From the desk (and heart) of @marceloasherQ
Although I’d love to go through the joyful process of focusing on an individually-crafted message for each of the people in my life, both the feasibility of such an effort and the time sensitive nature of what I have to say require that I reach out with the quickness.
Given the breadth of life I have lived so far, you might know me as a student, musician, parent of three daughters, high school literature teacher (in Argentina and in Virginia), writer, yoga practitioner, newspaper designer, web developer, content marketer, editor, journalist, outdoors enthusiast, traveler, photographer, filmmaker, insurance sales person, poet, pizza slinger … or one of many other roles I have stepped into over the years.
But I’m coming to you now fulfilling a task that’s at once something I’ve never quite tried before and a culmination of everything I’ve ever been: a director, cinematographer, and producer of an ongoing cultural exchange documentary series that seeks to uncover global connections through music and film.
As an introvert, reaching out in such a public way is not my norm (I’m growing). Being super vocal about my own projects can sometimes feel too narcissistic for me to do, but I feel that this project is so far beyond “me” that I’m unusually inspired to share it with you, hoping that perhaps you’ll seize the opportunity to be a part of it as well.
Someone I deeply respect recently told me that “art” projects (like this) are much more difficult to crowdfund than goods or causes. I insist, however, that Street Muse is all three — a film you can purchase, a humanitarian effort you can support, and an artistic project you can experience and enjoy.
This series began in 2012, when my dear friend and incredible musician (and excellent human) Nate “Gull” Rappole traveled with a small film crew to Kenya to perform his unique music and to interact with the local culture. After more than a month in Africa and many hours of editing, the hour-long Street Muse Kenya documentary came to be.
Over the past year, Nate, myself, and a few others have put in countless hours trying to ensure that the message of Street Muse does neither goes unnoticed nor ends with Kenya. We want to bring this project to as many nations as we can — not to impose any western (or personal) ideals on other people, but rather to connect with and showcase human culture as it is. You can help make this happen.
Ultimately, the underlying message of this series is for everyone — not just music music and travel enthusiasts. Street Muse is here to show that as humans, we are one people, and that cultural exchange is one way that we can choose to wage peace.
Yes, differences between us do exist, but my experience and belief is that through investigating and unpacking those differences, we inevitably find significant points of connection that far overshadow perceived details that make us believe we are “separate” from one another.
And in a socio-polticidal climate that is plagued by countless lines of division, this is my way of helping to foster peaceful, collaborative unity among all peoples.
While you can learn additional details from the Kickstarter campaign, I’ll leave some key points here:
We plan to explore Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam to learn how ecology influences the types of instruments and sounds humans make
The Street Muse Kenya team raised $10K in Kickstarter in 2012, but wound up spending more than twice that on overall production costs
We need to raise $25,000 by February 19 in order to reach our mark and receive any funding — it’s all or nothing
As of this writing, we’ve only recently broken the $6,640 mark
There’s less than one week left of the campaign
We have a long way to go, but you can help shorten that distance by getting involved. Whether it’s with $1, $1,000 (our largest pledge to date), or sharing to your social networks — every bit counts and is greatly appreciated.
Street Muse allows us (all of us) to bridge cultural gaps through music, and is a unique way to gain insight from personal connections and exchange.
We are currently screening Street Muse Kenya in Virginia, but would love to bring it to other cities over the next few days and weeks. Reach out to me if you like what you see and can help facilitate (in whatever way) a screening/Q&A/music performance night near you.
~Let’s continue this conversation together ~
Peace and love,
Marcelo Asher Quarantotto
My name is Marcelo Asher Quarantotto.I WRITE WITH WORDS, PHOTOS, VIDEOS, WEBSITES AND MUSIC.
I am a father of three beautiful daughters and husband to the most gracious, saintly creature I've ever met. (You'll find pictures of them here from time to time.) I am also a multidisciplinary storyteller.