One of my true life passions is making connections with and for other people. I have discovered that nothing rivals the power of art to help make these connections. Art often brings people together for a common worthwhile cause. My friend Donna Dodson is an example of an artist friend who excels and delights in trying to help others.
Donna connected with me at the “Ship of Tolerance” – a floating art gallery conceived to educate and connect youth of different continents, cultures, and identities through the language of art.
The ship’s sails are stitched together from individual paintings by hundreds of local schoolchildren from different ethnic and social backgrounds. They convey a message of tolerance and hope. By participating in the creation of this ship children learn about respecting different cultures and ideas while appreciating how they differ from their own.
Human beings are members of a whole, in creation of one essence and soul.
If one member is afflicted with pain, other members uneasy will remain.
If you’ve no sympathy for human pain, the name of human you cannot retain.
— Saadi, Persian poet, 12th century ––
The day concluded at The Ship of Tolerance concert at the NY Historical Society auditorium featuring children performers from La Guardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in New York, the Berkeley Carroll School in Brooklyn, the Spivakov Foundation in Moscow and Havana. Walking out of the concert I mused with my friend Jaies Perez who was also touched and impressed by the talented young musicians, ranging in age from 12-17 years old, who worked diligently together to add yet another artistic dimension to this worthwhile cause and adventure.