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National Voter Registration Day: "Take Care of this House" Video

Posted September 22, 2020

“It is the artists of the world, the feelers and the thinkers who will ultimately save us; who can articulate, educate, defy, insist, sing and shout the big dreams.” Leonard Bernstein

Leonard Bernstein’s iconic song Take Care Of This House is a glorious meditation on our rights and responsibilities, urging us to preserve the sanctity and integrity of the White House as the home and the hope of all Americans, to keep it from harm, and to care for its future.

Now a diverse and multi-generational constellation of leading American artists/activists come together to perform this song as a rallying cry for our civil liberties at this critical moment in our history. Conceived and created by iconoclastic pianist Lara Downes to support the ACLU’s Voting Rights initiative, this remarkable musical cohort features artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Judy Collins, Rhiannon Giddens, opera greats Thomas Hampson, Angel Blue, Isabel Leonard, Ailyn Perez and Lawrence Brownlee, Mexican-American jazz diva Magos Herrera, Shereen Pimentel, who stars as Maria in the new Broadway production of Bernstein’s West Side Story, and young musicians from the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and NPR’s From The Top.

In Lara’s words: “This year of disruption and division has kept artists offstage and off the road. But even from here at home, we can reach out to join forces and offer our music where it matters the most. I’ve looked to Leonard Bernstein throughout my career as the model of a true artist/citizen, a musician who always showed up and spoke up, in good times and bad. He gave us so much inspiration, including this perfect song that speaks to our American past, present and future in such a powerful way. So here we are, from our homes to yours, pledging to take care of this house together. It’s the hope of us all.”

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