Making Music, Building Bridges
Produced by Elaine Vradenburgh
Making Music, Building Bridges is a documentary about a community in Eugene, Oregon, USA that has emerged around a shared interest in the study, performance, and preservation of musical traditions from Zimbabwe. Kutsinhira Cultural Arts Center — founded by Maggie Donahue with the guidance of Zimbabwean master musician, Dumisani Maraire — serves as the primary local hub for music-making of this kind. The Center provides year-round instruction in marimba, mbira, hosho, drumming, and singing for people of all ages. Kutsinhira has been instrumental in sponsoring music residencies in Eugene for Zimbabwean master musicians including Cosmas Magaya, Ambuya Beauler Dyoko, and Musekiwa Chingodza. These residencies provide the Eugene community with an opportunity to gain new insights into the musical traditions of Zimbabwe while providing Zimbabwean musicians with an income-generating activity and opportunity to share and spread their musical culture in the United States.
The close musical and personal connections between Kutsinhira members and Zimbabwean musicians led to the establishment of the Zimbabwe Community Development Project (ZCDP) in 2002. ZCDP funds — raised via benefit concerts, garage sales, and direct donations — are used to assist with education and development efforts in Zimbabwe. Making Music, Buiding Bridges focuses on this community to explore the potential for music to serve as a tool to build alliances across distance and difference to affect social change.
Proceeds from the sale of this film benefit the Zimbabwe Community Development Project.