February 23, 2015
Intercultural Journeys Announces Concert with Newly Formed Liberian Women's Chorus for Change
March 6, 2015 at International House
Philadelphia, PA -
Intercultural Journeys is pleased to announce the fourth concert of its 2014/15 Songs for Peace concert season with the newly formed, community-based ensemble the Liberian Women's Chorus for Change. This concert will take place in the theater at International House Philadelphia on March 6, 2015 at 7:30pm and is a registered event in recognition of International Women’s Day, which is celebrated annually on March 8. International Women’s Day has been celebrated across the world, and with varying political and social themes. It has been observed amongst western nations since 1977, when the United Nations proclaimed it a day to recognize women’s rights and world peace. The theme for International Women’s Day this year is “Make It Happen.” This concert is performed with generous support from Alice L. George.
The Liberian Women’s Chorus for Change is made up of four Liberian vocalists, all of whom settled in the U.S. after fleeing the horrific civil wars that plagued Liberia on and off from 1989 to 2003. The members of the Chorus are: Fatu Gayflor (leader), Marie Nyenabo, Zaye Tete, and Tokay Tomah. The women sing for peace, social justice, and are empowered to illuminate the struggles facing women in the greater Philadelphia Liberian community. Each woman represents a different ethnic group in Liberia and they were all prominent musicians and singers in their home country.
The women came together in 2012 through the Philadelphia Folklore Project, through the support of the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage. They have performed in numerous locations, including special performances for the Liberian community and at City Hall for the opening of Dilworth Park in fall of 2014. The Chorus will perform traditional Liberian folk songs and new repertoire with live drum accompaniment. Alex Shaw, IJ Curator had this to say of Chorus’ part in the concert series, “We are proud to bring the Liberian Women’s Chorus for Change into the Songs for Peace concert season to share their powerful voices and stories with a broader regional audience seeking to connect on a deeper level. The strife and heart-breaking conflict of the civil wars has shaped and influenced them as both artists and active citizens. With this concert, we are pleased to shed light on the on-going struggle for women’s equality across the globe and in our own communities.”
In keeping with the Intercultural Journeys mission, the members of the Chorus will also perform a community engagement event tied to their concert. The ladies will perform for a special school assembly at KIPP Philadelphia Elementary Academy. They will present a special concert for the entire KIPP student body and facilitate a dialogue on gender equality and Liberian culture.
The performance will take place on March 6 at the Ibrahim Theater in International House Philadelphia. Tickets are $15 for the general public. Discounts are available for members of International House. Student tickets are $8 with a valid ID. Tickets are sold through International House Philadelphia and may be purchased online at www.ihousephilly.org/IJ or by calling the International House Philadelphia box office at 215.387.5125, then press menu option 2.
About the Liberian Women's Chorus for Change
The newly-formed Liberian Women's Chorus for Change is composed of a core group of renowned singers and dancers from Liberia: Fatu Gayflor, Marie Nyenabo, Zaye Tete, and Tokay Tomah. These women have joined together to create music intended to name and lament the injustice of domestic violence, to encourage women to make their voices heard, and to pave possible ways forward. All award-winning vocalists, the musicians are using the power of their traditional songs as an inspirational call to action on pressing issues facing local Liberian and other African immigrant communities. The Chorus is an experimental Philadelphia Folklore Project initiative. It will bring artists, community members, scholars, social service and cultural workers and activists of several generations together over the course of a year to consider how best to foster change through the respectful, innovative combining of folk and traditional arts with social justice activism. The Chorus members are singers, dancers and songwriters who lost their children to war, and asked soldiers, though music, to lay down their weapons. All are now residents of the Philadelphia area.
About KIPP Philadelphia Elementary Academy
The mission of KIPP is to create a respected, influential, and national network of public schools that are successful in helping students from educationally under-served communities develop the knowledge, skills, character and habits needed to succeed in college and the competitive world beyond. Our vision is that, one day, all public schools will help children develop the knowledge, skills, character, and habits necessary to achieve their dreams while making the world a better place.
The KIPP Philadelphia Elementary Academy was founded in 2010 and serves grades K through 4. The school is located in the Allegheny West neighborhood of Philadelphia (2409 West Westmoreland Street, Philadelphia, PA 19140).
About Intercultural Journeys
Intercultural Journeys seeks to promote understanding in pursuit of peace amongst people of diverse faiths and cultures through dialogue and the presentation of world-class performances in music, dance, the spoken word, and other art forms. We believe that performances, done for the purpose of bringing people together that might otherwise be in conflict, give us the opportunity to play a small part in contributing to world peace.
We fulfill our mission by transforming the traditional concert series into a new model that pairs performances featuring world-class artists with a special engagement project that takes those same artists into a specific and often underserved community. We believe that education is the cornerstone of our mission. Our educational residency program, Dialogues in Music, is aimed at promoting tolerance, respect, and mutual cultural understanding in the city’s youth.
Intercultural Journeys was first founded in 2002 by Philadelphia Orchestra cellist Udi Bar-David, philanthropist Carole Haas Gravagno, Majid Alsayegh, and Sheldon L. Thompson. Together they saw the role that music could play in beginning a dialogue between people that might not otherwise speak to each other. Since then, Intercultural Journeys has held over 160 concerts, partnering with a diverse roster of both local and international artists, in the Greater Philadelphia area, across the United States, and abroad, in countries such as China, Spain, Italy, and Israel.
Intercultural Journeys presents the Liberian Women's Chorus for Change
March 6, 2015, 7:30pm
Fatu Gayflor / vocals
Marie Nyenabo / vocals
Zaye Tete / vocals
Tokay Tomah / vocals
All tickets $15 General Admission/ $10 International House Philadelphia members/ $8 Students
International House Philadelphia’s Ibrahim Theater
3701 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Public Contact Information:
Online Sales: ihousephilly.org/IJ
Phone: 215. 387. 5125 (menu option 2)
Contact: Patrick DiGiacomo, Box Office Supervisor and Membership Manager, 215. 387. 2235 or firstname.lastname@example.org