Articles From the May 1995 Unification News
True Parents Day Performance In South America - Father Establishes Artists Association For World Peace
by David Eaton-NYC
In my nearly twenty years in the Performing Arts I have often found myself in the wake of Father's providential moves as the dispensation often requires music for ceremonial or entertainment purposes. Historically, when Father shifts the providence to a new geographical region, he utilizes the performing arts to help create an environment that is conducive to witnessing and evangelizing.
In 1976 when Father's activities centered on Yankee Stadium and Washington Monument, he created the Go World Brass Band and together with the New Hope Singers and Sunburst we did extensive campaigning in order to mobilize people for those rallies.
In 1978 Father sent members of the Go World Brass Band to Boston, the New Hope Singers to Washington and Sunburst to New York as IOWCs for witnessing and fund-raising purposes. Later in 1978 Father sent members of the Brass Band to England to evangelize and begin a serious witnessing effort in Europe.
In 1979 the part of the Brass Band, Sunburst and the International Folk Ballet were sent to CARP to do a coast to coast campus tour. In the early '80s Father dispatched several rock groups to assist European CARP activities and in 1988 the New York City Symphony traveled to Korea to participate in the Seoul Olympic Arts Festival with the Universal Ballet Company.
In 1991 and 1992 I found myself in Kiev and Moscow to perform concerts with their national orchestras as the dispensation became oriented in the CIS.
When True Parents traveled to South America, I knew it was only a matter of time before the call would come to help the performing arts foundation in that part of the world. So when I received a call from Rev. Joong Hyun Pak to go to Brazil to assist in the True Parents Day celebration (March 31), it came as no surprise.
Major Church Holiday Celebrated in Brazil
Since this was the first time that True Parents would be in South America for a major church holiday, Rev. Pak thought it might be helpful for me to be in Brazil to assist the entertainment preparations.
Though our church in Brazil has many members and a beautiful church building in Sao Paulo, there hasn't as yet, been a concerted effort to develop a strong performing arts foundation there. As Father mentioned to Rev. Hyun Tae Kim, Continental Director of South America, he is accustomed to very high level productions at the Little Angels Performing Arts School in Seoul, the Manhattan Center in New York and the Kirov Academy in Washington.
The challenge to produce a program that could live up to Father's expectations was, to be sure, a daunting one, but one that all the members in the Brazilian church who worked so hard on the production could learn from.
The evening performance included a forty voice choir made up of our Brazilian members singing Exodus in Portuguese, a thirty voice choir comprised of our Japanese sisters, a local Brazilian Carnival dance troupe, our church pop group from Sao Paulo and three guest performers.
Our sister, Gloria del Paraguay (Gloria Cricsioni) sang the Korean song, Bong Sung Ah and O Sole Mio. ___ came from New York and sang the Korean song Guriun Gum Gang San and the Japanese song Akatmbo. True Mother also invited Won Ju McDevitt to sing two Korean Songs.
The Grand Finale consisted of children's songs by several of the True Grandchildren and a performance of Edelweiss by Hyun Jin Nim, Kook Jin Nim, Sun Jin Nim and Young Jin Nim. The members of True Family were enthusiastically welcomed to the stage by the nearly two thousand members in attendance.
Though there isn't as yet the technical support that is required to develop a higher standard of production, our brother Kurt Muss, the general affairs coordinator of the Sao Paulo church, has made a serious dedication to upgrade the technical standards in Brazil.
Father Establishes Artists Association for World Peace
The following morning, True Parents invited Gloria, ___ and myself to breakfast with the True Children and the continental directors. After introducing Gloria to the True Children and the international leaders, Father instructed the three of us to form a new organization in order to "create a moral revolution in the arts." Father spoke at length about the need for artists to maintain a high moral standard and remain sexually pure. He also emphasized the need for artists to be humble and not seek fame for themselves, but to use there talent to glorify God.
