A post by Roberta Gasbarre, Artistic Director
March 30, 2018

May Fool - May Revels at the National Cathedral

Hello from (hopefully) the last snowstorm of the season. I am writing this on the Spring Equinox and know that by the time you read it, the snow will have melted and the cherry blossoms will have shown their blushing faces to the sky. A wonderful chorus of kids, tweens, teens and adults will be starting to rehearse the old songs that will bring in the May at the National Cathedral — soon we will sing Rattlin’ Bog and dance around the May Pole once more!

We often hear the notion of Spring as “new beginnings,” but I think I’d like to muse about old beginnings, and how they enrich our lives as we face so many uncertainties when we look forward into the future.

I have been lucky to teach the “Jesters” (4th-6th graders) in the Revels After-School Workshops this semester. Their wisdom, energy and blend of youthful chaos and emerging grace has been inspiring and instructive. They are the future of Revels — our future leaders. And they are also kids!

They have a fierce need to play together — to really play, loudly and with crazy passion, burning off winter sluggishness. This seems in sharp contrast to the moments of deep reflection that emerge when we come together in circle as a little “Jesters community” to talk about Revels in our lives.

What is Revels to them? These veteran Revelers, all of 9-11 years old?

“…a place to sing, dance and play stories…”

“…a place where you can express yourself…”

“…where people respect each other and give you support…”

“…nobody looks down on you…”

“…a place we create ourselves…”

They are right — Revels, at its best, is all of these things and more. It invites people to celebrate the old ways: to perform, to craft — and even to play — boisterously (like our wise Jesters). Revels gives us a space to gather to meet new folks from the community around art, just as people have for millennia, everywhere — creating a place where we make something together. Put those words in combination and you get “Folk arts.” “Crafting community.” “Creating together.”

Creating allows us to relax, to breathe — and to look forward — into a bright future. Toward Spring.

But we must do more than look to the future… we have to create it together! This month we welcome Grace VanderVeer onto the Revels staff — the little nuclear family that makes sure everything runs well at all our events and programs. She will recruit, welcome and work with the wonderful community of Revels volunteers — dear-hearted folks who love to help us make things happen! She will also be learning how Revels Kids works … but more on that another month.

So email her and join us. Volunteer for one of our many events. Sing with us. Craft. Shlep. Grace is looking forward to meeting you — this Spring!

Yours in Revelry,


Roberta encourages you to drop us an email and share your thoughts on this post!

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