Berklee Blogs

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Tag: Staff (Page 1 of 4)

Staff

Passing the Hammer: Gracenotes 2017

Santa Fe Habitat for Humanity arms its volunteers with knowledge, tools, and new skills. Its crew of reliable AmeriCorps and Habitat staff is there to catch your dropped nails, give a word of encouragement when your sheetrock is crooked, and remind you to measure twice, cut once. They bring everything you need to get the job done.

 

I went into a week of volunteering with Gracenotes knowing that. I’ve admired Habitat for a long time, and lived in Santa Fe long enough to know that the city had a particularly good reputation for wanting to provide housing opportunity for New Mexicans who needed a fresh start. I was excited to travel back to my home in the Southwest with my new Berklee family, and reconnect with my community. I trusted that Habitat knew how to build houses. They brought us wood, and nails, and screw guns, and ladders.

With so much fresh building material, what I wasn’t expecting was the sense of history.

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Gracenotes/Habitat for Humanity New Orleans Trip 2013

Garden District Home

Earlier this spring, I applied to be one of the volunteers in this year’s Gracenotes Rebuilding the Birthplace of Jazz trip to New Orleans to assist through Habitat for Humanity in the rebuilding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.  I was delighted and honoured to join this year’s team.  I imagined that the week would consist of hard work building on the Habitat site followed by evenings exploring the city and listening to music in a city that was pretty much back on its feet after the devastating storm of August, 2005.  The city is exciting and vibrant; it is lauded as one of the most unique cities in the United States and I agree wholeheartedly.  Live music pulsed out of every restaurant, bar and café and on every street corner of the French Quarter, Bywater, Marigny, and Treme that I passed. 

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Building A Home And Community In New Orleans

Well, I’ve been back in Boston for a few days now, and I admit I’ve not yet fully digested the emotions and experiences of volunteering with New Orleans Habitat for Humanity through Berklee’s Gracenotes trip. Having never been to the “Birthplace of Jazz”, I made the journey with few preconceived expectations. The culture, local attractions, cuisine, and condition of the city after the 2005 hurricane and the rebuilding that followed…I was completely in the dark. The only thing I knew with certainty was that I’d hear lots of diverse, amazing music. And I was not disappointed!

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Introducing 2011 Gracenotes Sponsorship Recipients

This year marks the fifth anniversary of Berklee’s Gracenotes Sponsorship to New Orleans.   Thanks to the generous support of the college, the Gracenotes Volunteer Committee is able to send a group of staff and faculty members to New Orleans to contribute to the rebuilding efforts, which continue even today–six years after floods resulting from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the city.

I am delighted to join my colleague, Leigh McLaren, in leading this year’s team. We leave Boston on Monday, May 9 and will be on-site with  New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity from Tuesday, May 10 through Saturday, May 14.  Over the course of next week, members of the team will post photos and more about our experience.

Recipients of the 2011 Berklee Gracenotes Sponsorship
Gilly Cantor
Corinto Cevallos
Joe Chinni
Michael Heyman
Magen Tracy
Marian Wilson

Thank You Berklee & Gracenotes

I just want to thank Berklee and the Gracenotes Sponsorship team for giving us the opportunity to work in New Orleans.  I am grateful for  the personal friendships which came out of this trip, and for the real life education of being in the birthplace of jazz.

I truly hope that this initiative lives on; there is nothing like the first-hand experience of connecting with people in places of need.  Even a small instance of “paying it forward” helps our society in the long run.  Thanks Thanks THANKS!!!!

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