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Paul Hillman

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8th United Nations International Peace Pals Art Celebration hosted at StarShine Academy

CONGRATULATIONS ARE DUE TO THE MANY PERSONS AND COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS THAT SUPPORTED THE 8th UNITED NATIONS PEACE PALS ART CELEBRATION HOSTED BY STARSHINE ACADEMY.
Youth artwork, May Peace Prevail on Earth

September 11, 2004 Trish Adams, Director of StarShine Academy and Terri Mansfield, Coordinator of Az. Dept. of Peace Campaign, invited Paula Christine, of the New York UN/NGO World Peace Prayer Society, to StarShine Academy for the dedication of the school's Peace Pole. StarShine was later asked to host the 8th U.N. Inter. Peace Pals Art Celebration.

Following many months of dedication by multiple members of the greater Phoenix community the culmination of the international art competition was staged. This is the first time the event has been held in the United States, and it has been an honor for StarShine Academy and for Phoenix to be the hosts. The theme for all the artworks sent to Phoenix from around the world is "May Peace Prevail on Earth" with a focus on giving thanks to nature.

FRIDAY NIGHT'S ACTIVITIES occurred at Bentley Projects Gallery as an "EXCLUSIVE FIRST FRIDAY EVENT".

12 OF THE FINALISTS' ARTWORKS IN VARYING AGE CATEGORIES WERE ENLARGED TO FILL A FORMAT OF APPROXIMATELY 30" X 40" and displayed throughout the gallery. Final selection of the 3 winners occurred before the doors opened for the evening.

The program began with the singing of a newly composed song by music educator, Sanar Alixandyr, PEACE ON EARTH. This music is a very inspirational tune that fills the heart of any aged listener and elicits one to become more responsible for promoting peace by our own actions.

Multiple persons spoke on behalf of this art celebration, the United Nations and the need for ARTS IN EDUCATION INCLUDING AZ. SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS, Tom Horne.

Vernon Parker, USDA Asst. Sec., Head of Civil Rights, contributed additional words on the need for education and support for those children born into poorer economic neighborhoods.
Vernon Parker and MC, Annie Loyd, at Bentley Gallery
Daniel Bernard Roumain, violinist at Bentley Gallery Friday night

The evening ended with the powerful sounds from Violinist/Composer, DANIEL BERNARD ROUMAIN, ASU Public Events/Gammage Artist in Residence. Daniel played rhythms reflecting the mood of each of the 12 youths' artworks on view.

A Closing Blessing conducted by Uqualla, Havasupi Spiritual Emissary, gave us all much to think about as we go out into the world filled with messages of PEACE.

SATURDAY ACTIVITIES HIGHLIGHTED AT STARSHINE ACADEMY WITH MANY OF THE STUDENTS AND THEIR FAMILIES CONTINUED TO INCLUDE THE THEME OF "May Peace Prevail on Earth".

ONCE AGAIN MANY PEOPLE HAVE DONATED THEIR TIME, TALENTS AND FINANCES TO MAKE THIS WEEKEND EVENT THOUGHTFUL AND MEANINGFUL FOR SO MANY.

judy butzine, Cultural Arts Coalition, coordinated the Saturday events at Starshine.

The morning began again with the singing & signing of Sanar's song by a choir of students from StarShine.

Events of the day included the making of beaded bracelets facilitated as a metaphor for thinking about children around the world and one's intentions for PEACE. Materials provided by The Bead Museum, Glendale, Arizona, through an APS grant.

There was a performance by the children to dramatize how anger starts a ripple effect that can affect so many. Dance in the garden by all ages was conducted honoring nature.

And mural painting/sketching with prisma colored pencils was available to anyone wanting to continue visually to convey the theme of "May Peace Prevail on Earth" facilited by Mark Switlik, muralist.

Once again the day's activities following an international luncheon menu were reminders about how we can all make a difference in the world. Terri Mansfield began the closing ceremonies by giving a Peace Prayer with all of us holding hands and being connected in the garden to the Peace Pole. As we exited this space we were met by Paula Christine who handed us two flags from countries of the United Nations and we each, very young child and not so young adult, said the words..."May Peace Prevail on Fiji, outh Africa, Thailand, the United States, Argentina, Russia," etc. WE all flowed in a circle moving around a large tree and stating our flags name until all countries were accounted for.

THE OVERVIEW OF THIS EXPERIENCE FOR ANYONE PARTICIPATING IS THAT EACH OF US HAS A MORE FOCUSED PURPOSEFULNESS ON THINKING ABOUT HOW WE CAN ACTIVATE PEACE ON THIS PLANET.

This total process was not a didactic lesson of rote memory. It was an integrated arts and multiple disciplinary means to communicate a universal message of PEACE. As I observed this process over a 4 month period I saw persons from the community come and go. It was a wonderful example of COMMUNITY CULTURAL ARTS PARTICIPATION fulfilling the outlined criteria of the Cultural Arts Coalition. I feel honored to have been involved with so many giving individuals from all walks of life.

Beading activity for all ages
Painting of the canvases facilitated by Mark Switlik
Ending United Nations Flag ceremony