Experiencing Peace through Healing Arts – September 2002
The conference began with an opening statements from Dr. Nahid Angha and Dr. Harlan Stelmach. We observed this day as a day of peace-making, thanks to the combined efforts of the International Association of Sufism, Dominican University of California, and over two dozen individuals and groups of visual and performing artists and support of the Marin Community Foundation. The Marin County, California, community came together to focus on healing and ways to move toward peace – as individuals, as a community, as a nation and as a world.
Over 400 members of the Marin community came to Dominican University’s Angelico Hall to share the healing contributions of different traditions throughout time, as expressed through the arts. The audience was enchanted by a modern/Persian dance performance focused on healing, and a presentation of Kathak (East Indian) dance, a form which brings influences of Hindu and Muslim cultures together in harmony and beauty. Vocal offerings included Gospel music, Jewish chant and upbeat contemporary songs; audience members also had a chance to sing out under the guidance of an intuitive singer. American Indian storytelling and chant were presented, and local youth were featured in both instrumental and vocal selections. The evening closed with a rousing performance of Japanese Taiko drumming, followed by peaceful and meditative Sufi chant.
A variety of visual arts were on display throughout the evening. Exhibits included painting, textile arts, photography, American Indian ledger art, and drawings by children in the community. Each artist shared his or her experience of peace through their particular art medium.