STORIES OF COURAGE
Stories of Courage: Beyond the Lens - Artists Sharing Stories
JANUARY 19th, 2020 :: HISTORY COLORADO CENTER, DENVER, COLORADO
Stories of Courage: Beyond the Lens—Artists Sharing Stories invited local Colorado artists and community leaders to find inspiration in the stories of the Portraits of Courage veterans, as well as to share their own personal stories of courage. The evening began with an Aztec blessing of the land by musician and composer, Asia Fajardo-Diamond. Soprano Margaret Ozaki Graves reflected upon the portrait and story of Hawaii veteran Tom Yamada with a traditional Japanese poem and song, singer-songwriter Adam Estacio paid tribute to local veteran and fellow East H.S. alumnus, Sam Terasaki, with a rendition of Bruce Springstein’s ‘No Surrender’.
African drummer Fatu Henderson lead the group in a drum spiral workshop and shared her own person story of courage - followed by moving stories from visual artist and community leader Stephanie Tanny, Asian Pacific Development Center (APDC) Executive Director Harry Budisidharta and Vietnam refugee and immigrant Ivy Ha. The evening’s program concluded with a reflection statement from artist Jamie Laurie (also known as Jonny 5 from the Flobots), accompanied by Courtney Ozaki on the Japanese taiko drum.
Participants learned about local organizations working to support the communities in which we live throughout the evening. Partnership Specialist Joie Ha shared a presentation about the importance of U.S. Census participation. A preview of the upcoming production Peace on Your Wings was presented by Clarynne Blanchard. This original musical tells the story of Sadako Sasaki, a 12-year old girl who died from leukemia resulting from radiation caused by the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, and was inspired by the book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. Representatives from the APDC, the National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association, Next Gen JA, and Tsuru for Solidarity, shared educational information and provided audience members with the opportunity to engage in activities designed around community solidarity.
Photographer Glenn Asakawa and ‘Building Bridges’ artist Eriko Tsogo encouraged everyone to share their own stories of courage through interactive installations in the Atrium of History Colorado.