The voice, in solo or group forms, is a powerful instrument. With the power and privilege available to vocal organizations, we wonder how our instruments may activate justice in society. With a shared goal of democratizing pedagogy and repertoire and binding ourselves in a “network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny” (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.), the spaces organized by Voicing Futures provide equal discourse for vocal leaders (conductors, voice teachers, executive directors, principals and deans) and singers alike.
We propose a person-centered singing experience, which intentionally strives toward dismantling oppression, implicit bias, othering and colonialism, and increases critical discourses, liberation, solidarity, love, innovative justice-striving structures, and the shedding of privileged fragility. These discourses center vocal-social knowledges that are non-dominant to reframe dominant knowledges.
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. - Nelson Mandela
To utilize singing for/toward institutionalized justice.
To connect and build bridges between local singing communities.
To center marginalized vocal communities.
To provide educational/professional growth/development opportunities for current K-12 teachers to engage with local, diverse musical communities and empower teachers with tools for culturally relevant and sustaining music teaching.
WHAT DO WE DO?
1. Provide culturally sustaining (Paris, 2018) education for choral organizations (school, university, community and professional vocal communities) in an effort to decolonize singing spaces and center minoritized practices, communities, pedagogies and purposes for singing.
2. Increase access to individual and group singing but only as pathways toward justice-oriented and “safe” (as can be) spaces.
3. Reclaim music’s role as a social, cultural and political event which occurs in the ever-changing landscape of human lives. Provide connections from the social, cultural, and political to the aesthetic (Western classical) tradition in order to more fully recognize how musicking can simultaneously empower, oppress, identify, silence, liberate or dominate people.
4. Center justice as a primary reason for singing.
5. Co-gather and co-interpret data and co-publish research in order to deepen both practice and philosophy. Through ongoing dialogue, share outcomes with local communities in order to stimulate justice-oriented pedagogies, performances and communities.