Yo-Yo Ma’s “day of action” in Chicago spotlights gun violence, cultivating art

Posted on: June 24, 2019

“Yo-Yo Ma, famed cellist extraordinaire, carefully lowered a magnolia sapling into the ground at Unity Park in North Lawndale [using] a shovel [made of] repurposed weapons originally seized by the Chicago Police Department,” writes Marie Fazio in Friday’s (6/21) Chicago Tribune. “Through the Bach Project, his tour of 36 cities … Ma works with community leaders to organize a ‘Day of Action.’ … In Chicago, Ma asked, ‘How can we use culture to confront gun violence in the city?’ Before he got his hands dirty, Ma was joined by Alexandria Hoffman, a fellow at the Civic Orchestra of Chicago…. Hoffman played a flute created … in a similar fashion to the shovels from shotgun barrels…. Students from Ravinia Lawndale Family Music School performed … [At] a panel at the National Museum of Mexican Art … [Ma] was joined … by Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Jahmal Cole, of My Block, My Hood, My City, and high school student and poet Hailey Love…. Lightfoot said that her experiences in band—she was a trumpet player from fourth grade through high school—gave her a sense of community … Lightfoot hopes to increase funding and attention to art and other creative programs in schools.”

Posted June 24, 2019

In photo: Yo-Yo Ma, right, congratulates pianist Yasmin Perez, 14, who performed during the cellist’s “Day of Action” at Unity Park in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood on June 21, 2019. Photo by Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune