Located on the outskirts of Skopje Macedonia, about 10 miles from the Kosovo border, Shutka is perhaps the largest Rom (Gypsy) community in Europe with over 40,000 members. In 2000, Cultural Cornerstones, began working with Rom musicians to produce an audio CD which would both share the beauty of Shutka's musical traditions with a wider audience and raise awareness of the forced displacement of thousands of Rom from their homes in Kosovo.
Our first CD ‚"The Shutka Music Project: Heartsongs from the Gypsies of Shutka Macedonia" was released in 2000, with profits benefiting both local musicians in Shutka and the California based organization, Voice of Roma, which works for the Human Rights of Roma in and displaced from Kosovo.
Since completion of the CD, we have been working with Muzo Bizlim on projects to facilitate the preservation and publication of Rom songs and poetry, which he has been composing and collecting from community elders since he was a teenager. We are currently working to archive and translate hundreds of poems and songs we have collected with Muzo in order to preserve them for him and his family, and to make them accessible to the larger Rom community in Shutka and those interested in Roma arts internationally. Cultural Cornerstones also began shooting a documentary film on Muzo Bizlim and his work in 2003, which is expected to be finished in late 2007.