If you want to change law and policy, you have to change people’s minds. And to change people’s minds, you have to change how they feel. Arts and music can evoke, inspire, and move people to action in ways that even the best lectures, policy briefs, and compelling facts and statistics can’t.
Episode 15 of our podcast, A Little Louder, is about how a community in the Rio Grande Valley came together to write and produce a musical album of corridos called “Sonido del Agua”, rooted in their experiences with deluge, drainage, and fighting to get the infrastructure to protect them from the next flood.
The arts project brought together La Union del Pueblo Entero, A Resource in Serving Equality, [bc]Workshop, Texas Housers and the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center. Most of the groups had collaborated around a drainage infrastructure campaign for several years following Hurricane Dolly to mitigate flooding in the future. The campaign reached many of its major milestones including more public investment in drainage, road repairs, and community voice in drainage decisions. To broaden the movement, celebrate the victories and continue motivating the community, the groups used a grant from ArtPlace America National Creative Placemaking Fund to work with musicians and create El Sonido del Agua.
For this episode, Texas Housers interviewed artist, organizer and former Houser Josué Ramirez, [bc]Workshop associate director Lizzie MacWillie, ARISE community organizer Andrea Landeros, LUPE community organizer Alberta Ramirez, and songwriter Refugio Ortiz to tell the story of the project.
Listen to the podcast episode here, or find it on your favorite podcast app on your device.
Find the full Sonido del Agua album here: https://soundcloud.com/bcworkshop