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“Braid” full performance, in rehearsal and at Global Education Center:



Global Nashville premiers Braid from Amanda Cantrell Roche on Vimeo.



Global Nashville: Building Bridges of Compassion is a community-created art project addressing stories and needs of the immigrant and refugee population in Nashville. Through a free public community forum and a writing workshop, teaching artist Amanda Cantrell Roche and Global Education Center provided a unique opportunity for immigrants and refugees from diverse backgrounds to come together and reflect upon their personal and collective challenges and identities. Audio recordings of their stories and collective statements were made, and blended with an original score created by composer Carlos Duran. Amanda worked with a multi-cultural cast of professional contemporary dancers, including immigrants and refugees, as well as members of Blue Moves Modern Dance Company, to create a dance. This work will premier at Celebrate Nashville, Saturday, October 7, 2017.  Through the power of music, dance, and words, the goal is to tell an poignant and vital story that touches people emotionally and intellectually, and fosters the natural progression from empathy to compassion, and compassion to action.

Community partners:


This project was also made possible by Metro Arts Commission’s THRIVE micro-funding program.

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Donations for this project are channeled through Blue Moves Modern Dance Company, which is fiscally-sponsored by the non-profit abrasiveMedia, and are tax-deductible. 


Global Nashville: Building Bridges of Compassion es un proyecto de arte creado por la comunidad que trata las historias y las necesidades de la población de inmigrantes y refugiados en Nashville. A través de un foro público gratuito y un taller de escritura, la maestra Amanda Cantrell Roche y Global Education Center ofrecerán una oportunidad única para que inmigrantes y refugiados de diversos orígenes se reúnan y reflexionen sobre sus desafíos e identidades personales y colectivas. Sus historias y declaraciones colectivas serán grabadas y mezcladas con una partitura original creada por el compositor Carlos Duran. Amanda trabajará con un grupo multicultural de bailarines profesionales contemporáneos, incluyendo inmigrantes y refugiados, así como miembros de Blue Moves Modern Dance Company, para crear un baile. Este trabajo se estrenará en Celebrate Nashville, el sábado, 7 de octubre del 2017. A través del poder de la música, la danza y las palabras, el objetivo es contar una historia conmovedora y vital que toque a las personas emocionalmente e intelectualmente y fomente la progresión natural de la empatía a la compasión, y de la compasión a la acción.

Project Timeline

Saturday, October 7, 11:15 a.m. at Community Corner Stage in Centennial Park, Premier of dance set to audio score at Celebrate Nashville. FREE

Saturday, October 28, 7 p.m., Father Ryan High School Theater. Performance in conjunction with Global Education Center’s presentation of Ballet Plata y Oro. Tickets $10

Past Research:

Saturday, August 5, 1-3 p.m., Global Education Center South/Casa Azafran. Community Forum with immigrants and refugees from diverse populations coming together to reflect on issues, identity, and create “We are …” “We need…” statements. Interpreters provided.

Tuesday, August 8, 6-8 p.m., Global Education Center South/Casa Azafran. Writing workshop with 4 immigrants and refugees of diverse backgrounds to tell, distill, and record their stories. 

Choreography, teaching artistry, and immigrant/refugee storytelling examples:

Amanda Cantrell Roche work samples from Amanda Cantrell Roche on Vimeo.

Thank you to our individual donors!

Diana Morning Star * Kathy Plourde * Laine Bratcher Cantrell * Denise Robinson * Maryanna Clark * Ellen Gilbert

Umit Gunebir * Yildirim * Christy Rose * Beth Anne Musiker * Love Peace


A more detailed description:

Through a public forum held August 5th 2017 at Global Education South (Casa Azafran studio), this project will identify challenges faced by immigrants and refugees in our community, misunderstandings or false judgements made about them by some Nashvillians, and areas where awareness or deeper understanding is needed to better embrace and support our immigrant and refugee population. Working with community partners Global Education Center and through invitations to other organizations such as T.I.R.R.C., Catholic Charities, The Office for New Americans, and more, we will invite immigrants and refugees to attend a public forum. Interpreters will be present, and we will identify and discuss needs within the community which could be improved through deeper awareness of life as an immigrant or refugee in Nashville, and create “We are …” statements to help define the community, as well as “We need…” statements. Written responses to questions, mind maps, small group discussions, and whole group reporting and statement creating will be utilized. From this forum and also through reaching out to organizations which work with this population, we will invite 4 to 7 immigrants or refugees from diverse backgrounds to attend a writing workshop the following week, with interpreters provided as needed. Using information gathered at the forum, Amanda will create prose prompts such as “I am … I fear … We hope …” to guide participants to tell their own stories within a universal structure, including addressing needs identified at the forum. These stories will be read aloud by the writers and interpreted in English (as needed) and recorded at the end of the workshop by Sean Siple of Inspiraseans. Selected “We are” statements created at the community forum will also be recorded.

While weaving the audio score of stories together through an editing process, Amanda will also work with an immigrant composer to create an audio score for a contemporary dance. She will set choreography on up to 10 dancers;  five primary dancers representing diverse ethnic backgrounds, as well as dancers from Blue Moves Modern Dance Company. The first performance will be at Celebrate Nashville, October 7th. A goal is to add additional performances in the fall, most likely in collaboration with Global Education Center programming. Follow-up material with Action Steps regarding pro-immigrant and refugee legislation and actions, as well as ways to support the many local organizations who serve this population, will be available at performances. Through the power of music, dance, and words, the goal is to tell an poignant and vital story that touches people emotionally and intellectually, and fosters the natural progression from empathy to compassion, and compassion to action.

To reach larger audiences, Amanda also plans to create a video, interweaving footage of the choreography with still images, and set to the audio score. This will be an easily accessible messaging tool and work of art unto itself that would be available to any organization which may find it useful.