In the midst of a bruising presidential election season here at home, it’s easy for Americans to forget about challenges abroad, such as the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe. But one young American woman living in Berlin, Kate Eberstadt, did more than pay attention; she took action. She and a friend created the Hutto Project, a children’s choir for people living in an emergency refugee camp in Berlin.
The Project, which is named for a beloved former choir director of Eberstadt’s, Benjamin Hutto, is composing and rehearsing an original choral work that they will perform in the spring. The Project also brings in artists from other disciplines such as dance, theater, and creative writing, to sponsor workshops for the children.
The refugees speak many languages—Russian, Arabic, Kurdish, Pashto, Farsi—so bringing them together through music is a way to bridge the divides not only of language but also of geography. “Music provides these children a chance to share a common language,” Eberstadt told mic.com. And judging by the smiling faces of the Project participants, that common language is bringing joy to children who have endured great disruption and hardship and who face an uncertain future.
Many of the things that spread across the Internet these days aren’t particularly uplifting; Project Hutto, whose motto is “Spread Light,” is a welcome alternative, and does just what it says—spreading light and hope in a world that too often lacks both.