Belong Concert Set for Sunday

Belong Concert Set for Sunday

 

A free community concert is set for this Sunday, Feb. 28, at 4 p.m., titled “Walking Together” with performing artist Ken Medema. The concert celebrates Alameda’s “Everyone Belongs Here” initiative created by Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) students to promote acceptance and inclusion.

Medema, an Alameda resident who happens to be blind, will share his gifts of storytelling and music in an interactive concert designed to affirm the beauty and diversity of the people of Alameda. 

The concert will take place at First Congregational Church of Alameda, 1912 Central Ave. (at Chestnut) and will be followed by a community reception. Both Trinity Lutheran and First Congregational churches will host the event, admission is free, but a free-will offering will be taken. 

Medema has been performing for four decades and has inspired audiences of 50 to 50,000 in 49 states and more than 15 countries on four continents with his vocal and piano artistry and his improvisational “on the spot” song writing based on the stories people share during his concerts. 

The evening will include storytelling by AUSD students as well as other community members and joint performances by the choirs of Trinity Lutheran Church and First Congregational, United Church of Christ.  

“Not only do we want to celebrate the beauty and diversity of the people of our city,” says Medema, “we want to celebrate initiatives like “Everyone Belongs Here” and community organizations like the Midway Shelter, the Alameda Food Bank and the Alameda Point Collaborative which are so vital to our city.”  
 
Though blind from birth, Medema sees and hears with his heart and his imagination and uses his music to help build communities of compassion and understanding where diversity is celebrated.  “As a kid I was not widely accepted,” he says, “and I spent a lot of time by myself. Because I have lived with some degree of being different all my life, I have some sympathy for people who have been disenfranchised, whether they have been disabled or politically oppressed or whatever.”
 
In addition to his improvisational song writing, Medema will share songs such as Bound Together, about what it takes to build community; I Dream of Home, about finding shelter and permanent housing; Come Down to the Park about the importance of play; and Music In My Mouth, celebrating the gift of music.   

Medema is delighted to finally have the opportunity to use his gifts to bring his city together, “I love Alameda because it is a town with a sense of community, and a gentle soul."