At The Academy for the Love of Learning

Co-Founder/ Founding Artistic Director

Lifesongs is a life-affirming, intergenerational arts program that engages local communities to heal the fear that shrouds aging, illness, and death. Through deep relationship-building, storytelling, music, and performance, Lifesongs promotes dignity and inclusion for elders and those at the end of life.  Lifesongs brings together youth, elders, and community members to create musical events and new artistic works  that that build community, lift vision and voices, and cultivates a sense of joy and well-being in participants.

Active in the national conversation around creative aging, Lifesongs brings elders and people in hospice together with artists, youth, and other community members in creative exchange. Working one-on-one and in ensembles, participants develop original works that incorporate music, movement, and multimedia to explore the richness of all stages of life.

After many months of collaboration, the pieces are performed in a public concert by professional musicians, local choirs, and artists of all ages. Through witnessing our elders’ songs and stories, we connect around what we share as opposed to what separates us, we bless and heal the past, and we hold our elders and the dying in their potential rather than their decline.In addition to public performances and scalable concerts, Lifesongs provides free and public facilitated dialogues on death and dying with community partners. In 2015, Lifesongs launched the Story Gathering project. The Story Gathering project brings youth, community members, and elders together to share stories and life experiences. Participants collaboratively shape stories into new works of writing and art to present to the wider community. While deepening its roots in northern New Mexico, Lifesongs is carefully fostering and mentoring projects in other communities around the country.

Lifesongs is currently directed by co-founder Acushla Bastible at The Academy for The Love of Learning and was founded with Littleglobe and The Santa Fe Opera.




Founder & Conductor

Participatory improvisational musical and creative events that incorporate community expressions, lift vision and weave diverse voices.  Homesongs cultivates a sense of joy, inspiration and meaningful participation with participants.  Homesongs have been done with large audiences, schools,  non-profit organizations, community audiences, choirs any more to provide live-sound for silent film, storytelling events addressing current issues and concerns, and unique creative activations that cultivate participatory story-making and enlivening. 

Homesong commissions include: Santa Fe Opera, Center for Contemporary Art, The Lensic Performing Arts Center, The City of Evora (Portugal), Dance City(UK), European Union Festival of Culture and more.



Founder/Founding Artistic Director/Co-Composer

Firerock is catalytic DIY family-friendly musical & community activation project designed to bring people together to address climate instability with heart and imagination. Visit website to hear songs, videos, learn about the story and more.  Firerock is directed by Acushla Bastible, Kristin Rothballer, Enrico De Trizio and Molly Sturges and is made by a collaborative team and process which includes national artists and community members from all over the country.

Creative Director, Colorado Lullaby Project

CREST Lab at University of Colorado

Creative Director for new project at The University of Colorado's CREST lab in collaboration wth Carnegie Hall.


The Story of the Little Hummingbird,

A simple pop-up musical storytelling and community engagement project designed to catalyze family-friendly climate engagement. Based upon the Polynesian story about the smallest animal in the forest that did her best to help put out a forest fire.


A new composition for Shakuhachi, voice, harmonium and live recordings of Sandhill Cranes that migrate to New Mexico every year.

Music for the End of Life

A project with 8 composers with end-of-life creative facilitation experience who are writing music to help support end-of-life passages. Upcoming in late 2019