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Artists depict troubled world
Thursday, June 22, 2006

'Girl At The Pump,' a photo by Isaac Majak, taken during his recent trip home to Sudan. Majak, who graduated from Belmont High School last year, will display his photos at Art Without Borders' 'Event #1' this weekend in Cambridge.
    Art Without Borders announces "Event #1," the organization's debut event, a weekend of art exhibitions, concerts and lectures. The weekend will bring together artists and musicians from Sudan and Nigeria with local artists and performers who share an inclusive view of world culture.
    "Event #1" will place at the Democracy Center, 45 Mount Auburn St., Cambridge. Dates and times are Friday, June 23 from 6-9:30 p.m., Saturday, June 24 from 1-9:30 p.m., and Sunday, June 25, 1-5 p.m.
    Keynote speaker Dr. Dan H. Fenn, founding director of the JFK Library, will address "Art in a Troubled World" at the opening reception Friday at 6 p.m. Fenn enjoyed a long career as a public servant, including in the Kennedy White House. Since retirement, he has supported civic causes around his home town of Lexington, including serving on the board of the Lexington Symphony, several local choral groups, and the Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center.
    On Saturday at 2 p.m., photographer Marika Barnett will discuss and show slides of her photography project "Beauty and Dignity in the Slums of India." At 5 p.m., poets Cammy Thomas, Kevin Bowen, Bob Clawson and Julia Lisella will read selected poems that reflect on the intersection of politics and art.
    There will also be music throughout the weekend. On Friday, June 23 at 8 p.m., jazz diva Melissa Kassel will be joined by composer and keyboardist Marc Rossi. Rossi has made a life-long study of Indian music and brings a broad cultural awareness to his music-making. As Art Without Borders' first mentor, he will also be playing and improvising on Saturday, June 24 at 3:30 p.m. with Sudanese musicians Atem Garang and William Manyok. The Sudanese musicians build their own instruments, including guitars, and are vigorous performers, dancing as well as playing their music.
    Along with the music on Saturday at 3:30 p.m., Susan Winship, director of the Sudanese Education Fund, will discuss the work of the fund, including its mentoring work with Sudanese artists. Ellen Morgan from SEF has mentored Isaac Majak, a young photographer from Sudan, starting with providing his first camera. Majak, who graduated from Belmont High School last year, will display his art in the gallery. Aduei Riak, who came to Brandeis University from Sudan after finding refuge in Ethiopia, will talk about Sudanese culture. The mentoring efforts of SEF provide a model for ARTwb's developing mentoring program.
    Saturday at 7:30 p.m. will be the final music event of the weekend. Folk/pop musician Peter Donnelly, longtime music-maker in Provincetown, and Teresa Storch, who has recently made a name for herself in New England and nationally, will perform original songs.
    Throughout the weekend, an art exhibition will showcase the work of featured artists, including paintings by Atem Alue of Kenya and Sudan, and the colorful mixed-media work of Segun Olorunfemi of Nigeria. The exhibition also features photographs by Isaac Majak and Machar Nai of Sudan and Marika Barnett's photographs of India. The exhibit is curated by Art Without Borders' founding director Sirarpi Heghinian Walzer. On Sunday, June 25 from 1-5 p.m., the exhibit will continue to be on display at the Democracy Center.
    The sale of art work during "Event #1" will benefit the artists, Sudanese Education Fund, Art Without Borders, and VSAarts of Nigeria, which conducts educational programs in Nigeria teaching traditional dance, drumming, painting and batik for children with disabilities.
    For the complete schedule, visit www.artwb.org or call 781-307-7306 for a brochure.
    ART Without Borders is concerned with artists' freedom of expression in all forms. ARTwb helps artists who have been disadvantaged, including those who have been persecuted or forced to become refugees, by providing exposure for their work and helping them develop a professional network here so they can continue to make art. It also works with partner organizations to help artists who remain in their own countries but are struggling in a climate of persecution or poverty. ARTwb members provide mentoring for disadvantaged artists to help them find opportunities in the professional art world of the United States or their native country.

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