Who is behind Music Is Healing?
Music Is Healing is a community learning organization and creative media services agency started by Pierre-Valery Tchetgen (Artist-Educator and Entrepreneur), while pursuing a PhD at the Graduate School of Education at UC Berkeley. Since 2006, Pierre-Valery (also known by the stage name: Akwerius
) has been amplifying creative voices and providing youth, families and the general public opportunities to harness their experiences and talents towards positive social change by connecting them with like-minded peers and mentors.
The MusicIsHealing.Us platform is the fruit of our 5-year community initiative launched in 2014 involving poets, singers, healers and players of instruments of all ages committed to promote the message of Unity through Music.
This network will serve to mobilize and connect our work across our nationwide (and soon-to-be global) chapters.
We are open to students, artists, agriculturists, designers, dancers and music producers who believe in holistic wellness, creativity and technology as powerful tools for individual empowerment and sustainable community building.
What does Music Is Healing do?
Our goal is to build lasting connections between artists and the larger community through seasonal releases, online events and educational programs that promote the four pillars of wellness: Mind, Body, Community and Spirit. Music Is Healing creates year-round opportunities for artists, youth, families and elders. We do this through: publications, workshops, conferences, concerts and nature retreats.
By leveraging the power of long-distance collaboration via the web, our creative media production process is rooted in the healing arts (meditation, rhythm, movement) and the expressive arts (poetry, music, dance, arts) to promote individual creativity, collective leadership and build resilient communities.
As a production collective, Music Is Healing offers a wide-range of artistic media design and event production possibilities, thanks to long-lasting partnerships between artists in the crew
. As an online platform, our emphasis will be on special offerings for community
members, exclusive tickets to concerts, classes and workshops as well as new releases (books, music, media) and lifestyle products (fashion, health). We will also feature local artists, vendors and businesses.
How did we get here?
The seeds of Music Is Healing were planted during Summer 2006 in Chicago as the Voices CAMP program in collaboration with several community and school partners (After
School Matters, Harold Washington College, University of Chicago, Voices of the New Millennium) to help address the lack in access to media-arts opportunities available to low-income youth. In the summer of 2006, the Voices CAMP successfully engaged 18 Chicago
youth in a six-week media-arts apprenticeship at Harold Washington College through a city grant from After School Matters. In 2008, the program (renamed
iCAMP) won Best Program for the Downtown region for our collaboration with the Neighborhood Technology Resource Center and the Word.Sound.Life.
network was born of these efforts to mobilize the work of the organization to California,
where it became established as a student organization on the UC Berkeley campus from 2007 to 2019.
The Music Is Healing Us Tour
was initially launched in 2014 at the Democracy Center in Boston as a project of Word. Sound. Life. after several artist members (singers, producers and musicians) decided to form an independent collective that would allow them to produce and license original music, art and film works; as well as collaborate on seasonal creative projects (mixtapes, concerts, podcasts, zines and films). The project has since relocated to Mount Shasta, CA where it formally became registered as a small business in 2018, after successfully hosting the Unity through Music
grassroots festival for two consecutive years.
Why are we raising money?
We're grateful that Music Is Healing has been able to touch so many lives over the years. We may seem like a tag team of drifters from the outside, but our potential stems from a broad network of international connections and a track-record of professional experiences in the healing arts, performing arts, education, media and technology sectors.
Our goal is to harness our collective energies to share our individual gifts of healing through mindfulness, writing, storytelling, musicmaking, stage-acting and mediamaking with others (especially youth, families and elders), that they may (re)discover theirs and (re)gain control of their destinies.
Today, young people in urban environments often have an abundance of creativity as a result of their surroundings, without proper channels to express such. Thus, as a learning organization and creative media agency, our daily practice is motivated by this chronic lack of access low-income youth of color have to digital resources and trained educators who can productively use them. The Voices Internet Community Arts and Media Partnerships (Voices iCAMP) was created as a curriculum model to develop youth capacities around digital media and technology by integrating critical tools and practices for a more self-directed, and reflective, mode of learning. With a special focus placed on communication, analytic thinking and the role and power of new media technologies, the curriculum model creates a culture in which participants are trained to learn and use digital media and communications technologies to produce cultural media or creative narrations that address or study an issue or topic of concern to them (and their peers).
Your monthly contributions will allow us to keep the Music Is Healing projects and website operational, but more importantly, it will make it possible for us to continue creating more enrichment and employment opportunities for teens by recruiting and training artists and college students as youth mentors and guides. We've been refining these ideas for over 10 years and we're ready to make them a reality, with your help!
What is our vision of the future?
We have several projects in the works! We plan to offer several public services to the community, business and not-for-profit clients. Some of these services include:
- Daily Streams (Creativity, Mindfulness, Wellness)
- Weekly Classes & Workshops (Instructor-led)
- Live Broadcasts & Webinars
- Community Events (Online)
- Podcasts and more