N U S A M 2017
Nicaragua United States of America Musicians
30 musicians / 67 songs / 10 days
An international music collaboration supporting ArteSana Foundation and the community of Peñas Blancas
November 13 - 23, 2017
The PURPOSE of the NUSAM project CD/DVD package is to bring awareness, through music and film,
to the beauty and struggles of Peñas Blancas, Nicaragua and to support ArteSana Foundation in its continued community based efforts for Peñas Blancas.
Photo : Jorge Real & Ashley Busby
On Thursday, November 12, 2015 A Real PURPOSE musicians Jordan Feinstein, Garrin Benfield and Brian Chris Rogers, along with recording engineer Christopher Zanardi and producer Joe Baker, traveled from San Francisco, California to Managua, Nicaragua where they met Ashley Busby, the founder of ArteSana Foundation operating in Peñas Blancas and Jorge Real, a local resident and musician. The following day the group of seven traveled to Peñas Blancas to begin the project.
NUSAM is supporting ArteSana Foundation, which refers to both artisans and art heals.
Photo: La Escuela Hermandad Canadiense (The Canadian Brotherhood School) - Peñas Blancas, Nicaragua
Based in Oakland, CA, ArteSana Foundation is focused on supporting the residents of Peñas Blancas, Nicaragua, through two primary initiatives: collaborating on community development projects utilizing local resources and developing artistic capacity. For young people in the village it helps build problem solving skills and creative thinking that will help them adapt to a changing climate and its effects on their primary livelihood, coffee farming.
Located in north central Nicaragua, Peñas Blancas is a community of approximately 2,000 residents, located at the edge of the "Massif", a stunning rainforest.
Most residents are reliant on coffee production as a principal source of income, and have been for many generations. Since the onset of climate change, along with the effects of two devastating coffee plant diseases, the community is now faced with some major challenges and changes. The first plant disease is La Roya (Hemileia Vastatrix - "the rust"), is a plant choking fungus and the second is Ojo de Gallo, (Mycena Citricolor - "the eye of the rooster") a slow developing disease that attacks older coffee parcels (30-40 years old). The residents are now faced with transitioning from coffee production to eco-tourism as an alternative livelihood.
La Escuela Hermandad Canadiense (The Canadian Brotherhood School) is a two room primary school in Peñas Blancas. In one classroom there are 34 students in 1st through 4th grades with teacher Ben Hur Melaños Centeno. Corrina de Los Angeles Cruz Marin teaches 5 pre-school students in the other classroom. There are no working lights and the desks are all touching each other. Collaborating and recording were not the only goals of NUSAM. On Wednesday, November 10th, the crew hosted the students from the school for a music concert and workshop. The concert allowed for some great "sing-a-long" moments and the crew also created learning stations to encourage the students to experience first hand an electric guitar, electric bass, keyboard and full drum set.
Wonderful memories were made by all.
30 musicians recorded 67 songs in 10 days.