Peace in Boone

By Jesse Campbell (jesse.campbell@mountaintimes.com)



Article Published: Aug. 28, 2013 | Modified: Sep. 23, 2013
Peace in Boone

The Mountain Peacemakers' International Day of Peace festivities will culminate with the popular peace parade through downtown Boone Sept. 21.

Photo by Frank Ruggiero



Facts

Schedule of Events

September – “Visions of Peace” Juried Art Exhibition at the Jones House Cultural and Community Center
Sept. 6 – 5 to 8 p.m.: “Visions of Peace” Art Exhibit Opening Reception at the Jones House
Sept. 17 – Noon to 1 p.m.: Lunch and Learn at the Jones House, Suzi Woodard: Creating Moments of Peace
Sept. 18 – Noon to 1 p.m.: Tommy Brown’s Boone: Being/Becoming a Community of Peace – A Conversation
Sept. 19 – Noon to 1 p.m.: Charlotte Ross: Storytelling and Change
Sept. 20 – Noon to 1 p.m.: Rabeetah Hasnain: Peace by Piece, Being a Muslim-American
Sept. 21 – 11 a.m.: Watauga County Library lawn yoga with Vicki Rodriguez
Noon: Global Moment of Silence on the Watauga library lawn
1 to 4 p.m.: Turchin Center Family Day, Parade with Elkland Art Center and music by Rural Academy Theater
Sept. 22 – 2 p.m.: “Voices of Peace” Concert: Rosen Concert Hall

With international tensions rising — particularly in the Middle East, with government transitions in Egypt, civil unrest in Syria and the prospect of American intervention looming — promoting peace and harmony has never been more important.

Finding inner peace and incorporating it into one’s daily life has become a rallying point for organizers of the International Day of Peace in the High Country.

To coincide with the IDP on Sept. 21, the Mountain Peacemakers have prepared a month’s worth of festivities to focus on peace in intrapersonal affairs, community and the greater world.

“Mountain Peacemakers is a group that formed in 2006 to bring awareness to the Day of Peace in Watauga County,” organizer Lexie Danner said. “Since that time, we have focused on the arts as a way to bring people together in a peaceful way and to learn how to have more peace in their lives.”

In past years, the Peacemakers have held teachings, candlelight vigils, concerts and street festivals in the name of peace and tranquility.

Since emerging as a champion of peace in the High Country, the Peacemakers have been successful in expanding the IDP into a month-long celebration.

“We are trying to get the word out and like to involve more groups or people,” Danner said on how the IDP has taken off locally.

This year, the group has planned special teachings and a month-long art exhibit at the Jones House Community Center in downtown Boone.

“We’ve never had a presence like that for an entire month of artwork before,” Danner said. “The exhibit is for anyone who has a vision of art they want to share with the community. We have all levels of skills. The children’s art exhibit will be upstairs, with the adult exhibit being downstairs.”

The IDP in the High Country culminates with a parade from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21. The event is coordinated through the Elkland Art Center, with music by the Rural Academy Theater.
Danner said the props for the parade are provided through a grant.

“One of the events that has been very successful is the afternoon parade,” Danner said. “We started with only 30 people, but now have nearly 100. The props are very colorful and celebratory.”

A “Voices of Peace” concert, directed by Billy Ralph Winkler, will be held at 2 p.m. Sept. 22 at Appalachian State University’s Rosen Concert Hall. The event is sponsored by ASU’s Center for Judaic, Holocaust and Peace Studies.

In addition, Danner said various teachings will be held throughout the county in September that focus on community, intrapersonal and global peace.

For example, attendees at Suzi Woodard’s “Creating Moments of Peace” class will enjoy techniques on achieving inner peace through exercise, Danner said.

For more information on the International Day of Peace or how to get involved, contact Lexie Danner at (828) 964-5627. For more information on the Mountain Peacemakers, visit http://www.mountainpeacemakers.org.



About the International Day of Peace

According to http://www.internationaldayofpeace.org, “The International Day of Peace, a.k.a. ‘Peace Day,’ provides an opportunity for individuals, organizations and nations to create practical acts of peace on a shared date.”

In 1981, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted Resolution 36/67, which established the International Day of Peace. According to the resolution, the day would encourage people “…to devote a specific time to concentrate the efforts of the United Nations and its Member States, as well as the whole of mankind, to promoting the ideals of peace and to giving positive evidence of their commitment to peace in all viable ways.”

The first Peace Day was celebrated in September 1982, and the Mountain Peacemakers are one of many organizations that continue to celebrate today. The local group is a citizen-based, independent organization of community members interested in peace.

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