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2011 Events

The Arts: A Medium for Peace II | A Concert for Peace: Outdoor Jazz Concert in Yerba Buena Gardens | Performances for Peace: In Collaboration with the San Francisco Theater Festival | Visual Arts Exhibit: Blue People by a Green Painter | Waiting for Giovanni | UNITED IN HEALTH: Artists, Healthcare Workers and Community | The Carnegie Hall Preview Concert | 
AfroSolo Arts Festival 18
The Arts: A Medium for Peace II
A Panel discussion in collaboration with the Commonwealth Club of California
Thursday, July 28, 2011, Reception: 5:30pm; Panel discussion: 6-7pm
Commonwealth Club of California (595 Market Street), SF)  map

Jacqueline Hairston - composer-arranger, pianist, and music educator

Brenda Wong Aoki - storyteller, performance artist, writer, and founder of First Voice
Robert Moses - choreographer and founding Artistic Director of Robert Moses' Kin
Wesley J. Watkins, IV, Ph.D. - Founder, The Jazz & Democracy Project

From the iconic peace sign to singer/songwriter John Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance" to AfroSolo Artistic Director Thomas Robert Simpson's solo performance piece There Is No Hatred Here, artists throughout the years have used art as a medium to promote peace. The Commonwealth Club joins AfroSolo Arts Festival 18 in hosting a lively panel discussion about using art to envision, promote, and celebrate peace, examining the role the arts have played in peacemaking movements of the past and present. Award-winning ASCAP composer-arranger, pianist, and music educator Jacqueline Hairston moderates this panel, featuring Brenda Wong Aoki, acclaimed storyteller, performance artist, writer, and founder of First Voice, Robert Moses, choreographer and founding Artistic Director of Robert Moses' Kin, and Wesley J. Watkins, IV, Ph.D., Founder, The Jazz & Democracy Project.

Brenda Wong Aoki
Brenda Wong Aoki is acclaimed as one of America's foremost soloists, performing the world over in venues such as the Kennedy Center, Hong Kong Performing Arts Center, and the Adelaide Festival in Australia. As a writer, performer, and recording artist, she has received numerous grants, fellowships and commissions for her original work.

Aoki creates monodramas, synthesizing Japanese Noh and Kyogen Theater, Commedia Dell'arte, modern dance and everyday experiences. Of Japanese, Chinese, Spanish and Scottish descent, her work is a synthesis of Japanese Noh and Kyogen Theater, Commedia dell'arte. She is the co-founder of First Voice.

Jacqueline Hairston
Jacqueline Hairston
Jacqueline Hairston is an educator, pianist, vocal coach, and prolific ASCAP published composer- arranger. She is considered a foremost expert on many types of music and a native of Charlotte, NC. Hairston was trained at the Juilliard School of Music, Howard University School of Music, and Columbia University. Hairston's works have been performed and recorded by internationally acclaimed singers such as Kathleen Battle. She has received numerous awards in recognition of her artistic leadership, including a Bay Area Jefferson Award and Congresswoman Barbara Lee's 2009 Congressional Recognition Achievement Award.

Robert Moses
Robert Moses
Robert Moses founded the dance company Robert Moses' Kin in 1995. He is internationally renowned for his choreography in creating works in varying genres, exploring topics ranging from oral traditions in African American culture, to the dilemmas of parentage and identity. His choreography for film, theater and opera has been seen around the world.

Moses is also the Artistic Director of the Committee on Black Performing Arts at Stanford University since 2005, and teaches on campuses and at festivals around the globe, most recently in the United Kingdom.

Wesley Watkins
Wesley J. Watkins, IV, Ph.D.
Wesley J. Watkins, IV, Ph.D. is the founder of The Jazz & Democracy Project®. The Jazz & Democracy Project® (J&D) uses jazz as a metaphor to bring American democracy to life, enrich the study of U.S. History in elementary, middle, and high school, and inspire youth to become active, positive contributors to their community. Students explore the importance of Listening, Critical Thinking, Voice, Choice, Preparation, Participation, Cooperation, Peaceful Negotiation, and America's Classical Music . . . Jazz!

Jazz & Democracy Project Dr. Watkins first developed his curriculum at Stanford University. His continued research at Oxford University and beyond, working with music educators at both elementary schools and institutions like Eaton College, eventually earned Watkins a Ph.D. He then brought this program home, working at the district, school, and classroom levels in the East Bay.

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