz Kirkwood and Jim Olson, of FLOW to share the organization’s important work. Jim spoke of the work of late Joseph Sax, a University of Colorado law professor.
Sax asked: “How come there’s no public dimension to natural resource law, and the public who uses these areas and actually owns most of them doesn’t have a say in what goes on? His answer, in 1970, was “The Public Trust Doctrine in Natural Resource Law: Effective Judicial Intervention,” in the Michigan Law Review — a piece that went on to become one of the most influential law review articles ever. To read a about Joseph Sax’s quest, click here.
The final concet of this series (although we hope there will be more) is slated for 3:00 pm, Sunday, April 13 at the INSIDE OUT GALLERY in the Warehouse District, Downtown Traverse City. We welcome all singers, poets, and storytellers to sign up to lead and inspire and build community. Please visit this page to be part of this project.
A heart-felt thank you to all the musicians, storytellers, poets who shared their voices with us. Tim Joseph, Marlene Woods, Victor MacManemy, Luan Lechler, Renee Herman, Carol Voights, Ingemar and Lisa Johansson, Sue and Gary Wood, Marley Jablonski-Demers, John Storms-Rohm, Fred Kraimer, Patrick Niemsto, Tim Burke, Barbara Stowe, and Michael Hughes.