Healing for Haiti

Article Published: Feb. 18, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Healing for Haiti

From left, Orchesis members Meredith Casper and Sarah Evans, Elkland Art Center artist Lexie Danner, and Karma Krew members Holly Whitesides and Renee Williams are organizing the Healing for Haiti benefit Feb. 20 at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Boone.

Photo by Frank Ruggiero

Through the healing arts, several like-minded groups are sending positive energy - and relief - to earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

Orchesis Expressive Arts Honor Society, Boone's Karma Krew and Elkland Art Center of Todd, along with the Afrolachian Drum and Dance Troupe, are hosting a community silent auction and healing arts workshops to benefit area nonprofit Wine to Water's Haiti relief efforts on Saturday, Feb. 20, at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Boone.

"Everyone wanted to do something, so it made sense to do something big together," said Meredith Casper, Orchesis member and expressive artist.

Each organization is contributing its unique services to the event. For instance, Orchesis, an Appalachian State University-based organization, is offering hands-on expressive arts experiences, such as bookmaking, mandala art and creative movement.

Expressive arts take an intermodal approach, Casper said, encompassing nearly any subject medium - nature, painting, movement, music. "Its emphasis is on the process, not the product," she said.

Karma Krew, a nonprofit organization that seeks to explore yoga through community service, will naturally offer yoga workshops.

"It just seems appropriate in this context to offer yoga," Krew member Holly Whitesides said.
In the practice of karmic yoga, people think about world happenings as mirrors of their own experiences, she said, adding, "As we explore the context of our own lives ... it's almost like an energetic offering."

Elkland Art Center, a nonprofit organization specializing in community building through creativity, is furnishing costumes and props for the event's musical segment of Haitian music and improvisational dance, courtesy of Shawn Roberts of the Afrolachian Drum and Dance Troupe.
"I think we're just finding that there are so many amazing and likeminded organizations in the community," Casper said.

She finds this most encouraging, and hopes community members will respond in a similar manner. The business community has already responded in volumes, she said, donating items for the silent auction.

The auction lineup includes pottery from Jeff Martin Ceramics and Doe Ridge Pottery, earrings from Lucky Penny, a tapestry from Indo, a snowboarding helmet with earphones from Steve Hogan of Burton, and snacks and refreshments from Earth Fare, along with other items from Green Mother Goods, Mast General Store, Footsloggers, Gladiola Girls, beansTalk and Espresso News.

Community members have also contributed to the auction, including ASU pottery teacher Maggie Black and Jenny Thomas, who's contributed handmade wooden jewelry and hand-stitched winter hats.

"We have some incredible stuff, so it's like shopping for a good cause," Karma Krew member Renee Williams said, adding that donations for the auction will be accepted up to the last minute.
"And then you get to move and dance and play with other people," Elkland Art Center artist Lexie Danner said.

The silent auction runs through the duration of the event, from 1 to 5 p.m. From 1 to 4 p.m., participants can choose three 45-minute consecutive workshops in healing arts, including yoga, bookmaking, world music, paper lotus flowers, drumming, dance, meditation, mandalas, votive candles and authentic movement. And for young participants, Green Mother Goods will host a children's segment.

"It's an opportunity for a lot of people who haven't experienced expressive arts to do so," Orchesis member Sarah Evans said. "Just come in with an open mind."

From 4 to 5 p.m., Roberts and Afrolachian host the closing ceremony with Haitian music and improvisational dance, followed by the announcement of silent auction winners.

Advanced tickets cost $15 and are available online at http://www.healforhaiti.blogspot.com. Tickets cost $20 at the door, and children's admission costs $5. Those only attending the silent auction and Haitian closing ceremony will be admitted for $5.

Yoga mats and all materials will be provided, and Whitesides suggests participants dress in comfortable clothing for movement and art making. No experience is necessary, she added.
To donate to the silent auction, contact Williams at (reneepanter@hotmail.com) For more information, visit http://www.healforhaiti.blogspot.com.

St. Luke's Episcopal Church is located at 170 Councill St., just behind Earth Fare.

"I pretty much guarantee that you'll walk out of there feeling good," Casper said.

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