How can the transformative power of music lift up people’s spirits and inspire movements for justice in the face of a global pandemic?

Dear Friends,

The People’s Music Network annual Summer Gathering is scheduled from June 12-14, 2020 at the Woolman Hill Retreat Center in Deerfield, MA.  Large groups singing together face-to-face is what makes PMN Gatherings so exciting and inspiring.  During this particular pandemic, it also endangers people’s health.  

PMN is considering how to move forward in this crisis, with our mission in mind: sustaining and growing a diverse community of performing artists, activists and allies that uses music, poetry, and other forms of cultural work as catalysts for a just and peaceful world.  As we assess our options, the PMN Steering Committee will continue to communicate with our members about our decision making for this year’s Summer Gathering.

For decades, PMN has sustained our community primarily by hosting major gatherings.  In recent years, we’ve also developed ideas for programs to sustain our community through online platforms.  In response to this crisis, we’re reviving our exploration of how these ideas can help us fulfill our mission right now.  Confronting this challenge is new for PMN and just about everyone else, but we have the capacity to work together, learn, and develop new strategies.

Song and Poetry Swap via Live Video Conference 
Topic: “Songs we need to hear during a Pandemic"
Friday, March 20, 7:30 - 9:30 PM
FREE for PMN members.

The first 15 PMN members who sign up for this event will be invited to sing a song on the topic of “Songs we need to hear during a Pandemic".  If we have more registrants than we have slots, we’ll organize additional online song swaps, so let's hope for that. The list of performers will be posted to the event page.  We are particularly encouraging songs about healthcare justice, overcoming social isolation, solidarity, and calling out the systemic incompetence and inhumanity of a government that prioritizes profits and perception over people’s lives. However, any songs which brighten our lives in these stressful times are welcome.

To share a song, you must:

1) have a current PMN membership* 
2) register for the event
3) have a computer with a video camera.  

* If you are not a PMN member, please consider joining PMN.

To join this musical video conference, simply click this link and follow instructions
(Anyone can click to listen to the songs, but to play a song, you must register using the link below)


Your Input is Needed 

We're interested in collaborating with our PMN community to maintain and strengthen the network even while many of us maintain physical distance from groups to protect ourselves and others.  Here are additional activities we think PMN could focus on during this period, especially with the engagement of a focused team of volunteers:

  • Song Contest for new social justice songs, each with a topical focus.
  • Songwriting prompt followed by sharing what we write.
  • Compiling a list of PMN members who are holding online concerts and collaborating with other organizations to promote them. One new resource is:
  • Webinar: How independent working musicians can earn a living in a pandemic. One new resource is:
  • Webinar: Tips and Tricks for Home Audio Recording.

What are your ideas for how the People’s Music Network can strengthen our community while making music for social change during this pandemic?  Please write to us at  with your own ideas and how you could help organize these or other types of activities.

Signed in song and solidarity,

Ben Grosscup, Executive Director
Tobie Hoffman, President
Charlie King, Treasurer

Copyright © 2020 People's Music Network for Songs of Freedom and Struggle, All rights reserved.

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