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Instrument of Hope: Turning Tragedy into Harmony

In the face of tragedy, some chose to respond with resilience and artistry, turning instruments of destruction into tools of hope. Last Friday, November 3, 2023, the Warehouse Arts District Association in District 7, hosted an event that embodied this spirit, featuring a performance on the "Instrument of Hope," a trumpet crafted from bullet casings in the aftermath of the Parkland high school shootings. This unique instrument, which had been traveling the country since 2020, served as a poignant reminder of the ongoing conversation about ending gun violence.

The event, titled "Jazz and Politics: Harmony & Discourse," promised a thought-provoking evening. It began with a panel discussion, with moderator Kim Scharnberg, a noted composer and arranger who has compiled testimonies from former students and survivors; St. Petersburg City Councilmember John Muhammad; Florida Rep. Lindsay Cross; Tara Newsom, director of St. Pete College’s Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement; Professors Kirsten England and Erin Carlin, both of whom conduct research and outreach on the subject of mass shooting incidents; and Maress Scott, who lost his son to gun violence.

The second part of the evening, from 7:30 until 9 p.m., featured musicians from the Al Downing Jazz Association, including Dwayne White, who took the outdoor Artsxchange stage to harmonize and inspire through their music.

"Instrument of Hope: Turning Tragedy into Harmony" was not just an event but a testament to the power of art, discourse, and community engagement. It was a call to action and an opportunity to be part of a crucial conversation. Joining on that Friday at Seven C Music allowed us to keep the conversation about ending gun violence at the forefront. Together, we can become instruments of hope in a world that desperately needed harmony. If you missed it, don't worry—stay tuned for more events, share this story, and subscribe to our newsletter to keep the conversation going.

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