Urbana woman draws national attention with music video

By Eli Murray

Lizzie Duckworth Carter has drawn national attention after her song “Let’s Move!” was featured in the National League of Cities newsletter commemorating the 4th anniversary of the Let’s Move! initiative.

Duckworth Carter, of Urbana, said she was inspired to write the song while working in the Lierman Neighborhood Community Garden. Aldermen Diane Marlin, Ward 7, and Dennis Roberts, Ward 5, had heard about Duckworth Carter’s original compositions and approached her to write a song for the garden. 

Writing the song, she said, was a quick process.

“It just came to me while I was working there,” she said. “I could hear it — the spirit singing to me.”

The music video features Duckworth Carter singing along with family members and former collaborator Lametrius Carter, who helped her to record the album ”God is Love,” which is available at the Urbana Free Library. Duckworth Carter said her granddaughter created the group’s choreography for the video.

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Marlin said Let’s Move! Urbana has asked the National League of Cities to forward the music video to the White House in hopes of hearing from First Lady Michelle Obama.

The song commemorates a community garden started by the Lierman Neighborhood Action Committee. The Lierman Neighborhood Action Committee was started as a response to a high rate of emergency calls and economic distress in the area, said Robin Arbiter, president of the committee. She said the garden has had the help of 70 volunteers and provided produce to more than 200 households in 2013.

Arbiter said the idea of a community garden was a natural extension of what was already happening in the community.

“People were already gardening and sharing with their neighbors,” she said.

The community garden became a way to bring more community members together, Arbiter said.

The garden project began in 2012, and Arbiter hopes to see it continue to grow in years to come. Right now, the action committee rents the land for $1 a year from the city, but she said she would like to see a more permanent deal worked out.

Eli can be reached at [email protected].