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Peace Event



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PEACE Please, Review of CAC, Fair Trade Café Performance,
March 28, 2008

The Cultural Arts Coalition continued its Friday Performance schedule at the Fair Trade Café, on March 28th, 7-10 PM, in conjunction with the visual arts exhibition. Artworks by 16 local, national and international artists are featured. The exhibition "Arts, Culture and the Public Sphere: Local and Global" examines and explores the visual arts as a means to communicate artists' views of universal human concerns and social justice in public settings.

Ken Koshio, Japanese musician and teacher, began the evening outside by connecting all of us to the HeART Beat of the EArth!

The area pulsated with the power of the drum’s vibration and sound that permeated the vicinity.

Persons like James Garcia, playwright and producer (Dream Act), and Francisco Garcia, student and artist, were summoned to enter the space and continue to be engaged in the energy of Taiko.

Jackie Mahoney, herself a playwright and social worker, came after work to be soothed by the music following her week’s demanding schedule.

Others like Lisa Takata, artist and special assistant to the city manager, sought a safe place to reinforce the value of the arts in one’s life; to greet old friends and meet new ones.

This event and site to exhibit visual artworks would not have been possible without the social entrepreneurship philosophy of the owners who have established this Sense of Place to focus on issues of Social Justice at the Fair Trade Cafe.

The purposefulness for the evening was to focus on Visions of Peace Around the World and Giving of Intentions for this Peace to Occur.

Ken’s direction in life is to create an understanding of RESPECT. Japanese and other Asian cultures have a different view of respect. He learned this since living in the United States. He wants to share with children the importance of every single element in our world, including themselves.

The significance of the crane in Japanese cultures is well documented as a symbol of Peace. Cranes Customs, Art and Legends

Cranes or "tsuru" in Japanese, are possibly one of the oldest birds on earth and has a long history in Japanese traditions and legends. The crane is among the most majestic of all birds, pure white with a magnificent red-crest. Legends hold that the crane lives for a thousand years. In Japanese, Chinese and Korean tradition, cranes stand for peace and long life.

It was a special treat during the evening to have so many children in the audience to share this evening of performance.

Mitra Kamali, one of the exhibiting artists, and her husband Chris came with their twin boys.

As the music continued…

the creating of an origami crane occurred, facilitated by judy butzine, co-director and co-founder of the Cultural Arts Coalition.

Absolute pride is shown in the face of this child who was extremely adept in folding, then stringing beads onto her paper sculpture.

Every child left the evening’s event with a beaded origami crane and the story of Sadako to be read to them at a later date.

The Sadako Story

The paper crane has become an international symbol of peace in recent years as a result of it's connection to the story of a young Japanese girl named Sadako Sasaki born in 1943. Sadako was two years old when the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945. As she grew up, Sadako was a strong, courageous and athletic girl. In 1955, at age 11, while practicing for a big race, she became dizzy and fell to the ground. Sadako was diagnosed with Leukemia, "the atom bomb" disease.
Sadako's best friend told her of an old Japanese legend which said that anyone who folds a thousand paper cranes would be granted a wish. Sadako hoped that the gods would grant her a wish to get well so that she could run again. She started to work on the paper cranes and completed over 1000 before dying on October 25, 1955 at the age of twelve.

Sadako at 12 Years old in 1955

The point is that she never gave up. She continued to make paper cranes until she died. Inspired by her courage and strength, Sadako's friends and classmates put together a book of her letters and published it. They began to dream of building a monument to Sadako and all of the children killed by the atom bomb. Young people all over Japan helped collect money for the project.

In 1958, a statue of Sadako holding a golden crane was unveiled in Hiroshima Peace Park. The children also made a wish which is inscribed at the bottom of the statue and reads:

"This is our cry; This is our prayer, Peace in the world".

As the evening continued all were attentive to the American folk and Rock’n Roll music of this gifted performer.

As a street singer, Ken has been playing for a long time. That experience has provoked a lot of thoughts for him to understand differences that exist in each of us, and how those differences make our lives richer, more exciting and a lot of fun. Following the horrific events of 911 Ken traveled from the East coast to the West coast playing music of Peace and creating origami cranes with everyone he met. One the first anniversary of this occurrence Ken returned to New York City to present the thousands of cranes he had accumulated to the site and play music in Central Park in honor of this memorial event.

Kristin Fukuchi, exhibiting artist, and Mitra examine a photo documentary of this musical and Peace journey of thousands of miles.

Ken now teaches Japanese traditional culture and old Japanese folk music with voice, language, taiko, sanshin and other Japanese instruments in our schools. He uses Japanese folk tales, origami, dance, calligraphy and (when time and facilities permit) Japanese food, to provide children with the information about his culture that is authentic and fun.

Other persons who came to enjoy the evening were Ayo Sharpe-Mouzon and John Mouzon. Ayo had performed three weeks ago at the café.

Conversations continued even though Ken played straight on through the night.

Jackie and Robert Miley, artist and creator of Release the Fear, 24 foot Sculpture right out the door, continued dialogue started earlier in the evening.

Families met and shared conversation.

Others in the café choose to work and enjoy a meal.

The end of the music for the evening inside was a spirited La Bamba.

"La Bamba" is a folk song whose origins can be traced to the Mexican state of Veracruz over 300 years ago. It is perhaps best known from a 1958 adaptation by Richie Valens, a top 40 hit the U.S. charts and one of early rock and roll's best-known songs. Two artworks in the background:
Thuong Nygen, Dreaming, Serigraph, 22" X 30”
Tom Stephensen, Subduing the Great Pacifier, Acrylic on Wood, 21" square,

Esther Vandecar, Fushicho Daiko, "Phoenix Drummers", and Miro, Ken’s son, love this final number.

Everyone ventured outside for the finale of soft flute sounds

and Taiko momentum.

We walked away from the evening with filled hearts knowing that the arts and the artful way can bring all of us Peace. "Many community cultural development projects are built around learning experiences. Overall, the aim is to transmit particular arts- related skills while helping to develop critical thinking and establish a clear link between the two capabilities, thought leading to action." Creative Community: The Art of Cultural Development. D. Adams & A. Goldbard, p.28. The communities the Cultural Arts Coalition honors are sustained by your participation. Please contact: judy butzine - (602) 375-9553; or Melanie Ohm – (480) 580-6257

Thank you for your time in reviewing this incredible performance and community gathering at the Fair Trade Cafe.

Ken Koshio, far right, at a facility directed by Mother Teresa (center) in India, 1982. Ken was already on the Path of Peace and Compassion as a 16 year old student.

Music used with permission by Ken Koshio
album: Still Standing on the Rock
track: Kamikaze