News & Events

Heartbeat 2017 Program

Published on May 13 2017

in Events


“The true heartbeat of our nations is in our students’ dreams.”

May 13, 10am -2pm

National Constitution Center

Philadelphia, PA USA



Connecting the world through shared dreams.

What does that mean? What does it mean that with Dreamline, a Dream Flag and the voice of the student who created it can instantly span the world? Why is that worth doing?

The origin of Dream Flags stems back to the poetry of Langston Hughes and the tradition of Nepalese prayer flags. In that tradition, the good wishes written on the flags benefit all beings as they are blown across the world by wind when the flags are hung outside. In the Himalayas of Nepal, that means all the time.

In the modern world, our winds carry thoughts and feelings through an interweb that's much like the wind. It goes far and fast, touching a wide swath of humanity. And quickly.

Dreamline puts the dreams of our students in this wind to travel and to benefit others, and at the same time, to benefit the student creator of the flag as that child sees and hears dreams that align their own. That adds power to our dreamers--power that can drive work in and out of school because it's connected.

We can see an even more connected community in the future, with students who message each other around shared dreams and who, ultimately, collaborate to make them real. That's our dream. And that students will follow theirs wherever their heart melodies take them.

Dreams ARE the heartbeat of our nations, and with Dreamline, we can align those beats in a powerfully percussive earth changing sound. It starts today.


10-12 pm
Percussion Stage

Leana Song: Afro-Cuban Drum and Dance Ensemble
with Shawn Henessey and Friends
Imhotep Charter School Drummers with Ira Bond
Kwaya Marimba with Ed Nardi from Friends Haverford
Independence Charter Percussion Ensemble
with Joe Tayoun

11-1 pm
Festival Activities

Grand Hall Overlook

#1 Make a Dream Button
decorate and make your dream button

#2 Shirt Decoration
write your Dream Flag Poem on your t shirt

#3 Dreamer Bingo and Scavenger Hunt
learn about other dreamers and their flags and get a Dream Flag tattoo

#4 Join the Dreamline
experience Dreamline demo & get the App
make and post Dream Flag on the spot

#5 Learning Langston: Jeopardy and Word Search
play Langston Hughes and Dream Flag Jeopardy
try the Hughes word search and earn a glow bracelet

#6 Open Mic for Dream Flag Poems
1-12 general open mic, 12-1 Skype with remote sites

#7 Group Art: Heart Melody
create and add your “heard melodies” to our musical staff

1- 2 pm
Celebration Gathering

Kirby Auditorium
Opening Remarks
Dream Flag Poetry Readings
Representative student readers with accompaniment by Shawn Henessey
(Students with numbered buttons come up when called.)
Acknowledgments & 2017 Dreamer Awards

Flag Pack Up & Travel Flags

Bring your folded flags to the “Travel Flag” table to send them “on tour.” Flags will be returned to provided address.



TO Agnes Irwin School adminstrators Marindl Hufford and Wendy Hill for their continuous support

TO National Constitution Center support, especially from Jenna Winterle and Kerry Sautner

TO Cloud Cloth Education and its supporters for the Dreamline app, the event musicians, and video documentation.

TO Our 40 wonderful volunteer staff today including : Community Volunteers (6) Ellie Kinder, Mary Pat McFarland, Miriam Harlan, Carlos Ortiz, Dawn Flowers, Angel Padula; Agnes Irwin Staff (10):  Andrew Conally, Louisa Mygatt, Sarah Kinder, Ari Fink, Kerry Farrow, James Miller, Ann Ramsey, Jose Sevillano, and Edward Basile; Agnes Irwin Parents (9): Kitty McQuaid*,  Marian Forman*, Stacy Press, Susan Stuardi-Drumm, Ellie Clark, Judy Chong, Hillary Dash, Michael Dash, and Annie O'Grady; Agnes Irwin Students(15): Leslie Forman, Talya Russin, Sophie Obereither, Maddie Chong, Annalee Drumm, Lilly Press, Laura Gowen, Nina Kirkpatrick, Riley Hinkle, Abby Blejwas, Bailey McQuaid, Sarah Brodie, Addie Dash, Hayden Dash, and Eloise O'Grady. And to any others we may have missed!

TO the always amazing and truly wonderful students -- all 9,931 of them in 21 states of the USA and 7 other countries -- who created and connected Dream Flags this year across the USA and around the globe and to the teachers who are working every year to bring dreams back into the classroom for a better world.

Here's the full list of 2016-17 Dream Flag Participants as of 5/13/17.