The big news this month is of Red Room’s First Annual Fundraiser.
We named it “Stone Soup”.
The story of Stone Soup has its roots in European folklore. The details vary from country to country but in each version, a hungry traveler approaches an impoverished village. The townspeople are not receptive to the stranger. They hide from him, locking their windows and doors or they hide their food and claim to have none to spare. With a bit of finesse, he tempts them to contribute what they can to the simmering cook-pot and the result is a delectable soup. The message: Through sharing, we are all made richer.
The concept of Stone Soup has been a model for the Red Room since its beginning: If each one of us brings a little something to share, rich nourishment will evolve. This metaphor extends from a literal soup to the metaphor of the enrichment we feel in the presence of art-in-the-making.
And so, our First Annual Fundraiser evening began with the telling of the folktale as adapted to Radio Drama by Red Room Radio Redux. The readers’ voices, live sound effects and evocative music brought the story to life. And our guests/audience provided the sounds of the townspeople. Fun!
Following the performance, several key members of the Red Room core group each made contributions in the form of spoken presentation, illustrated with slides and capably translated into Chinese by Priya Purswaney. The speakers covered the origin of Red Room, as well as its current state and future prospects. On the roster was one of the original co-founders and one of the newest volunteers, along with seasoned Red Roomers.
All the while, a graphic artist reflected and recorded the event using markers on a giant piece of paper affixed to the wall where all could see.
A few of the points made by the presenters:
“Red Room is a community-driven creative-arts platform fostering inter-generational, cross-cultural expression.”
– Red Room’s Mission Statement
Red Room fosters integrated community and consistently celebrates the existing-, empowers the emerging-, and embraces the local art scene, with a special consideration for diversity.
It is a workplace of inclusion and respect with a focus on the development of creativity and ideas in visual arts, storytelling and poetry, music and the performing arts for all ages.
“A sustainable cultural movement evolving through shared human experiences; transforming lives through a Culture of Listening.”
-Red Room’s Vision Statement
There was food and beverages and there was music and dancing. There were stones for painting and for adding to an installation: A Stone Soup Pot for Creators, Preservers and Transformers. There was a generous helping of international diversity: multi-cultural, multi-lingual and inter-generational.
The entertainment portion of the evening was set in motion with a cleansing of the space led by 拿告心靈工坊 Banai Nagao with Manav Mehta accompanying on cajon.
Spoken-word artist Little E entertained and amazed us with his mixed English/Chinese rap-poem with Manav Mehta accompanying, this time on beatbox.
A special performance by Taiwanese singer/songwriter electric harp musician Paige Su enchanted her listeners.
“Paige’s songs show the influence of her extensive classical music training as well as her love of everything from jazz to rock and EDM. A truly 21st century artist, Paige Su conjures a musical realm that is unlike anything else you’ve heard before.”
Finally, in a mellow tone, the Kind of Red Ensemble tempted our guests to dance. And they succeeded!
A variety of items, including works of art, along with services, and lessons had been contributed for auction. Proceeds will go to furthering the Red Room mission.
We all agreed it was ambitious project. But isn’t it appropriate for a Fundraiser to be Ambitious?