By Claire Doran
The warm glow of Christmas lights illuminated the makeshift stage, with heavy red curtains and a funky zigzag rug. The smell of warm cookies made the air seem sugary, and assortments of teas, wines, and spiced apple ciders were laid out enticingly on a table decorated with ceramic mushrooms and a small owl. Audience members and performers trickled in with their instruments, folded papers, and scarves, and the first ever Music & Story Night took off with the sound of plucked guitar strings and soulful spoken word.
It was a small assembly of interns, staff and friends. Some folks came solely for the show, others were seasoned performers, and others timidly stepped up to the mic for the first time ever. Performances ranged from old country-western songs crooned over guitar melodies to knee-slapping jokes and a rousting group of karaoke singers singing Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. Some guest performers also spoke of intersecting political issues such as race, gender, and immigration status.
Because of its critical message of building peace across cultures, the APADRC never fails to attract incredibly talented and passionate volunteers to support our mediation programs. These characteristics certainly show up in the office and during mediations, but this night gave us an opportunity to speak more personally, share more openly, and appreciate more deeply the incredible people that we work with. Tonight, we also bid farewell to our Assistant Program Director, Erika Ochoa, who will be moving on to work with another organization. We wished her the best, and thanked her for all of her hard work to support our students in the Peacemakers and Peer Mediators programs.
If you missed it this time, feel free to check out our brief video (below) featuring some of our performers and be sure to like us on Facebook to get updates on upcoming events!