Mission and History

 

The mission of the Sea Change Chorale of Portland, Maine is to promote social justice through song. We are dedicated to musical excellence and to creating an experience that inspires, heals, offers visibility, and promotes a sense of community for our members and our audience. We come from a range of spiritual traditions, political values, life experiences and musical abilities.

Our unity comes from a deep and abiding love of song that honors the enduring spirit of all people and from a commitment to helping others.

We formed in the summer of 2014 as the Phoenix Chorale and recently re-organized as the Sea Change Chorale in 2017. One of our primary activities is our social justice partnership with a local organization, which culminates in a spring concert to raise funds and awareness for that organization. We also participate in a number of other events during the year to honor our commitment to social justice in Maine and beyond.

Community Health

The theme selected for Sea Change Chorale’s 2017-2018 partnership is: community health. We define community health broadly to include organizations that provide services to maintain, protect, and improve the health status of population groups and communities. Community health includes topics such as addictions, suicide prevention, chronic illnesses, and access to healthcare for underprivileged communities. Services may be intended for families, elderly, children, immigrants, veterans, disabled populations, or other groups. It may include direct provision of health services, or it may span awareness or educational campaigns and non-medical supportive services (such as providing meals for the sick, driving patients to appointments, health checks by non-medical practitioners, etc.). It may also provide traditional or alternative modalities. It does not include policy work or legal reform. We are in the process of selecting our partner for the upcoming concert season. Look for an announcement in December 2017.

Social Justice Partnership

Each year, the Sea Change Chorale partners with an organization that works on issues of social justice in Maine. While our primary goal is to raise awareness and funds for our partner organization at the annual spring concert, we also try to support their mission with service by our members. This may include personally volunteering in their program activities or assisting with organizational strategy and administrative needs. We also invite members from our partner organizations to join us on stage at the spring concert, which may include music (choral or instrumental), poetry, theatre, film, or art and design.  Our hope is to create community through artistic performance, and to strengthen the bonds of shared service in the name of social justice.  Read our Statement on Social Justice Partnerships for a more detailed explanation. Since 2014, our singing ensemble has worked with a broad array of non-profits in Maine that work in the areas of environment, housing and food access, anti-racism, immigration, and other issues within the social justice sphere. In addition to our annual spring concert, we perform mini-concerts throughout the year to raise awareness and funds for local non-profit groups. In our short history, we have provided assistance to Preble Street Resource Center, Good Shepherd Food Bank, Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project, Maine Gun Safety Coalition, In Her Presence, and the NAACP.

Statement on Racial Justice

For our 2016-2017 season, the thematic focus of our chorale was racial justice. We define racial justice as the systematic and fair treatment of people of all races, resulting in equitable opportunities and outcomes for all. This includes race as it relates to: criminal justice economic justice, including access to jobs and housing inequality in education immigration and refugee resettlement, and American Indian rights Racial justice in Maine reflects the existing diversity of our state, which includes new immigrants and refugees, tribal communities, and people of color who have been residents of the United States for generations. It includes the intersection of race with gender identities and economic status. We support the Maine Initiatives’ statement on racial justice: We affirm our collective commitment to creating a community in which all people are equally seen, valued, and respected, and race is not predictive of life outcomes. This includes acknowledging and embracing the existing diversity of our state, including our tribal communities, as well as creating opportunities for newly arriving Mainers to contribute meaningfully to our community, economy, workforce, and culture. In our 2016-2017 concert season, we were honored to partner with In Her Presence, a local organization that offers programs to embrace, empower, and enrich the lives of immigrant women. This organization is dedicated to helping immigrant women and girls to cope with stress and feel confident in this new country, while balancing the unique and powerful cultural identity of each woman. Click here for more information on our partnership with In Her Presence.