The Lift Every Voice and Sing Virtual Performance is a project promoting racial equality and social justice. Our world needs change and social injustice requires more than a discussion. Director of the project, Ryan Mancini, says “I personally live by the saying ‘If it is too much for words, sing it, play it or draw it. If it is bigger than that, dance it.’ With this theme in mind, I created this virtual performance opportunity.”
It is a virtual performance of the black national anthem, Lift Every Voice and Sing. This project is expected to use 1,000-10,000 submissions of instrumentalists, singers, dancers, and visual artists. They are working to receive submissions from anyone (ranging from basic skills to celebrity level) until the deadline: December 18th, 2020. The arrangement was created by Ryan and a team of Berklee College of Music students. It consists of sections for orchestra, choirs, an instrumental duet, and a vocal solo. Dancers and artistic work will be featured throughout the video to support and enhance the performance.
They have secured a partnership with Carl Bespolka, a music engineer that has recorded and produced for artists such as Miley Cyrus, Bon Jovi, J Cole, Mark Ronson, Willow Smith, Jon Batiste, and many more. This project is currently featured in the Berklee Student Newsletter and has peaked interest in many other schools around the nation (Yale University, Berklee College of Music, Julliard, and more).
The video will premiere on Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 18th, 2021 at the Family Community Life Center (FCLC) MLK Day Annual Breakfast. FCLC is a community-based 501(c)3 non-profit working every day to build an inclusive community through its social, educational, recreational and cultural programs (fclclongisland.org). They are partnering with FCLC to help offset the cost of production for the video and the overhead for continuing to run this non-profit. COVID-19 has hindered FCLC’s normal fundraising channels and events. They’re goal for this project is $150k, and you can donate at https://gf.me/u/y58y6c.
They’re asking you and those in your circle of influence to participate in this project. Your contribution might simply be forwarding this post to potential participants, making a submission yourself, and/or donation/monetary sponsorship. Any significant sponsorships will be featured in the credits of the video, the website, and the MLK Breakfast Journal.
Ryan says, “Projects like these help start and continue conversations about social justice. With your help, our hope is millions will see this effort. Any and all help will be appreciated!”