WORKSHOPS / MASTER CLASSES

Eleanor is passionate about using music as a catalyst for amplifying marginalized voices and generating dialogue amongst diverse audiences.

She holds a BA in Philosophy of Education from Brown University and is currently an Arts Envoy with the U.S. Department of Educational and Cultural Affairs, leading workshops and performing as a cultural diplomat in partnership with U.S. Embassies and community organizations around the world.

In 2020 Eleanor initiated Our Voices, Our Songs (OVOS), a series of songwriting and professional development workshops in which participants co-write and record original songs rooted in personal and community narratives.

OVOS projects adapt to serve the communities in which they take place. Programs can be one day to one year long, are taught in English, Spanish, Portuguese or French, and take place in the United States and around the world. At the heart of OVOS is the experience for participants of transforming their personal and collective (his)stories into poetry, which they then share with their peers, community and the world in the form of a song.

Two recent iterations of OVOS are 1) Ritmos Unidos (United Rhythms)*, a four-month virtual program with young Garifuna artists in northern Honduras and 2) Esperanza: Una Carta A La Proxima Generacion**, a songwriting and recording project with emerging artists ages 9 - 75 in Tucuman, Argentina.

Both Ritmos Unidos and Esperanza resulted in new songs written collectively by participants on themes critical to themselves and their communities. Ritmos Unidos songs focus on Afro-Indigenous Honduran pride and recognize one's power to make a difference. Esperanza honors the past of a struggling factory town and offers a vision of possibility for future generations. In both programs, students, for the first time, were able record their own lyrics in their own voices, and to perform in a professional video clip of their song.

Ritmos Unidos was featured on NPR's Alt.Latino on June 13, 2021.

Watch the official video of Tisanigu Africa (Children of Africa), created by Ritmos Unidos participants,  below.

*Ritmos Unidos was co-led with iconic Garifuna musician Aurelio Martinez and was supported by the U.S. Embassy Tegucigalpa, the ECA Arts Envoy Program, American Voices and ODECO.

** Esperanza was co-led with Argentine musicians Dario Acosta Teich and Sergio Destassio, and was supported in part by the Gibney Moving Towards Justice Program, in partnership with the community organization Comuna Delfín Gallo.

A multilingual musician who can capture the emotions and soul of a community in a song.”

Felix Contreras, NPR Weekend Edition