Work That Reconnects + Music As Medicine: St. Louis

 —  —


You are invited to attend a very special Work That Reconnects (WTR) and Music As Medicine Retreat in St Louis, MO on Nov 16th & 17th 2019 led by Lydia Violet Harutoonian, an Iranian-American artist and scholar. Lydia has spent the past decade studying with activist and practitioner Joanna Macy and is passionate about helping to transform grief, fear, and powerlessness into resilience, healing, and fortitude. This retreat will be special in that it will incorporate community singing into the overall WTR spiral process and draws from Lydia's work as director of the Music As Medicine Project. There will also be an emphasis on connecting with the songs of our ancestors as one way of accessing resources that give us healing and motivation to continue engaging with the world in spite of all the oppressive realities we are facing.

In this two-day immersion Lydia will lead us through an intimate experience with Joanna Macy’s “Work That Reconnects” , supported by community singing. WTR is a combination of teachings, group exercises, and community rituals that we can rest into and organize within our desire to be effective allies to both planet and people. We will learn how to metabolize pressing inner realities such as climate despair, exhaustion, and anxiety as we nourish our nervous system and source our power and dignity as members of a larger web of life.

Singing in a council of friends is one of the most healthful, encouraging, invigorating, and nourishing things that we know. Community singing is part of a long legacy of community resilience resources, and Lydia comes equipped with a healthy library of songs for encouraging grace and solidarity. All singing is optional and open to music-makers of all levels!

This retreat is a People of Color (POC) centering space, and to ensure this we commit to having at least 70% of participants be POC, and that all white folks in attendance have some racial equity analysis and framework. This is the first of its kind in St Louis, as far as we know, and we believe that it is crucial to create spaces that utilize WTR materials that are specifically curated by and for POC's. We'd love for you all to join us and to specifically invite friends and colleagues of color that you believe would be interested in coming!

Location: In St Louis City, exact location will be determined by how many people register (it will either be in Shaw or in North City) This will not be a sleepover retreat, though we do ask that you commit to the full 2 days as the materials do build on themselves. We will not be providing housing. Please plan accordingly.

Schedule: Saturday November 16th 10am - 6pm Sunday November 17th 10am - 4pm Both days will include an hour catered lunch break!

Cost: $150 which includes lunch, snacks, and drinks both days. We also commit to turning no one away for lack of funds. Please email all scholarship inquiries to

Registration: POC participants: please register at

White participants: please fill out this google form to get your name on the waiting list:

To ensure that we have 70% POC registered, we will put all white registrants on a waiting list, first come first serve. On Sunday Oct. 27, 2019 (3 weeks out from the retreat) we will contact all white registrants and let you know if you are able to attend or not based on the number of POC that have registered. If we are able to invite you to attend, we will send you a registration link at that time and you can pay at that time.

In solidarity, Lydia & Kara