I have been running the blog now for nearly 4 years and over 340 posts. Even I can’t believe there have been so many! In the meantime, I have moved across the country, toured nationally and internationally several times, started my YouTube channel and taken on a full time job. In many ways, the blog was my own personal and constant check and balance system: it kept me focussed and observant, and forced me to develop excellent time management skills!
Through it, I got to meet and work with many wonderful members of CMN. Joanie Calem, Brigid Finucane, Joyce Rouse, James Coffey, Liz Buchanan – all were regular contributors, supporters and friends. Thank you! I also got to meet other professionals in our field whom I admired and wanted to learn from: Dan Zanes, Eric Litwin, Helen Austin, Caspar Babypants – such informative, engrossing conversations I had with them!
I learned about the history of many of my favorite songs and artists too, from classics like Shoo Fly Don’t Bother Me, Duerme Negrito, and Malaika, to artists like Raffi, Ella Fitzgerald, Bessie Jones, Leadbelly and Woody Guthrie.
I became more acquainted with member music too, as a result I am now a huge fan of Susan Salidor, Marla Lewis, Val Smalkin, Stuart Stotts, Anna Stange, I could go on! Members have also turned me onto magical, timeless music like that of Malvina Reynolds, Bob Blue and Lisa Atkinson; I have in turn been able to spread their music that much farther and wider.
Appropriately enough, I met our new Blog Editor, Jessica “Culture Queen” Smith, through the blog! She wrote this wonderful piece for Black History Month in 2014. I so look forward to seeing what she does with this resource and your voices.
I never could have imagined four years ago what CMN and our many wonderful members would mean to me. It has been an honor and a privilege representing you kind, talented, tireless warriors for peace and love. It is time for me to pursue other adventures and discover other checks and balances, but now I have so many of you to count on as friends, mentors and teachers that I close this chapter enriched and empowered by your support and your teachings. Thank you.
- Alina Celeste