True Mother will be the Chairperson of this new entity and Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak would act as President and internal Abel figure. Father asked that we submit several possible names of this organization and a "pledge" that states that artists will dedicate their create efforts to the cause of world peace and use their talents with a sense of moral responsibility.
Father instructed Gloria, ___ and myself to set up concerts around the world with local performers and ensembles and then give lectures on the Divine Principle and promote the ideals of this new organization.
Upon receiving the suggested names, Rev. Kwak selected Artists Association for World Peace as the name of this new arts organization. In a subsequent meeting with Rev. Kwak in New York, it was decided that the New York City Symphony office in New York would be the initial headquarters of Artists Association and that we should begin to network with our worldwide membership who may already be involved in the arts.
Inaugural Concert Tour for Artists Association
In order to implement Father's direction ___ and myself will begin a tour of North American university campuses during May in conjunction with WORLD CARP. In a recent meeting at CARP Headquarters in New York, Jin Hun Nim suggested we use the extensive foundation that CARP has established to begin our search for talented artists who might dedicate their artistic endeavors to the ideals that AAWP is espousing.
On this tour, ___ will be accompanied by several musicians that she has recently concertized with in New York. As part of the program I will offer a speech dealing with the goals and vision of Artists Association. It is our hope that Gloria del Paraguay will be able to join us on this historic concert tour.
The tour will conclude with a performance sponsored by the New York City Symphony, WORLD CARP and AAWP on June 4th in the chapel at National Headquarters in New York City. In addition to ___, this concert will also feature the Middle Eastern and Sephartic Folk Music ensemble, Alhambra.
As Father's World Peace legacy continues to unfold, I'm sure many of us will be called upon to provide support for our brothers and sisters in many parts the world. If our history with Father tells us anything, it's that we should always be ready to go forward in the shoes of a servant, with the heart of the father...and always keep our passports valid and up to date.
On to Conduct a Concert in Paraguay
Following my stay in Brazil, I flew to Asuncion, Paraguay to conduct a concert with the Asuncion Symphony Orchestra. This concert was organized by Gloria Criscioni, who is now an official cultural ambassador for Paraguay. This concert marked the first time in nearly forty years that an American artist had performed there.
From 1954 to 1989 Paraguay was ruled by a military dictatorship and consequently most forms of artistic expression were strictly oppressed. With the election of a democratic government in 1989 there is once again an openness for artists and their work.
As it turned out, it was very big news that an American conductor from New York world make an appearance in Paraguay. At a ceremony at the Asuncion City Hall. I was made an honorary citizen of the City of Asuncion for a day. This ceremony was presided over by the newly elected mayor of Asuncion, Mr. Carlos Filizzola.
The concert hall in Asuncion is a beautifully intimate 800 seat auditorium that was built by the Japanese government as a gift to the citizens of Paraguay. The concert was sold out with many people viewing the event via closed circuit television outside the main hall.
My program consisted of The Moldau, by the Czech composer, Bedrich Smetana and Franz Josef Haydn's Symphony No. 100. In addition, Gloria del Paraguay sang arias by George Bizet and G.F. Handel as well as two well known Paraguayan folk songs.
In a dinner meeting at the American Embassy I had the occasion to speak with Mr. Robert Service, the American Ambassador to Paraguay, about future concerts with American artists there. The U.S. government is willing to co-sponsor cultural exchanges between the two countries and the political and cultural climate is such that there is now a desire on the part of the general public in Paraguay to know more about classical art and music.
There were several interesting episodes that transpired while I was in Paraguay, but one of particular interest. There is a famous cattle rancher in Paraguay by the name of Roberto Eaton. He is no relation to me, however he is the uncle of our blessed sister, Patti Eaton who now resides in Orlando, Florida. It just so happened that Patti and her husband Mark Stephan were in Paraguay visiting her uncle at the time and came to the concert after seeing an article in the local newspaper. There were so many experiences in Paraguay that made it clear to me that God is working there in a very powerful way. It is my hope to be able to do more to bring True Parent's tradition in the arts to Paraguay and to wherever the dispensation calls.
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