Dear Friends,

You may remember that I’ve been promising you for a long time that I would write something about the performance in Blacksburg at the anniversary of the shootings. I never seemed to be able to do that in this forum, but eventually I was asked to write an article for the Community Arts Network (see short description and direct link to story below, or you can just click on the previous link to CAN for the next week or so because it’s the first story on the page).

Many of the members of HERE are subscribers to this blog: Thank you for your participation in this journey and the making of the story. Writing this article made me miss you and Blacksburg again terribly. Additionally, I had two wonderful editors, one in Colorado and one in North Carolina, both of whom served as midwives to the piece. Thank you both tremendously.

Hope to hear from you all about your respective journeys on the planet.


Today CAN brings you “Community Conversations through the Arts: Artistic Response After the Virginia Tech Tragedy” by Shannon Turner. Turner was a graduate student in the arts and public dialogue when the shooting rampage broke out at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007. She joined a disparate group of Blacksburg residents who formed HERE: Honoring Experiences, Reflections, and Expressions. They wanted to create a healing artistic response to the shattering events. Turner takes the reader through a year in Blacksburg, as HERE presents many community arts events that memorialize and examine the tragedy, culminating the “Community Conversations through the Arts,” a creative showcase intended to give local, amateur performers an opportunity to perform on Blacksburg’s Lyric Theatre stage on the first anniversary of the shootings. She also interrogates HERE’s process and its criteria for the success of the project. Shannon Turner is a member of CAN’s advisory board.

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