"To accomplish great things, we must not only act,
but also dream; not only plan, but also believe."
Anatole France


Versão em Português

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Music for Canoa - CE

Music for Canoa is an international grassroots program that provides music education to the under-privileged children of Canoa Quebrada, Ceará , Brazil . Canoa Quebrada is located in the northeast of Brazil , a region considered to be the cradle of Brazilian culture and music. In recent times, the region has become a popular international tourist destination and has seen a rapid phase of economic development, and with it, exploitation and loss of tradition. Canoa has been no exception to this trend and has suffered the consequences of globalization in the form of under-age prostitution and a destructive youth drug culture. The youth have become increasingly disconnected from their rich culture and traditions as Canoa has grown. With the disappearance of the only youth music program in Canoa in 2003, the emergence of new musicians to follow in the footsteps of fellow northeasterners, Gilberto Gil, João Gilberto or Caetano Veloso, seemed more and more unlikely.


In 2005, Nina McKleroy, a native of Canoa Quebrada who had relocated to the San Francisco-Bay Area decided to instigate a musical renaissance in Canoa. Nina and her community of friends put together a benefit event and a plan to revitilize and expand the old music program. Over the summer of 2005, members of the Canoa Quebrada community came together with Nina and her husband Andrew McKleroy and drew up plans for the new program. Drawing on the community’s voice and potential, the music program started up again, offering a chorus, a musical ensemble/orchestra, and percussion and rhythm classes.  The program is going strong and continues to attract new participants while catalyzing  communities in both California and Brazil .


Music for Canoa is currently planning to open up a center for music classes and other extra-curricular activities. With the strong support of the community and a devoted group of organizers raising money in California , Music for Canoa has begun the work of transforming the lives of young musicians and protecting Brazil ’s cherished musical heritage.

(Music for Canoa is one program of the broader Children of Light Association)

Children of LIGHT Association - CE

Brazil, the urban population is growing abruptly. Such growth - clearly noticed both in cities like Sao Paulo , Rio de Janeiro
and in big capitals in the North-East - happens with the arrival of the countryside people, looking for better opportunities to sustain their families. This illusion of a better life is quickly destroyed due to the lack of job opportunities and the high costs of affording a place to live. This stimulates the growth of the slums, the streets children tolls and violence.

To stop this negative process, which causes the disintegration of families and contributes to the growth of urban violence, we must improve the quality of life of the north-eastern people through education, health and the training,  utilizing resources from the region like traditional handcraft workshops developed in the community.

The Children of Light Association wants to improve the situation of children and families in the North-East Brazil
through youth and family education.

Some of the Association’s specific objectives are:
- Develop solidarity consciousness, for the promotion of a harmonious life in the community, facilitating the teaching-learning process.
- Institute education, leisure and respect within the individual limits through the development of their creativity and responsibility.
- Improv e family income expansion for the individuals involved in the project through the commercialization of products.

The Association’s proposal is to work side-by-side with the community, trying to improve their life conditions through, among other things, the emphasis on traditional handcraft work; this is their cultural heritage and also a source of income due to the high numbers of tourists in the region and therefore the opportunity to commercialize these products in the region.
Website: www.musicforcanoa.org