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Peace Event



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Sept. 21st, 2009, Peace Celebration, International Day of Peace Closing Ceremony

This event was the culminating program for the past 2 days of an ongoing “Community Collaborative for Peace”, free community activities in acknowledgment of the United Nation declared global day of celebrating “Acts of Peace Building”.

Everyone gathered in the Phoenix Civic Park in downtown Phoenix…

Fatimah Halim was our guest emcee for the evening. Fatimah was honored the following Saturday evening for her volunteer contributions, Hon Kachina Award to the community through her non-profit, Blue Print for Womanhood . Blueprint for Womanhood – The Event is a cross cultural, inter-generational event where women come together to listen, learn and share our wisdom. This thought-provoking experience is designed to inspire, motivate and empower.

Many individuals had worked hard to bring this community occurrence to the community during the past 7 months. Students of all ages were an important driving force in this yearly Celebration.

Citizens came together who had not seen each other in the past months to share the wonders of “Acts of Peace Building” as a community.

Groups that entertained came from very diverse segments of the community.

At 5:10PM, Fatimah Halim began the first citywide celebration of the International Day of Peace organized by the Community Collaborative for Peace. Persons from the local community including those residents in a low cost housing structure came to ENJOY!

View the images photographer, Zara Gort, took during the peace event:

We are grateful for the many images in this review by Zara, Chuck Banaszewski and judy butzine.

Thank you Esther Vandecar and Fushicho Daiko for calling us to celebration.

  • Fushicho Daiko is the professional performing taiko group of Phoenix, comprised of Esther Vandecar, Eileen Morgan, Ken Koshio, and Marsha Robb.
  • They have traveled all across the United States sharing their music with schools, colleges, and communities. China and Mexico tours are slated in the near future.

    The Community Collaborative for Peace, in partnership with ASU Downtown Phoenix campus officials, is celebrating the International Day of Peace proclaimed by the United Nations as September 21st. Locally, our celebration began last evening. Thank you to Attorney General Terry Goddard for speaking at the opening event at Grace Chapel hosted by Release the Fear and Robert Miley.

    In recognition of the International Day of Peace in Arizona, we are creating, through demonstrations and celebrations, a tradition of Practical Acts of PEACE.

    The purpose of this event is to focus on acts of PEACE BUILDING – one act at a time. We look to establish, strengthen and sustain practical partnerships for peace between the people and organizations of the Phoenix Metropolitan area, including ASU Downtown Phoenix campus, government officials, community organizations, businesses, artists, educators and citizens; thereby to serve as a vehicle for increasing engagement between public and civic institutions and the people they serve. Our essential work is to research, identify, model and document “Acts of Peace Building” in a proactive manner that can be expanded upon from one year to the next in public spaces.

    James Garcia gave the welcoming address and discussed the significance of this first Happening! James Garcia, journalist, playwright, university professor and media consultant, shared a few reflections on peace. He is the resident playwright and producing artistic director of New Carpa Theatre James’ acts of peace in community mainly engage theatre; a recent example is his play “tears of our lives”. James takes inspiration from the dramatically engaging but often untold stories about the Latino community and other communities of color.

    Introductions were made to C-c Braun. C-c Braun is a dance artist who works throughout the community to collectively create meaningful art. She strongly believes that movement communicates more than words could ever provide. Her passion is giving others the option to learn how to communicate through movement with ease and open mindedness. C-c has spent the summer teaching a Flash Mob Dance and facilitating its performance at 3 venues across the city. It occurred at noon on this day at the Arizona Center and repeated here with a small group of students from Orangewood Elementary facilitated by Regan Schwartz, teacher at Orangewood. C-c also did a panomime of dance to words of peace called out by audience members. Very Powerful!

    Fatimah called up those individuals in the audience to explain what their intentions are for "Acts of Peace Building". Here, two ASU nursing students as well as a young child gave their understanding of this message.

    This park area was strategically chosen for its significance and value to the total message constructed around this programming. This large netted sculpture, a pubic art project, captures the intentions of the day and tosses them back into the heavens at dusk. A “Sense of Place” is essential if one is to grasp the interconnectedness of meaning surrounding all of these separate components of the evening and all the collaborations that occurred making this a shared experience for MANY.

    Newly completed city transit allowed for easy access to the park.

    Opendance, Director Michelle Ceballos Michot, has been working within our community for over 19 years, offering dance based programs which bring together people of all races, ages, and economic backgrounds.

  • These art & educational programs focus on community building, personal and world issues and peace building through the understanding of self and others.
  • In January 2010 the ALAC Latin American Cultural Center opens in downtown Phoenix, and Opendance and other art organizations will have a home. We welcomed the Opendance company and Ana Moreno, the Ballet Folklorico teacher for Opendance, and her Folklorico youth dancers from various schools from around the valley.

    Melanie Ohm, co-founder and co-director of the Cultural Arts Coalition, was an important contributor to the evening as the stage manager.

    Robert Daniels is a spoken word artist who performs at Doc's Place on Camelback. This Restaurant and Supper club has an ideal atmosphere for the thoughtful messages from this talented artist. Robert read a poem he created for the celebration that was profound. Everyone listened intently and grasped the full extent of his spoken presentation in a conversation with a fictitious character called WAR...

  • Let’s face it, War, we will probably never be friends.
    But friendship from you is not what I ultimately desire.
    You’ve been working for centuries
    I’m just asking you to kick back, sip a cool drink and retire.

