Despite the many social and political differences experienced in our community, the spirit of peace is still alive and well in Bermuda.
Some 250 children taking part in the Kaleidoscope Art Foundation’s (KAF) educational programmes have been interpreting the meaning of peace as part of an upcoming fundraising exhibition in conjunction with the third annual John Lennon Peace Day Concert.
Paint for Peace is one of three events taking place in September to celebrate International Peace Week.
As well as the exhibition on September 18, there will be the third annual John Lennon Peace Day Concert at the Botanical Gardens on September 19 and the first annual fancy dress Peace Day Run on September 21 all run through arts charity Ride The Wave.
Tony Brannon of Ride the Wave weekend of events said he hoped they would attract visitors to the island.
“We are expanding what peace weekend is about in Bermuda this year. The Bermuda Tourism Authority has been in support of Peace Week — they want to see that people are attracted to Bermuda. How can we get people to come to Bermuda?
“If you have a weekend which is more involved — you have art, music, and sports — and you get a hotel involved which Fairmont are doing — visitors can get to partake in other things rather than just coming and sitting on the beach.”
Paint for Peace will see the students create 250 works of art that will go on sale at the Bermuda Society of Arts on September 18, raising funds that will go directly back into their art education via Kaleidoscope.
Brannon first connected with Fiona Rodriguez-Roberts, an educator at Kaleidoscope, telling her about the idea of Peace One Day by activist Jeremy Gilley. Gilley inspired thousands of people around the world to celebrate Peace Week through various events such as football matches, road races, concerts, film showings and art exhibitions. From there, the idea of Paint for Peace was born.
Rodriguez-Roberts said: “Peace One Day is an amazing concept and not enough people on the island know about it. We have a lot of issues within our communities and families and the best way to make change is through children. Get them on board with anything and they start going home talking about it, doing it, and you can start seeing a change in the cycle.
“Our teachers are putting in work and we’ve put out a call to island artists to see if they will contribute something. It is a fundraiser – some things will be auctioned off and all the art is for sale. All of the money goes back to the Creative Bursary Programme (KAF) for children who can’t afford to come into art.”
Peace One Day also provides a free online curriculum which KAF aims to implement as of September. The intention is to hold more peace-related exhibitions in years to come.
Work is being accepted for submission up until September 1. Belco has sponsored part of the event, though organizers are looking for further support to cover the costs.