Hugh Masekela, the legendary South African jazz musician, leading international voice against Apartheid, and our beloved collaborator, has died at 78 after a protracted battle with prostate cancer.
Following his passing Tuesday morning, Hugh’s family released this statement: “A loving father, brother, grandfather and friend, our hearts beat with profound loss. Hugh’s global and activist contribution to and participation in the areas of music, theatre and the arts in general is contained in the minds and memory of millions across six continents. We are blessed and grateful to be part of a life and ever-expanding legacy of love. Rest in power, beloved. You are forever in our hearts.”
We were profoundly blessed to work with Hugh on our production of “Truth in Translation.” His composition of the score amplified the sounds of a nation which uses music as its language of survival and celebration. I’ve never met a greater reconciler – a man who could fuse opposing forces, who could sculpt a score to reveal the humanity of a cast, who could craft beautiful harmonies out of discord and pain. More powerful a testament than my words is his music itself. We remember a particular night in Edinburgh, while on tour with “Truth in Translation.” In an improvised concert, Hugh took the stage with the cast and moved the entire audience to their feet. We were lucky enough to capture some of it on film here.
Thank you, Hugh Masekela. You gave us courage when we needed it most, and we are eternally grateful that you leave behind your music to inspire many more fights for freedom.
–Michael Lessac, Artistic Director, and the Global Arts Corps Team
Global Arts Corps is honored to be featured in an article in the latest issue of The UNESCO Courier, entitled “Breaking the Cycle of Vengeance,” by Rwandan journalist Marie Angélique Ingabire.
To access the full issue through UNESCO’s website, please click here.
Thank you all for your continued support,
— The Global Arts Corps Team
Global Arts Corps is thrilled to announce that our documentary A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake is now available for purchase through the film’s educational distributor, Documentary Educational Resources (DER).
A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake is our award-winning documentary that follows a diverse group of South African actors as they tour global war-torn regions to share their country’s experience with reconciliation. As they ignite a dialogue among people with raw memories of atrocity, the actors find they must confront once again their homeland’s complicated and violent past and question their own capacity for healing and forgiveness.
Through DER, the film is available to pre-order on DVD for individuals, educators, K-12 schools, universities, nonprofits, and other institutions. If you or anyone you know is interested in obtaining a copy of the film, you can click here to place your order. Questions and purchase orders can also be sent to email@example.com. We’re proud of the impact this film has made in screenings and festivals, and are very pleased that it’s now accessible to individuals, educators, and organizations here in the US and abroad.
Please stay tuned for additional updates in the coming weeks, including the release of an article on Global Arts Corps in the UNESCO Courier.
We’re writing to share an article about Global Arts Corps in the Huffington Post, written by one of our Board members, Arlene Lear.
Arlene has spent the last 35+ years working in international development–the majority of them with Counterpart International–with a focus on building institutional and leadership infrastructure in Eurasia, Southeast Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. In the Huffington Post article, Arlene discusses her passion for supporting our work and shares a collection of photos and stories from the recent tour of our Cambodian production, See You Yesterday, to Rwanda.
“Led by its Artistic Director, Michael Lessac, the Corps replays and rehearses conflict and reconciliation on stage by giving equal value to the painful memories and lingering fears felt by both victims and perpetrators – unveiling the humanity in each side to provoke mutual empathy and make consideration of reconciliation even possible. What is unique about the Corps’ methodology is that all productions are co-created by its actors who themselves have lived through the results of the conflict being portrayed.
The Corps’ productions have universal appeal as they touch the hearts and minds of audiences daring to examine what it means to be human facing the loss of loved ones, home and identity. Musical elements of the production further stir emotions and reflection about one’s own buried, or not so buried, prejudices and empathy deficits.”
To read the full article, please visit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/58b07ec8e4b0658fc20f949d
Thank you all for your continued support,
— The Global Arts Corps Team
As we begin a new year, we would like to share the quote below with all of you, our friends and donors, from an article written by a drama teacher who witnessed our rehearsals and performances with our Cambodian cast in Phnom Penh.
Thank you for making this work possible over the past twelve months. We ask that you support us again in 2017 by making a tax-deductible donation through our website, or by mailing a check to Global Arts Corps at 790 Riverside Dr. #6P, New York, NY 10032.
