The Art of Fearlessness event

Offered to the mid-Michigan community, May 16-20, 2017

Fellowship of Quakers in the Arts logo

There is a lot of fear in our society, some for good reasons and some manufactured to control and dominate others. The Red Cedar Friends Meeting in Lansing called the community together to stand up in courage, using artistic expression to strengthen one another. This week was held in conjunction with the national Fellowship of Quakers in the Arts, from May 16-20, 2017.

“Some seem intent on changing the very fabric of our nation by fomenting division based upon fear of our fellow human beings. Through The Art of Fearlessness Project, both audiences and artists explore the synergy of the arts and spirituality” as they address critical questions:

  • What would you do if you were NOT afraid?
  • How do we stand up for fearlessness in this era of terror and oppression? How to remain safe but not be suppressed?
  • Who are some of the role models we can get inspiration and learn from about fearlessness?
  • What can you do TODAY that is fearless for you?

Visitors came to the Red Cedar Friends Meetinghouse (1400 Turner St., Lansing) from 3-7 p.m. from Tuesday through Friday to view the art that Friends exhibited. Then, on Saturday evening, May 20, we presented music, poetry, and a readers’ theater. Admission was free.

Enjoy photos and a catalogue of our exhibits and program below.

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The Gallery

Liz Warren, mixed media/collage boxes

  • Box of Worries
  • Simple

Roni Sionakides, needle-artscapes

  • The Little Hill
  • Showing Off
  • Untitled

Red Cedar First Day Schoolers

  • Testimonies Quilt, a work-in-progress guided by Victoria Hoelzer-Maddox,

Linda Chadderon & Cathy Clifford

  • Facing Fears (mixed media interpretation by Sandra L C Cade)

Joann Neuroth, free-form quilts from the collection This a Mystic Knows Experimentally

  • Wonder
  • Emptiness
  • Transformation

Judith Morrigan

  • Kali, manipulated photo of the Goddess Within

Sally Lloyd

  • (Climbing) Out of the Depths, Ceramic and text exploration of recovery from domestic abuse

Melinda Haus

  • I Deserve and It Begins with a Dream, mixed media/collage boxes

Sandra L C Cade

  • Mind, Body, & Spirit, mixed media & paper art

And other artists

For Art of Fearlessness visitors

  • Boxing Up Fear Creation Station

Performance Art

 Inspiration, Celebration, and Empowerment

  • Songs for a Peaceful World ~ Jeanne Donado & Rachel Alexander, guitar and cello
  • Shards of Fear: Poetry ~ Pat Grauer
  • Winter Trees, by Sylvia Plath ~ Jennifer LeRoy
  • Remembering my Aunt and Current Writings ~ Nadine Thompson, poet
  • Before the Revolution ~ April Allison
  • Come in from the Rain, by Melissa Manchester, and
    Dream Again, original composition ~ Christopher Peters, piano

Readers Theatre ~ ‘Manifesto for Another World: Voices from Beyond the Dark’

 Cast & Crew

  • Man……….Mark J. Mathews
  • 1st Voice………………Peter Wood
  • 2nd Voice………Sally Lloyd
  • 3rd Voice…………James Drummond
  • 4th Voice………Jennifer LeRoy
  • 5th Voice……….Christopher Peters
  • 6th Voice………Nadine Thompson
  • 7th Voice………….Maurice Barone
  • 8th Voice………Karen Hooker
  • Director……Sandra L C Cade

Comments by Peter Wood (Voice #1)

The play you are about to see, first performed in 2000 at the Kennedy Center in New York, arose from a book. That book, Speak Truth to Power, chronicled the words of activists around the world, largely unknown people who had resisted violence and greed, who had stood for something. You will hear tonight some of what they stood for, and what they struggled against. You will hear their words.

Most of these people are likely unknown to you. Their words, however, speak to the best in us, that most precious part which says, “I cannot know what I know and do nothing.”

The play is written almost like music, and the author likens it to an oratorio.  You hear solos and choruses, painfully sung arias that gradually weave into themes of courage and weariness, passion confronting indifference.

In his prologue, the playwright, Ariel Dorfman, writes, “The people given a voice here believe, as I believe, that silence taints you, that to see injustice and to say nothing is to become, in a strange and grievous way, an accomplice.  They believe, as I believe, that if we know what is happening to our fellows in the dark, we will, we should, we must, react. That it matters that no one can say, I did not know, I did not care, I did nothing.”

We live in the same challenging world as that of the voices in this play, and we are challenged just as they were.

Comments by Sally Lloyd (Voice #4)

The expression used in the title of the book from which this play is drawn, Speak Truth to Power, originated in a charge given to Eighteenth Century Friends, suggesting that the impulse, the leading, to do so comes from the deepest insight of the Quaker faith. Out of this connection to the roots of our faith, Red Cedar Friends Meeting is presenting the play in that context.