My guest on the Town Crier, Eveline MacDougall, founded the Amandla Chorus back in 1988 in the Greenfield area made up of multi-generational singers from our valley. The chorus, now named Fiery Hope, takes their mission of social justice and community building into schools, prisons, shelters and senior centers. They’ve performed for the likes of Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Malalla Yousafazai, Cesar Chavez and Pete Seeger.
Our conversation touches on the early chorus’ anti-apartheid mission. The evolution of the chorus’ work including during the pandemic. Our discussion includes early mentors like Wally and Juanita Nelson who founded Peacemakers way back in 1948! Locally, the Nelsons are credited for their work as anti-war activists, originators of the Greenfield Farmers Market, the Valley Community Land Trust and much more.
Eveline has written a book about her experiences called “Fiery Hope; Building Community With the Amandla Chorus”. Her appearance at Greenfield’s LAVA Center on 4/9 at 1PM will likely include some of the powerful stories from her 30 plus years with the Chorus. Eveline shared one such story with the Town Crier which gave our listeners the power and drama of these experiences. Give the interview a listen. We finish with a story of the Chorus’ work with Pete Seeger as a way to introduce a gorgeous version of “Ode to Joy” with lyrics co-written with Seeger.
LAVA Center (Local Access To Valley Arts) is located at 324 Main Street in Downtown Greenfield, MA. Attendance can be in person or virtual and is “pay as you can” basis. Detail at localaccess.org
Eveline MacDougall’s appearance is part of the center’s Series for Social Justice in Arts and Media on 4/9 at 1PM.