Sometimes philanthropy is the simple act of listening or the telling of a story to celebrate someone’s life. This week’s stories from the Vocalo Storytellers Workshop make it poignantly clear that philanthropy can go far beyond time, talent and treasure.
In “A Portrait of Care,” Eleanore Catolico explores her mother’s legacy as a classically trained pianist turned geriatric nurse.
[pullquote]Listen in: A geriatric nurse teaches her daughter about compassion, a hip-hop artist inspires an activist collective[/pullquote]
Originally from the Philippines, Catolico’s mother Maria worked in nursing homes for more than twenty years. “You never know what these people’s lives were. They may have done something important… all of them have been through the challenges of life and some of them end up in the nursing home with no one,” she reflects.
“Storytelling helps elevate community narratives into a shared history that builds bridges of understanding,” the younger Catolico shares. “A Portrait of Care” is a beautiful, melodic mother-daughter conversation that brings to light the healing, compassionate power of knowing one’s journey through life.
Listen to Eleanore’s story:
For Francesco De Salvatore and his friends, a tragic loss sparks an artist collective out to reimagine a better world through hip-hop.
In “Whole Lotta Love: the Making of Elephant Rebellion,” friends of Uptown artist John Vietnam come together and reflect on the impact of his music, his legacy and the ways listening and sharing not only heal, but are also acts of love. De Salvatore says they can “create empathy, spark important conversations and spur social change.”
De Salvatore heard John Vietnam’s music several years ago and has since wanted his music to reach as many ears as possible. By connecting young people and other artists to John’s music, he lives on.
“As an artist, realize that you acknowledging their memory, the work they did while they’re here… that’s the ultimate thing you can do. Everything we do, we put his name on it. He’s an example of what’s possible for all young people.”
Listen to Francesco’s story:
The Chicago Community Trust is in partnership with the Vocalo Storytellers Workshop series. Over the next several months, workshop participants will share unique examples of what giving back and philanthropy mean in underrepresented communities and across different cultures. Tune in to Vocalo’s Morning AMp every Thursday, from July 9 until August 6, at 9:00am for interviews with the storytellers.