One of my many ongoing projects, the Be the Change series highlights fascinating who people I meet during my travels. These are folks who are doing the hard work of changing the world for the better by living out their passions and sharing their gifts. Subjects are chosen by me with no committee or proposal process, so if you know of a person or project that you think is doing something that is making the world a more just, compassionate and peaceful place, please let me know.
Not really sure when I met Shannon and Elizabeth, but over the years via the lens of my children’s choral activities and wonders of the interwebs, I have grown to really appreciate her and Elizabeth’s creativity. Not only does Shannon bring the tunes and Elizabeth create amazing jewelry, but they are committed to making their art and voices make a difference A few months back, I noticed that they were embarking on a very cool adventure in order to capture the stories of women. The project is called Juana’s Voice.
Inspired by the life of Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz, Elizabeth Rosas and Shannon Day are traveling to find and share stories of women who are doing extraordinary things. This project will be told through digital storytelling using film, photos and original music.
When I read more, I immediately asked if they wanted to be interviewed. So very grateful that they took me up on this. I can’t wait to hear the stories. First, a little link love: website, Twitter, Facebook and email and next, my brief interview with Shannon and Elizabeth about Juana’s Voice that they sent in from the road.
Tell me a little about yourself . . . who are Shannon and Elizabeth?
Shannon - I am a performer, composer and teacher. When I teach my job is to help the student become willing to risk everything for one hour of self-expression. In my composing I untangle the notes and the progressions and the rhythms that refuse to leave my thoughts. And in my performing I want to come out to play, I want to show all sides of me. It frees me a little bit; it allows me to be angry, silly, sad, afraid and in the end it’s all ok. It brings me into balance. I am also a traveler. I want to define my life, not have it defined for me and that definition is ever-changing.
Elizabeth - When I was a kid, my mom told me that I was always asking “why?” As an adult, I lived many years not questioning anything. In my mid thirties things started to change, I started asking those same questions; I started searching for my own answers. I am inquisitive about the world and the human experience.
Tell me a little about JUANA’S VOICE and how did you get involved in it?
Juana’s voice is a dream that we have had for a while now; one that combines our love of travel with our desire to uncover and document the lives of women who are living life on their own terms.
We want to document the search for these women through photos, video and music because we understand that the process and the journey are paramount. We want to use these images to provide a beautiful form from which people can see, hear and hopefully be inspired to live a life of their own choosing.
In 10 years, what do you hope people will be saying about JUANA’S VOICE?
We hope we will still be traveling the world from Romania to Easter Island in search of captivating women. We would like to build a mainstream archive from which people can continually draw for the classroom or simply for an unlimited amount of personal inspiration.
In 10 years it would be great for the archive to be interactive, a bit like Wikipedia where people can add to the database of women. I would love to have a Juana’s voice curriculum to help teachers educate about inspirational women, past and present, famous and not. It would be neat to have a Juana’s Voice endowment that recognizes and supports these types of women. I would also like a community-based project (multi-media, performance or otherwise) that celebrates these women that exist in each community. La dia de la voz de Juana!
How can people get connected to and support JUANA’S VOICE?
- Do you know someone who you think we should interview? Let us know!!!
- Like our FACEBOOK PAGE and visit www.shannondayonline.com. We love and greatly appreciate words of encouragement! 3. Shop for jewelry inspired by this project at Elizabeth’s Etsy shop.
- You can book Shannon for master classes or to perform concerts (house concerts, church concerts, etc.)
- Perhaps you need a house sitter or pet sitter? Shannon and Elizabeth have LOTS of experience in these areas!
- Do you have a place we could park our 11ft trailer for a couple of days? A shower we could use?
- If you like what we are doing, we have a ‘no fuss, no muss’ donate button on our website. No donation is too small, we promise!
Pay it forward a bit . . . what are 2-3 projects, companies or people who you think are doing some good work in the world these days?
There are so many people who are doing amazing things who I follow through twitter and blogs.