SPECIAL MULTICULTURAL CONCERT TO MARK HUMAN RIGHTS WEEK IN FLUSHING
To mark Human Rights Week 2014 six amazingly diverse performing groups came together at Flushing Town Hall to celebrate Religious Freedom and to raise awareness of the persecution of religious minorities around the world.
The Deeper Harmonies Special Concert Event on Friday, December 5th started at 7 pm at Flushing Town Hall at 135-35 Northern Blvd, Flushing NY 11353 close to the Main Street 7 Train. This event took place in the tradition of the famous Flushing Remonstrance, founding document of religious freedom in the USA, and only steps away from where it took place over 350 years ago.
The beloved choirs Interfaith Willow Women’s Chorus and TOMO Japan Choral Harmony which come together for the first time with songs in many languages, along with spiritual folk singers, leaders of Hindu chant and renowned artists from the Flamenco and Arab music traditions.
“At this time when the horrific persecution of religious minorities by ISIS has gotten the public attention, and the right to worship is challenged around the world from Burma to Beijing, the liberating power of music can help carry the power of more inclusive faith and deeper spiritual awareness, whatever the cultural or spiritual framework,” stated Adem Carroll of the Flushing Interfaith Council.
An enthusiastic audience of 150 helped to benefit the Peace and Justice Committee of Flushing Interfaith Council and also Burma Task Force USA, a nonprofit initiative working to raise awareness about the increasing persecution of religious minorities in Burma and to support a more inclusive civil society free from Islamophobia.
“The audience cheered Glenda Sol Koeraus, “La Argentinita,” a Buenos Aires-born flamenco dancer, along with Sami Abu Shamys and colleagues from Zikrayet, a performing group which so movingly embodies the musical heritage of the Arab world so endangered now by war and reactionary movements,“ added John Choe, local community leader and also a member of Flushing Interfaith Council. “This was a cultural feast.”
“Willow” is an interfaith women’s choir under the direction of Farah Chandu, who stated, “We are mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers, from all corners of Queens, Nassau and Suffolk Counties, we represent several different faith traditions and we have discovered tremendous common ground in sharing each other’s sacred music. We use our music to actively support peace and human rights.”
The two choirs have chosen an amazingly inclusive song list, in Latin, Arabic, Swahili, Japanese, Spanish and Hebrew, including love songs and liturgical chants, southern spirituals and inspirational Broadway show tunes. A leader from Hindu Temple Society will lead with an invocation.
Katy Mantyk and Nemanja Rebic (NEMO) represented the Falun Gong which is are persecuted in China, with their own beautiful folk songs, as part of the Truth on Tour (see www.TruthOnTour.org ). Other speakers from Bahai and Muslim and other traditions acknowledged the struggles of diverse communities around the world. Everyone– including audience members– was invited to sing along in the finale on stage.
With its continuing development as a vibrant cultural destination, and newly renovated theater, Flushing Town Hall (www.flushingtownhall.org) has been in the news this past month. See: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/16/nyregion/two-good-reasons-to-visit-flushing-queens.html?_r=0
Please contact us at email@example.com or call 646 251 0402 for further announcements about other exciting events raising awareness about Burma and reflecting Flushing’s amazing heritage of diversity. For Flushing Council Events please see: www.flushinginterfaithcouncil.wordpress.com