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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Silk dancers in the sky and global peace make for a sweet Sunday

    Silk dancers in the sky and global peace make for a sweet Sunday

    I woke up bright and early on Sunday to go to the Family Arts Festival in town. When I visited the Web site for the festival (www.familyartsfestival.org) and looked at the lineup of events, I was excited to see activities like working with David Tineo to paint a mural or contributing to Tucson’s entry in the Global Art Project (GAP). Not to mention the fact that Flam Chen would be there, which is a group I knew little about, but I had heard something about fire-dancing and giant balloons.

    The first booth I stopped at was for the GAP. A nice lady gave me cloth circles with a yarn border to draw on. At the end of the day, everyone’s cloth circles would be added to a large cloth with a saguaro on it – the cloth would be Tucson’s official project for peace. The GAP matches people internationally and trades artistic works from around the world. This year’s exchange asks people to donate $15 by Feb. 29, and then they are matched with another person or group. You must “”create a work of art expressing your vision of global peace,”” according to the brochure, and you will hopefully be able to display your piece before mailing it to the GAP. By the end of April, the GAP will “”organize a worldwide exchange … around the world visions of global unity will travel from one person to another, visions of peace simultaneously encircling the earth.””

    I was unsure what to draw, but after trying to make the markers work by dabbing them on my cloth, I had a lot of polka dots and decided they looked like chicken pox. My idea of global unity would be having a vaccine against anything bad, so I drew a syringe trying to wipe out the chicken pox. I also drew a male symbol and female symbol united, and then I moved on to making up stories about children that I don’t have.

    At the booth for the Tucson Waldorf School, I said that I had two children – one was three and one was five – and asked about the educational benefits of the Waldorf system. Apparently the school will teach children the basics – math, history and science – but also how to play the recorder (which they had at my public elementary school) and how to knit. I was invited to an open house for parents only, but I’ll have to ask my little Ezekiel and Tamara how they feel about the school before we make any big decisions.

    A giant crowd then materialized and I realized that all this time we had been missing the start of the parade: Luckily, the parade traveled throughout the festival and I was able to catch the most exciting event, Flam Chen’s silk dancer!

    She was level with the top of the Tucson Convention Center building, floating by almost 10 giant helium-filled balloons. Cords connected the balloons to two men on the ground, who would lower and raise them, and wrapped in the cord, doing amazing acrobatics in the air, was the Flam Chen silk dancer. This girl would wrap herself up and then fall down, twisting out of the cord and catching herself at the last moment. She gracefully performed tricks for more than 30 minutes, amazing the crowd.

    Among the many spectators was a concerned little girl sitting on her father’s shoulders screaming, “”She’s going to fall!””

    While those were the highlights of the festival, I walked away with an Etch A Sketch keychain, an egg shaker, a tambourine and pens. I was able to admire all of the creative people of Tucson, some of them floating above the crowd, and it definitely reinstated my love for my hometown, the nurturer of artistic capacities.

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