Our mission is to preserve and revitalize the music and teachings of the sacred songs called “spirituals,” created and first sung by enslaved Africans in America in the 18th and 19th centuries.
The Spirituals Project is a broad-based initiative to explore the many, varied dimensions of African American spirituals as art form, tradition and tool; and to invite all people to experience the joy and power of this dynamic music and gift from African Americans to the world.
Spirituals uplift in times of crisis, heal, comfort, inspire and instill hopes and dreams, thereby transforming individuals, communities, and whole societies. Our goal is to ensure that the spirituals will be passed on for many generations to come.
- Developing and using present day technology to promote awareness and to insure the preservation of the spirituals for future generations
- Promoting an understanding between racial communities leading to reconciliation based on an understanding of the historical period in which the spirituals found their birth and an accurate accounting of the healing, comforting, inspiring role the spirituals played in the past and can continue to play in the future
- Educating the public about African-American spirituals, enhancing the public’s understanding of the historical value of the spirituals, and encouraging appreciation of the spirituals as art form and cultural tradition
- Providing educational experiences in elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and universities, and community organizations centered on the historical significance, traditions, and gifts that the African American community brings to the world, beginning with the spirituals and continuing to the present
- Providing educational and performance opportunities for vocalists in the community
- Encouraging collaborative efforts among a variety of singers, speakers, scholars, religious leaders, and academicians within the community
The Spirituals Project is incorporated as a federal nonprofit community agency under Section 501(c)3 of the United States Internal Revenue Service code. Primary funding for the project is provided by individual contributions from private citizens, performance honoraria, and grants from private and government sources. Located on the campus of the University of Denver, The Spirituals Project holds the status of an autonomous Independent Community Partner, while significant in-kind support is provided by the University.