“Let Freedom Swing” Wins Hugo Award ☆

The 2011 Hugo Television Awards has granted the Silver Plaque Award to “Let Freedom Swing” (Educational Program – Child category).  The award will be given on April 14 at the Hugo Television Awards Night at the Hard Rock Hotel in Chicago.

“Let Freedom Swing” is an innovative project designed to help students understand the principles of American Democracy through jazz appreciation.  It grew from an impromptu conversation between retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center Wynton Marsalis.  Both share a passion for jazz and democracy, plus the belief that the two are intricately linked.  “Let Freedom Swing” was produced jointly by Teachers College, Jazz at Lincoln Center and The Documentary Group, with funding from The Rockefeller Foundation.

The project is broad:  There was a “Let Freedom Swing” Kennedy Center concert on the eve of President Obama’s inauguration.  This concert was then followed by a series of short videos and educational materials, including a study guide designed by TC’s Dr. Margaret Crocco and doctoral candidate and instructor Ellen Livingston.

“Let Freedom Swing” educational materials were designed for use in social studies, humanities, and music classes in grades 6-12.  Three key themes structure the videos and study guide: “We the People,” “E Pluribus Unum” (From Many, One), and “A More Perfect Union.” Each video is about six minutes in length. The study guide contains questions for discussion, teaching activities, and additional resources.

This year marks the 47th annual Hugo Awards.  The “Hugos” are an annual gathering for those who keep the medium of television vibrant and shape its future.  A note from the committee chairs congratulate the producers of  the “Let Freedom Swing,” video series noting that “This honorable work was expressly chosen from a long list of submissions, both domestic and international”.

To read about “Let Freedom Swing,” click here.

For the “Let Freedom Swing” curriculum, including videos, click here.

For a conversation between Dr. Margaret Crocco and Ellen Livingston about documentary films and their use as educational tools, click here.

To learn more about Ellen Livingston’s involvement in the project, click here.

For more on the Hugo Television awards, click here.