65th Anniversary of Hiroshima Bombing: Young Americans Invited to Promote Peace

September 14, 2010, HIROSHIMA, Japan (Calcutta Tube): Young business men and women from the Junior Chamber of Commerce in Hiroshima, Japan, understand the importance of teaching the next generation about peace. To help commemorate the 65th Anniversary of the Hiroshima bombings, the JC of Hiroshima invited The Young Americans, a California based non-profit performance group, to participate in a ‘Peace Celebration’ by bringing their International Music Outreach Workshops to hundreds of young students in Hiroshima, September 2nd – 4th. The Young Americans taught three days of music, dance and performance workshops that inspired teamwork, self-growth and respect among these young students. The Young Americans is a non-profit 501(c)-3 performing and music advocacy group with no political or religious affiliations. The group was founded in 1962 by Milton C. Anderson who still serves as CEO. In 2010 The Young Americans staged over 200 performances/workshops in 120 cities, across 11 countries and 4 continents. They’ve worked with more than 300,000 young people in public and private schools, (including youth detention centers and prisons) and performed for millions of audience members worldwide. More information about The Young Americans can be found on their website www.youngamericans.or

Bill Brawley, Artistic Director of The Young Americans called this event a ‘Full Circle’ moment for everyone involved. “Imagine 50 young Americans who show up with open hearts and open hands, ready to work with these kids to promote peace, using music as the tool. You look up on the stage of this beautiful theater (which ironically stands across the street from the exact spot where the atomic bomb was dropped), and see them teaching, singing and performing together in harmony,” comments Brawley. “Knowing the history, it’s hard to describe what it feels like to be a part of that moment.”

In the days prior to the music workshops, the young students from Hiroshima participated in history classes sponsored by the JC of Hiroshima that encouraged them to be examples of peace among their peers. Cast members from The Young Americans also experienced a memorable history lesson as they toured the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum with members of the JC of Hiroshima and then listened to personal stories of victims that survived the atomic bomb 65 years ago.

The three days of music workshops that followed, culminated the night of Sep 4th with a spectacular two-hour show performed by the kids and The Young Americans, in front of 1000+ community members including, business men, governors, lawmakers and families. Smiles and laughter filled the air. Azusa Saito, an audience member and mother of a child taking the workshops claimed it was, “The most powerful performance I’ve ever seen.”

“The Young Americans were so honored to be a part of the events at Hiroshima this year,” said Don Strom Director of Operations for The Young Americans. “This experience was a historical moment our organization will remember forever.”

Web Site: http://www.youngamericans.org/

Hiroshima Mon Amour – Criterion Collection

An extraordinary and deeply moving film that retains much of its power since its original release in 1959, Alain Resnais’s Hiroshima, Mon Amour is the story of a French woman (Emmanuelle Riva) and a Japanese man (Eiji Okada) who become lovers in the city of Hiroshima, where  the U.S. dropped a nuclear bomb to end World War II in the Pacific. Written by Marguerite Duras and juggled, as if by wandering thoughts, in chronology and setting by Resnais, the film reveals the miserable and mortifying experiences of each character during the war and suggests the obvious healing properties of their relationship in the present. An emotional allusion or two can certainly be made with the more recent The English Patient, but nothing can quite prepare one for Resnais’s extreme yet intuitively accessible experiments in fusing the past, present, and future into great sweeps of subjectively experienced memory. Yet audiences have never had trouble relating to this bold milestone of the French New Wave, largely because at its heart is a genuinely affecting, soulful love story. –Tom Keogh

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