On June 23rd, 2018, Notes From Home, a benefit concert in Oakland, California, raised $19,000 to support LEAP’s music program for Palestinian youth. In Lebanon.
Aswat, World Harmony Chorus, and LEAP board member Frank Gelat put on a great event, including a joint performance of Lama Bada. The audience joined in on this ancient Arabic song, arranged by EAR director Betsy Blakeslee.
Verona Fonte’s digital art, from her series Escape From Fire, graced the show and raised $800. Thank you to the many organizations who participated, the many individuals who donated on gofundme, and our corporate sponsors.
Expressive Arts Refuge team is wrapping ouds in bubble wrap and packing violins to bring the refugee youth in a settlement in Lebanon. The EAR team will collaborate with LEAP musicians, teaching music and body music to middle school children. This year, many of our songs will feature English because the youth will sit for an English proficiency exam. Those who pass will be admitted to Lebanese high school, increasing their prospects of higher education and future work.
We Americans are learning debke, Palestinian dance, to enter their culture, and will teach Electric slide to give them a taste of ours.