Global Village

{span}Lula Washington Dance Theatre has collaborated with Anchorage artists, organizations and community members for an event of dances from around the world and down the street. Credit: Bryan Pentecostes/Xpreshun Films{/span}





What happens when refugees, dancers, artists and community leaders get together? Find out at The Global Village Experience, a community celebration and performance that explores transportation, home and connection, April 27 in Mountain View.

A culmination of an 18-month project with Anchorage Concert Association, Catholic Social Services Refugee and Immigration Services (RAIS), L.A.-based Lula Washington Dance Theatre, Mountain View Boys & Girls Club, Alaska artists, and Anchorage community members, this event invites the outside in and the inside out with stories, art and dances from around the world and down the street.

Lula Washington Dance Theatre creates movingly eloquent works that touch the soul and speak to today’s social concerns, calling for a more humanistic and compassionate world. Together with RAIS clients and staff, Anchorage Concert Association, and community artists and partners, Lula Washington Dance Theatre has created a performance that will address issues RAIS clients and Anchorage community members face, including isolation and lack of access to transportation especially at night and in the winter, safety, and a need for more cultural activities that connect communities.

“Dance opens people up to use their imagination and touches people in ways they might not expect,” said Tamica Washington-Miller, associate director at Lula Washington Dance Theatre and a project lead. “We are using the art of dance to make a deep impact.”

Currently RAIS is serving about 550 clients. They come from Somalia, Sudan, Iraq, Democratic Republic of Congo, the former Soviet Union (Ukraine, Russia, Moldova, etc.), Mexico and more. All new arrivals to Anchorage are dependent on the bus system. Most families use public transportation for their first few years in the country while they get settled. Last year RAIS welcomed 42 individuals.

“A project like this can help people better understand the world we all live in,” said Lisa Aquino, executive director of Catholic Social Services. “We need creative solutions to solve social service issues, and we need basic support from community in order for arts to thrive. We need each other.”

“How do you retain home in a new space? How do you welcome others in?” asks Anchorage Concert Association executive director Jason Hodges. “Performing arts and dance create bridges between individuals and communities. This project, residency and event is a way to share joy and may change how we think about Anchorage and the world.”

The Global Village Experience

2 p.m. Saturday, April 27, Mountain View

Connect to the beauty, wonder, and joy in our global village. Event opens at Grow North Farm, 3543 Mountain View Dr., and proceeds to Mountain View Boys & Girls Club. More information at anchorageconcerts.org. Free.

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