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In November 2016, I was the keynote speaker at international music conference Mundial Montréal. Donald Trump had just been elected president. And Leonard Cohen, Montreal’s beloved son, had just died.

On my last day in the city, I found my way to Cohen’s house and stood in the chilly November sunshine, listening to his music on a little CD player set up amid the flowers and notes of tribute left by loving fans. In a world that seemed to be going dark, Cohen’s light, coming through the crack in everything, was something to hold onto.

Life has changed, as it does. Things are not in our control, as they never are.
But the cracks are still there, and so the light is getting in.

Despite a pandemic, we have managed to keep our projects and programs going. The amazing musicians leading our projects around the world continue to find ways to bring music to children and youth in their communities. Despite an economic crisis and the restrictions on mobility, our team remains strong, flexible, connected and creative, and new projects in Jordan and Mexico will start this year.

And, thanks to you,we surpassed the goal we set for our Support Culture campaign! We hardly dared to aim for € 20,000—but we ended up reaching over € 24,000, entering 2021 on a firm financial footing.

We can be sure that this year will call on our flexibility, our determination and, most of all, our creativity— and we are ready. On behalf of our whole team, thank you so much for letting some light in through the cracks!

In peace,

Laura Hassler

PS: Here is a beautiful live rendition of the song I’m referencing – Anthem.