Rankonto: Voices of Brevard Heroes

Thursday, June 10, 2021

The King Center for the Performing Arts, Eastern Florida State College, and Brevard Achievement Center collaborated to engage community members living with different abilities to share their personal stories about giving back to their community regardless of their personal challenges. Working with internationally recognized pianist and award-winning composer Daniel Kelly and his band will bring to life the powerful stories of each of the individuals interviewed by Daniel Kelly for this multi-media “Story and Music Tapestry”.

On Tuesday, May 11, the participants experienced for the first time their stories unfold before their eyes when we Premiered Rakonto: Voices of Brevard’s Heroes. Participants for the project include local concert promoter and philanthropist Roland Guilarte, Greg Ashner, who is a resident of Promise in Brevard and a local advocate for persons with “differently-abled” abilities. Dyani Peterson former EFSC graduate and currently a Biomedical Engineering student at Florida Institute of Technology, Desiree Ralston gainfully employed at Patrick Airforce Base as a result of Brevard Achievement Center job placement for persons with differently-abled abilities are just some of the interviewees (Heroes) representing Brevard residents from various walks of life. All Heroes represent how they continue to thrive amidst the daily obstacles but continue to be contributing members of their community.


Composer Daniel Kelly, Photo by Flynn Larsen

Early June, the general public will have an opportunity to view the fully produced concert broadcast on WEFS-TV Station over the air 68.1 or check your local provider. After the premiere, there will be additional opportunities to view the film on social media platforms Facebook and Youtube. You may find additional details regarding this community engagement project on the websites for each of the collaborating partners.

The project is funded in part by the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council on the arts, and The National Endowment for the Arts, and the local collaborating partners to highlight our inclusive community. Rakonto is the Esperanto word for “story” and best described as an interview-based concert to celebrate the lives of everyday individuals through their stories. Daniel best describes the project as “a joining of journalism and music that brings to life the stories of contemporary Americans and their community into the concert hall”. We are thrilled for the opportunity to commission his work right here in Brevard County.



Five airings of the program on WEFS TV are as follows:
Thursday, June 17, 2021 at 9:00 PM
Friday, June 18, 2021 at 1:00 AM (Overnight)
Sunday, June 20, 2021 at 1:00 PM
Sunday, June 27, 2021 at 8:00 PM
Monday, June 28, 2021 at 12:00 AM (Overnight)