Fondazione Prada| Accademia dei bambini

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Fondazione Prada| Accademia dei bambini

Accademia dei bambini is Fondazione Prada’s educational project developed specifically for children.
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Fondazione Prada’s Accademia dei bambini presents the workshop and concert “Sotto il lume delle stelle (Under the Light of the Stars)” by artist and songwriter Natalie Merchant. The musical performance, conceived for children and dedicated to the memory of the late Giannetta Ottilia Latis who originally initiated the project with the artist, will feature new songs adapted by Merchant and inspired by poems from writer and educator Lina Schwarz. The event will take place at the Cinema Godard in Milan, on Sunday 28 January 2024 at 5 pm. Bookings are available free of charge at fondazioneprada.org

Accademia dei bambini is Fondazione Prada’s educational project developed specifically for children. It was developed in 2015 by the neuropediatrician Giannetta Ottilia Latis, who laid the theoretical and operational groundwork of the program while also curating its content. She was succeeded in September 2019 by pediatrician and neonatologist Gabriele Ferraris, who is currently the curator of the program. Accademia dei bambini presents multidisciplinary activities with the aim of promoting an intergenerational dialogue and inviting to gameplay with others through creative learning experiences. Every workshop is conducted by a different “master”. The “masters” are architects, artists, educators, scientists, film directors and musicians who are not only fond of teaching, but also open to acquiring new perspectives.

Over her forty-year career, Natalie Merchant has earned a reputation as one of America’s most respected recording artists. A songwriter and a captivating stage performer, Merchant has distinguished herself as a social justice and environmental activist. As stated by her, “I have spent many years in the company of children, sharing music, teaching them folk songs and games, and I have written music specifically for them. I think it’s some of the most important and rewarding work I’ve ever done.”

The workshop “Sotto il lume delle stelle (Under the Light of the Stars)” features a musical performance for children led by Merchant who, joined by Italian folk music ensemble Domo Emigrantes, will present new songs in Italian, adapted from poems by Lina Schwarz. The Italian language is part of Natalie Merchant’s origins, as she explains: “My family emigrated to the United States in 1902 from Sicily, the same year that Lina published her first poetry book for children. I grew up surrounded by Southern Italian culture and language. Italian is my ancestral language and I feel a strong connection to it and have enjoyed singing Lina’s poetry.” During the concert, children will be encouraged to follow the song lyrics and participate in the musical experience by interacting with Natalie Merchant, the musicians, and their instruments.

Lina Schwarz (1876-1947) was a Jewish-Italian poet, scholar, educator, social activist, and author of renowned Italian children’s books and poems, such as “Stella, stellina, la notte siavvicina”. Schwarz was the first scholar to translate Rudolph Steiner’s writings on Anthroposophy from German into Italian and was co-founder of the Waldorf school in Milan, one of the first in Italy. As stated by Natalie Merchant, “The more I learned about Lina Schwarz’s life and work, the more passionately inspired I have become to make a full-scale multi-media tribute to her. I have been so moved by her poetry with its beautiful language and themes of nature, beauty, peace, and love.”

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