The Lincoln Foundation, Jazz & Health Consciousness

All of us in Louisville are trying to become more health conscious, but I hope we remember that our health relies on a broad array of factors. Not only do we need to safeguard the quality of the air, water and soil upon which our physical health depends; we need to value our cherished institutions and landmarks that make our souls clap for joy in spiritual health.  I experienced such exhilaration last Friday evening at the Lincoln Foundation gala, which celebrated 25 years of Whitney Young scholars in a program that featured Jamey Aebersold and his jazz quartet.

The Lincoln Foundation, established in 1910 at Berea College, has for its mission making a college education possible for promising students from low-income families.  For the past 20 years, it has pursued its mission within the context of jazz.  Jazz, esteemed by some as America’s greatest art form, is rooted in the soul-wrenching songs of slaves and has, over the years, secured a permanent place in Louisville’s cultural life.

Creating a relationship between education and music suggests that the Lincoln Foundation understands what community health is all about.  Human health depends upon the harmonious interaction of the many natural, social and cultural aspects of life.  Harmony is the melody and rhythm of health.  I believe a thriving Louisville depends on becoming more conscious of this in all of its institutions:  agriculture, architecture, business, economics, education, healthcare, and more.  The Lincoln Foundation understands the sustaining power that derives from relationships that interact with and potentiate each other.  To grow to a more mature level of health consciousness, the entire community would do well to emulate this institution.

Christina Lee Brown