Project Grantee Rachelle Caplan launched Caravan Traveling Sound Studio in May 2016. Caravan is a pop-up music studio that provides a safe space for visitors of all ages, demographics and genders to explore new instruments, talk with trained musicians and interact with others in the community. Since Caravan’s launch, Rachelle has experienced many people discover their aptitude for music. One moment in particular stands out for Rachelle; the day she met Bab’s Allgood and her son Parker. We caught up with Bab’s to ask about her experience with Caravan and how the project impacted her family.
Q. Where did you first see Caravan?
A. Art Off Pike in Covington. I went with my son to see some art and came across something even better.
Q. Tell us about your experience.
A. We walked up to see what it was about and came across some instruments. I encouraged my son to try something new. He picked up an instrument he’d never seen before and within minutes he was tapping out Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. He then ventured inside the van and began to try other instruments. He just kept picking up stuff and trying different notes. Rachelle was encouraging and she really helped cultivate his desire to try. She just encouraged every new note and every new instrument. Within 10-15 minutes I saw my son go from having a slight interest in music to see him be blown away. I could see in his eyes he wasn’t just hearing the notes, he could feel them. It was like there was a freedom in the air. After awhile I said, “Let's let someone else step in,” and Rachelle said, “No, no, this is where he needs to be.” He was there for hours.
That day, Rachelle didn’t just encourage my child; she encouraged me. I’ve been carrying around these anklet bells for weeks that I bought because I loved the musical sound they made. Rachelle told me, “Just put them on. Who cares if they’re loud. They're beautiful.” I haven’t taken them off my feet since.
Q. Why do you think projects like Caravan are important to communities?
A. Art is not readily available to individuals with a lower income. Art should be available to everyone. It's something you can do for yourself. When you don’t have art or music in your life it can be very repressive, especially for a child. Its vital to their energy, education and happiness. I hope Caravan can go places and introduce music to kids and adults who don’t have music in their life, who need to find their own notes. That day was so unexpected. It was a beautiful thing that my son and I were able to experience together.