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Westward Ho Festival
Westward Ho Festival acknowledging the U.N. International Day of Peace around the world on September 21, 2010 - "Acts of Peace Building" in community settings through "Creativity and Socialization"
The WWH is a HUD assisted property in an urban environment. Residents are of lower economic means, over 62 and physically &/or emotionally disabled. Funding for this festival was paid by the Cultural Arts Coalition. artsCARE.org/cac.intro.shtml Artists were contracted for a performance to create a welcoming space to share and celebrate an atmosphere and JOY for global music/dance and thoughts of Peace Building activities. The festival was open to the public and many came.
Besides this facility being one of the oldest buildings in down town Phoenix, it is one of the most beautiful architectural sites, representative of its time.
Visual arts were exhibited to represent the concept of creating a culture of harmony through symbols as metaphors. The painting above is by Dennis Numkena, Hopi, a visual story of the coming of peace through a tolerance for all. The Fushicho Taiko Drummers were phenomenal and provided an ambience of togetherness with uplifting vibration and movement that surrounded us.
Ken Koshio sang Peace folk songs and later had the audience singing along to a Peace tune he had written for the evening.
The event and this community interaction could not have occurred without the collaborative support of many individuals and organizations.
Lowell Elementary School students were also a part of the program. Under the dance instruction of ASU Dance graduate C-c Braun and the musical direction of Dr. Dianne Anderson-Nickel these students have been practicing five months in preparation for this performance. Through the collaborative efforts of Dr. Pegge Vissicaro, ASU School of Dance, and Opendance under the Direction of Michele Ceballos Michot, ongoing interaction at this facility will occur. "There is substantial long-term value for artists working in varied settings to offer fresh perspectives on the world around us. This will help nurture a healthy and engaged society, as well as evolve new and dynamic manifestations of the art form of dance itself." Simon Dove, Director, ASU School of Dance.
Thank youís and flowers to our young dancers and Sharon Phillips, the WWH Activities coordinator, were one small gesture to celebrate all the efforts of so many who made this evening possible.
Persons danced and played musical instruments with guidance by Keith Johnson, African drummer extraordinaire, and Muslimah Hameed whom would have never been up and moving with such vigor and zest without the talent and energy of these artist facilitators.
Co-directors of the Cultural Arts Coalition, Melanie Ohmís and judy butzineís long term goal is to build a downtown support network with other non-profits to assist with the "Creative and Socialization" needs of this population. It is the right of all of these residents to not be forgotten or left out because they are financially restricted or experience physical and emotional disabilities. This "Act of Peace Building" will help nurture a healthy and engaged society. Our greater Phoenix community will benefit from this kind of endeavor.
Universal Declared Human Right Article # 19
**Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. International, regional and national standards also recognize that freedom of expression, includes any medium, be it orally, written, or through art forms. This means that the protection of freedom of creative expression as a right includes not only the content, but also the means of action.
WE also want to thank and acknowledge Linda Spencer, Director of the Westward Ho, for her support and expertise in facilitating this programming though the coordinated efforts of the Cultural Arts Coalition.
May Peace Prevail UPON the Earth for All and let it begin with ACTION by me...