    This was a time for families and friends to come together. judy butzine became the chairwoman for this 2 day inclusive celebration for Peace. It was an honor for her to work with all of these compassionate, incredible people.

    Ken Koshio terms himself a street singer, he has been playing for a long time. That experience has helped him to understand the differences that exist between us, and how those differences make our lives richer, more exciting and a lot more fun. Following the horrific events of 9/11, Ken traveled from the West coast to the East coast playing music of Peace and creating origami cranes with everyone he met. He now teaches Japanese traditional culture and old Japanese folk music with voice, language, taiko, sanshin and other Japanese instruments in our schools. On this evening as the sun set he sang his newly composed song for PEACE.

    Fatimah acknowledged and thanked Michelle White of Fair Trade Café, which has a new location here in the park. Michelle made it possible for us to hold the celebration at this civic space.

    Fatimah also thanked judy butzine of the Cultural Arts Coalition who chaired this year’s event committee. Additional thank you’s went to Michele Ceballos Michot of Open Dance, Esther Vandecar of Fushicho Daiko and Melanie Ohm for organizing the celebration this evening.

    Those artists who are exhibiting at ASU Downtown Phoenix campus were then asked to come onto the stage.

    Fatimah also recognized the great contributions of Arizona State University’s Downtown Phoenix campus and Malissa Geer as part of the planning team and for hosting the events in addition to the art exhibition on the second floor of University Center across the street. Debra Friedman is the University Vice President at ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus and Dean of the College of Public Programs

  • In education, Dean Friedman supports programming that opens doors to transforming opportunities and equips individuals with the skills and knowledge to repair their world, one act at a time.
  • The dean’s “Acts of Peace Building” develop the Downtown campus as a place where the community can exchange ideas, where artistic talent can flourish, and where young and life long learners learn how to make a contribution.

    The exhibition is titled “Practical Acts of Peace Building: Recognizing the International Day of Peace and Mind-Body Wellness”, and is co-curated by the ASU DT Phoenix campus and the Cultural Arts Coalition. The Exhibition will be up through January 11, 2010. Dean Debra Friedman and Malissa Geer were on hand to share more about the exhibition and thank the artists.

    T-shirts and certificates were presented to each participating artist of many different cultural back grounds.

    Keith Johnson brought to conclusion the closing ceremony connecting each of us to the heart beat of the earth and others throughout this space. The music of Keith weaves cultural traditions and customs with artistry. He was joined by the audience and drummers from the Fushicho Daiko.

  • Keith works with a multigenerational focus in communities and classrooms.
  • He was into going green before green was cool, recycling both man-made and natural materials for musical instruments and art making.

    Across the street, the artists and their friends and family joined them in giving honor to their many artistic visual arts expressions. Here the collaborative work of a program Prosumer Mujereswas enjoyed.

    Prosumer Mujeres, a community organization, is closely affiliated with the ASU DT Phoenix campus College of Nursing. They strive to address community integration through strong neighborhood, church, and healthcare setting involvement through the leadership of community women and activist for Latina health. Adriana Perez is the Project Director.

    This artwork features a Social Entrepreneurship and clothing line co-founded and co-directed by "Chuck" Charles Banaszewski, ASU PhD graduate: Spraygraphic ( Spraygraphic is a free online community for Creative Minds. This site allows members to share their Art, Design, Activism, Travel Adventures, and Activities with each other. The Spraygraphic Community is dedicated to bringing creative people together. We encourage you to connect, look, listen, and learn from one another. Join our Creative Community Chuck photographed the event of the evening and posted it on his web site.

    Malissa Geer met with Martin Moreno at the ASU exhibition space to present him his certificate.

      Malissa Geer is the Community Engagement Liaison of the Office of the University Vice President and the Dean of the College of Public Programs at the Downtown Phoenix campus.
    • Malissa works creatively to make the most of ASU and community resources to meet shared goals for Access, Excellence and Impact, especially among vulnerable populations.
    • Her act of peace is to work collaboratively with community and university to establish and strengthen positive relationships. This event and the exhibition in University Center, for which these artists are being acknowledged, are demonstrations of her collaborative peace building.

    The paintings of Carolina Parra Morales were created in reference to the theme of this exhibition

    Mitra Kamali talks about the relevancy of her subjects in her work to her life and the lives of others.

    So many artists of local, national and international lives contributed to the significance and meaning of this exhibition. Mitra Kamali is Iranian and was a student caught in this country with her sister during the time of the Khomeini take over of Iran in 1982. Her father, a former poet laureate of Iran and editor of a pro-western news paper and science magazine, was immediately put under house arrest due to his opposition to the fundamentalist régime. Together with her sister they saved enough money after eight years to buy their mother's and father's freedom to move the United States.

    Irma Turtle, the founder and director of TurtleWill, is an artist who has created these paintings and a book that is illustrated with them on "Universal Love and Compassion". My drawings depict the world the way I want it to be and know it can be. They are all about a world of magnificent Universal Love.

    Review by judy butzine
    Co-founder and co-director of the

    The Mission of the Cultural Arts Coalition, Arizona: 501 (c) 3, a nonpartisan organization in existence since 2005: stimulates creative, analytical and leadership development for personal transformation and collective change through celebrations and multidisciplinary learning experiences.