With yesterday's Fourth of July (an American holiday) being mostly filled with watermelon, macaroni salad, and giant pool floats, Marmoset wants to take a moment and nod at the rich history accompanying this day. It's a day when America celebrated its motion for independence from Great Britain — just a friendly reminder that America's founding fathers fled from another country.
Things have changed a bit since then, the political landscape feeling tumultuous, the destination intensely uncertain. It’s this undercurrent that while is the bane of our anxiety, prompted us to hone in what we can do, to use our platform for focusing on the positive change that is happening — the change you are noticing too.
With Marmoset being home to artists from all backgrounds and throughout the globe, we wanted to check in with our community. We wanted to know what these artists are hopeful for, how they're fighting back, and highlight the many ways they're giving back. With a ton of thoughtful replies so far, we’ll be sharing the responses throughout the rest of the month, here are several to begin the conversation:
We talked to Lisa Schonberg of Secret Drum Band who described her favorite place in the United States. She dished her personal take on none other than New York.
Schonberg: "My favorite place in the United States is New York City. I was born and raised there. My family arrived there as immigrants about a hundred years ago and is still mainly based there so it always will feel like the center of the universe to me.
I love NYC for the deep feeling of history, for its architecture, for its wonderful diversity, and for just its dynamic character, honesty, depth and beauty everywhere. I have been excited about exploring natural areas in the city and connecting with other artists and scientists there. Stepping off the plane and hearing someone talk with a NY accent is just about the happiest I get."
Marmoset: What makes you hopeful about our country today?
Schonberg: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez! And other badass, honorable, true and honest fighters.
We also heard from Marmoset artist, Dobsy on what makes him hopeful about the United States:
Dobsy: "I'm hopeful about the people in our country because of the fact that when you get outside of the news and social media, people genuinely do care about others and take the time to understand each other.
We aren't as divided as the media portrays. There's so much gold in the world when we get out and really connect with the amazing people we share this country with. Don't let what you read or watch cause division, there's so much to be happy and hopeful for!"
On the topic of activism, many of Marmoset's artists are constantly in motion. Whether it be creating music to bring awareness to causes or using their time outside of music, there's a lot happening in the community.
Songwriter and composer, Oliver J. Hughes fills us in on where he's focusing his efforts:
Hughes: I’m very passionate about immigration issues and more specifically highlighting reality in a world of lies. I’m working on a mini-documentary right now about the impact of immigrants in our cities. Spoiler alert: it’s pretty damn positive.
We also spoke with with Portland based band, There is No Mountain to find out what keeps them hopeful for America. Here's what they had to say:
Kal: The fact that we have toured coast to coast several times and never once had to sleep in a car. Thanks to the generosity of strangers, we've stayed in over 100 different homes over the past few years. No matter how divided our country may be right now, when it comes down to it, there are people everywhere who are happy to share what they have.
Marmoset: What kind of activism are you involved in right now?
Kal: A cause that I have become very passionate about over the past 5 years is employment inclusion for people with disabilities. We recently produced a podcast called ABLE that aired on KBOO, and we even have a song inspired by my day job called "Wheels." I have also volunteered with Living Yoga for around five years and often bring music into my classes. Living Yoga provides classes for people who wouldn't usually be able to access yoga (i.e. prisons, rehab centers, clinics, and behavior healthcare facilities).