The world around us seems to be unraveling from every corner of the earth with riots in Ferguson, MO, bombings in South Asia, wars in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Africa, plus Russia amassing troops on Ukraine’s eastern border. All the while Israel and Palestine launch attack after attack, making a mockery of negotiations and ceasefires.
Of course we must look closer to home and reflect up Chicago’s reputation as “Chiraq” with drive-by shootings and gang violence, lest we be accused of ‘throwing stones’ from our city of glass sky scrapers. Over the past few years we’ve gained a reputation of a violent city culminating with what USA Today called a spate of 82 shootings over the 4th of July holiday. That said, murder rates in Chicago continue to drop from an all time high in 1994 of 985 murders. If you take into account the population size of our city, Chicago doesn’t even crack the top 20 cities according to the Pew Research Center.
All the same, how do we as citizens, artists, and cultural leaders make a clear and powerful statement for peace? We at Fulcrum Point have a 16-year tradition of partnering with community groups to present annual concerts for peace. This year we will be the final event in the Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks series partnering with Build the Peace Chicago for an interdisciplinary and participatory event featuring invocations for peace, a concert with music by Somei Satoh, Jacob TV, Louis Andriessen, Thelonius Monk, Horace Silver, and Fela Kuti followed by Peace Yoga on the beach at the South Shore Cultural Center.
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