In Residence: August 22 – August 30, 2003
Opening Reception: Performance August 30, 5:30 – 8:00pm
Sarah Fulton is a music therapist and visual artist. She has a bachelor’s degree in Music Therapy and a master’s degree in Counseling and Music Therapy from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. She has been practicing music therapy with youth from various populations since 1995. Sarah believes that youth use music to calm themselves, express emotion, bring internal organization, and overcome or dissipate the fear of ambiguity and the unknown. Kids are able to use music as a way to express what is happening inside of them, even if they cannot express it verbally. Sarah affirms that “music can provide youth with hope and the courage to continue moving forward despite opposition.”
Sarah works with Music Therapy International as the Country Director in Kenya. She leaves for Nairobi in October to serve as the Director of Music Therapy at the Mother Theresa Home for abandoned children with HIV/AIDS.
The purpose of Sarah’s residency is to teach the youth involved in Learning Lab this project is beautiful, exciting and worthwhile experiences can be created out of things that appear to be ugly. She will accomplish this by working alongside kids to create music out of percussive instruments made from found objects. These objects include all metals, glass, wood, and other durable materials.
The youth will gather at PlatteForum on Aug. 23 to begin the project. Sarah will be joined by Bruce Kennedy, a “found object” artist, who will help facilitate the technical aspects of putting the instruments together. Once the instruments have been assembled, Sarah will work with the youth with the help of professional percussionists to begin creating the music. Over the course of the following week, the youth will gather at PlatteForum to practice improvising the music through non-verbal cues.
David Akombo, the founder and Director of Music Therapy International will be on hand to teach the youth some cultural folk music from Kenya. Mr. Akombo has studied ethnomusicology, music education and music healing.
An “arts pals” relationship will be developed between the Denver and the Kenyan youth during Sarah’s stay in Nairobi.
Local filmmaker Donnie L. Betts will document the youth’s creative process throughout the week at PlatteForum as well as the concluding reception. He and his cinematographer will then travel to Kenya throughout the year to focus on the healing power of music with the children in the Mother Theresa home, and their relationship with the youth in Denver.
On August 30th at 5:30 p.m. the public “junk jam session” will be held in the Riverfront plaza at PlatteForum. The event will consist of the outside improvisational concert put on by the youth, which will evolve into a jam session in which the public will be encouraged to participate. Everyone will then move indoors for light refreshments and talks by Sarah, Mr. Akombo, Mr. Betts, and the youth about their experiences. This reception will also serve as a fundraiser for Sarah’s trip to Kenya.