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Peace Event



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CAC International Day of Peace Event 2008

Sunday, Sept. 21, 2008, was the 4th year the Cultural Arts
Coalition has presented an International Day of Peace event
to the community.

We hope that next year we will ALL be at the Japanese Friendship Garden so many more people can enjoy this joyous and uplifting celebration.
Put it on you calendar to be present on the evening: September 21, 2009, 6:30-10:00 PM--location to be confirmed.

This year the event occurred at the home of Judy and Paul Butzine.
Two persons were designated guests of honor: Ngurimuje "Naf" Mieze, okaepe from Namibia, Africa, and

Jacqui Ceballos - Founder/President, Veteran Feminists of America and mother of Michele Ceballos, Opendance.

Comments and prose about the happening from Ira Weitz:

And it was really “Over - The - Top Special," that you presented both Irma Turtle & her new book,
The Judy - Melanie Team are visionary in profiling Irma's WORK OF HEART: THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU BRING.
To my knowledge, this is the first time that it has been publicly presented to the world. As we learned last night, it was “hot off the press."

When I lived in New York, I knew about Irma , and I admired her in the same way that I admired Jane Goodall & Mother Theresa. Now I have to pinch myself, because I can't believe that it's true that I actually interact with Irma, J - Mel, and their Peace People.
Encountering such evolved people only motivates me to further carry on my " save the people, save the planet activities" for children.

For the rest of this e - mail, I will just comment on some of the wonderful things which I observed, just in case some guests missed them.
Warning: the following lines are rated SR (Silly Rhymes).


Melanie spoke to us,
in front of the pool,
her message was relevant,
the lady's MAJOR COOL.

Ken brought his guitar,
from Japan, that's very far,
he sang Redemption Song by Bob Marley,
then he ate a bowl of barley.

Ben is a Boomer,
a spiritual groomer,
this Navajo man,
spoke of Mother Earth's plan.

Annie Lloyd spoke to our group,
about life and black bean soup,
Annie talked about politics,
" Grass Roots " action, and chopsticks.

We were served,
Ethiopian Food,
which put us all
in a peaceful mood.

We chatted with a man named Gino,
who works with youth in Guadalupe,
his ideas show positive thinking,
he takes out the garbage when it starts stinking.

Naf is a guy,
from Africa, Namibia,
he said he has no time,
for junk food and trivia.

The dancers /drummers put on a show,
they said , " If you love peace, everybody say YO."

At the end, the others jumped in the pool,
two of them came from ASU school.
That's it, this g - mail ( gratitude mail } is officially over.

"Peace is a 5 letter word, the best one J - Mel ever heard."

X Ira

Ken Koshio is a very important international PEACE activist/artist who divides his time between Phoenix and Japan. He has performed with the CAC on multiple occasions. (to listen to his music and read more about Ken and his work)

Irma Turtle of TurtleWill (TurtleWill is dedicated to the improvement of the lives of traditional peoples in Ethiopia, Mali and Niger in a manner that is consistent with their traditions and cultures, through locally driven projects that maintain choice.

and Christy Puetz, Bead artist, teacher and program director for Beads of Courage - (mission statement: To promote the well-being of children coping with serious illness, and their families, by strengthening resilience-based protective processes. Beads of Courage, Inc. achieves its mission through the development and implementation of evidence-based supportive care programs in children’s hospitals across the nation. reconnect.

Please read Irma's story of the Humanitarian work she organizes in Africa below through Turtle Will

As the evening continues many visit and/or take time to fill their plates with food from Lalibella Ethiopian restaurant in Tempe while continuing to listen to the folk music of Ken’s Peace songs.

Professors, artists, teachers, community activists and community citizens all come together to share an evening of PEACE and togetherness.

Mitra Kamali enjoys the evening with other guests. Mitra is originally from Iran and along with her family fled the country to seek freedom and safety in the United States. Mitra has an opening of her art at SOCA Gallery on October 11.

All ages were present at this celebration of Diversity and Peace. Children as young as 3 weeks enjoyed the evening.

New faces were in attendance to experience the Wonder of this kind of Peaceful Happening and the networking capacity of participants from the Cultural Arts Coalition.

Following Ken’s Peace inspiring music Ben Boomer, a Navajo Shaman, provided the Blessing for the evening!

Ben Boomer gave honor to our being together and discussed our place on this planet, acknowledging the 7 directions and our lives as metaphors for those planes of the earth, underworld and the heavens.

Fire and smoke mingle to ground a space of reverence, and create an inclusive atmosphere of creative collaboration and the uniting of all of us in community on Mother Earth. - Ben

From the stillness and quiet of the Blessing the beating of the drums to connect all of us to the Heart Beat of the Earth occurred. Keith Johnson, percussion artist and story teller is not only a performer but a teacher. He is an artist in residence traveling to schools throughout the state through programs funded in part by the Arizona Commission on the Arts and Phoenix Office of Arts & Culture.

Muslimah Halmeed dances with the Kawambe-Omowale dancers each Saturday at East Lake Park. It has been the honor of the CAC to also work with Muslimah in school settings throughout the greater Phoenix area.

This part of the evening was totally interactive. Muslimah inspired everyone, linking us to nature’s natural flows, through joyful movement in sync with the beating of the drums.

A clash of cultures between Hip Hop and African Dance was a natural interaction during the evening, woven together in harmony and balance.

For those who chose to sit, Shekeres were provided!

4 generations of women are captured in this image (3 of the females including the baby are from the same family).

It was also a night to make a formal announcement that the Cultural Arts Coalition has applied to the IRS for its own non-profit status.
Our Board Members were identified:
Dr. Martha Rozelle, Martha Green, Barby Barone, Kristin Fukuchi, Dr. Dianne Anderson–Nickel, Terrance Bailey and Francisco Garcia. Many of these persons have been interacting with Melanie and Judy for the past 4 years. It is an honor to have made this big leap so we can better meet the needs of an integrated community of cultural workers - artists, educators, activists and policymakers.

The finale of the evening was presented by Michele Ceballos, Opendance founder and director, thru performance giving honor to women. Michele had introduced and spoken earlier of her mother, Jacqui, and the role these women play in our lives providing the love and continuity that nurture us. Michele is not only a dancer and performer; she is a teacher and an artist in residence for our school age children.

Michele mentored both Silvia Rodriguez and Dulce Juarez for the evening’s performance.

A Nauhtal (Uto-Aztecan) Indian Honoring of Women
The Aztecs had many different sources of technology such as their religious temples and shrines. They built huge temples, and held impressive ceremonies to honor their gods. The Aztecs also built bridges, many of these are still used today. Their cities and towns were 7,500 feet over sea level. They became very advanced, developing four main classes of society.

Women, of all ages, races, joining forces for peace and equality. Through the power of dance and music woman express their pain, their hope, their strength and their vision for a better world.

All life begins in the fluids of the womb that nourish
And sustain new beginnings and possibilities…

May Peace Prevail on the Earth for All.

Silvia RodriguezDulce Juarez

Joe Willie Smith and Francisco Garcia, teacher and student artist, at Phoenix Community College

We give a special thank you to Melanie Ohm who took all the pictures for this photo documentation and Jeff, her husband, who helped her to buy a new camera. Any event like this is a total team effort. Much gratitude to all for being present in the spirit of PEACE.

May Peace Prevail On The Earth For All!

Music used with permission by Evan Hydzik, Elizabeth Remis and Mark Trecka
Pillars and Tongues/Sacred Architecture