“On the floor of the black box there are some 20 actors working together forming the play that is: See You Yesterday, they are all from various parts of the country, with more or less unfortunate backgrounds. They work their way through the memories; there is absolute silence, outbursts of laughter and sometimes someone who breaks down crying. The stage is void of props and furniture, the set is their bodies and with intense physical theatre a story with hardly any words is taking form, it is so clear that I find myself completely immersed to the point that I lose my breath.
Together they tell a story of a genocide they didn’t live through, but that they live with everyday, a story of silence and suppressed emotions. Horrible acts of cruelty that shaped the society for generations to come.”
— Sita Ljungholm Verma, Plays to See
To read the rest of the article, please visit: http://playstosee.com/see-you-yesterday/?platform=hootsuite
Wishing you all a peaceful and courageous New Year,
The Global Arts Corps Team
Global Arts Corps is thrilled to announce two upcoming World Preview performances of our Cambodian production, See You Yesterday (formerly known as REBOUND), in Phnom Penh on March 11th & 12th.
Jointly presented by Global Arts Corps and Cambodian Living Arts, the two performances will take place at the International School of Phnom Penh Black Box Theater. The event details are as follows:
See You Yesterday – Two World Preview Performances:
A Global Arts Corps Production
Produced in partnership with Phare Performing Social Enterprise and Phare Ponleu Selpak Association
Friday, March 11th, 7pm Saturday, March 12th, 6pm
International School of Phnom Penh (ISPP) Black Box
Hun Neang Blvd, Phnom Penh, Cambodia (click here for directions)
For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact Line Producer Amrita Performing Arts at +855 (0)77 945 015 / +855 (0)77 986.
In preparation for these two performances, Global Arts Corps’ team is currently in the midst of our final 10 days of rehearsals with our young Cambodian cast. An award- winning composer and lighting designer, both from New York, have joined us in Phnom Penh and we are all working along with a local costume designer to add final production elements to the piece.
These two preview performances bring Global Arts Corps together in close collaboration with several of the most significant Cambodian arts organizations–Cambodian Living Arts, Amrita Performing Arts, Phare Ponleu Selpak Association, and Phare Performing Social Enterprise–and will allow our cast to perform before an international audience deeply invested in the subject matter of the production they have created.
Please stay tuned for more updates as we approach the performances.
As many of you know, we have just returned from nine weeks in Cambodia, teaching and collaborating with one of most exciting group of performing artists our directing team has ever experienced in our combined years. When these young circus performers present their exploration into their past on stage, they will be sharing their creative memory with young people around the world struggling to come to terms with their own violent histories.
2016 looks to be full of significant opportunities for Global Arts Corps and these young performers:
- The project has been chosen, out of thousands of applicants, to be one of 10 presented to an audience of over 400 performing arts presenters from 40 countries at this year’s annual ISPA conference in New York City in January.
- Already a 2017 American tour of the production is being planned, with confirmed interest from over 10 presenters across the United States. It seems likely that an international tour will follow;
- We have been invited to premiere the Cambodian production in Rwanda and South Africa (funding pending), exactly ten years after Truth in Translation premiered in Kigali in 2006, and 20 years after the establishment of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission;
- We will be working with a Grammy and Academy award-nominated composer and music engineer, Michael Jay, to create the production’s score, as well as premiere lighting and sound designers from NYC;
We have shot an extraordinary new segment of film capturing the drama, the excitement and occasional sadness that has gone into the creation of this piece along with the personal stories, aspirations, memories, fears and hopes of the actors involved. With the trip to Rwanda and South Africa, the first installment of that film will be completed. With the American tour, a second film will follow their journey as they share their stories with youth around the world.
We would of course not be at this point without the sustained support of all of you–our friends, donors, and colleagues–and cannot hope to achieve all we have set out for 2016 without your contributions.
We ask that you please consider supporting this project and our plans for the new year by making a tax-deductible donation to Global Arts Corps at http://globalartscorps.org/home/donate/ and by helping us spread the word about this project to other potential friends and supporters who might be in position to join us.
Thank you all for your continued interest in our work, and we wish you a happy and healthy new year,
All of us at Global Arts Corps