The Fl Chapter of Artists for a Better world produced the “Unity Through Creativity” event for World Art Day on Sat April 15th at Ybor Square at the Church of Scientology Tampa. The holiday falls on the birthdate of Leonardo DaVinci who has become a symbol of world peace, freedom of expression, tolerance, brotherhood and multi-culturalism as well as the importance of the arts to other fields. This completely aligns with the purposes of AFABW – “creating a better world through arts and social betterment.”
Every year we celebrate this holiday and do activities that support the arts and bring the community together. This year our event kicked off in the court yard in the morning with AFABW member Debbie Arambula, known as The Heart Artist, doing her Spread the Love campaign via zoom with our group in The Gambia led by Fabakary Sanneh, a top educator there, who had thirty-five young students participating.
Then late morning artists came in and embellished the court yard and auditorium with beautiful arts and crafts. Ja’son Manwill filled the auditorium with music as he played the piano at the opening reception. AFABW member and humanitarian artist Angel Kourkoulou painted live while member LD Sledge accompanied her on the keys. Guests came in and there were even walk-ins from the street who saw the festivities, and joined us. New guests were given a The Way to Happiness Book with our AFABW logo on the cover.
Outside in the court yard we were treated to the beautiful sounds from Sun Orchestra members Astrid Sanchez, Luis Orozco & Ruben Arocha who uplifted the area with energetic Latin music.
Later in the afternoon the Variety showcase started in the auditorium, and Church Host Cristina Roveyaz welcomed all the guests, and played a short video of a precept from The Way to Happiness, entitled Flourish and Prosper. Then singer/actress Tanajsia Slaughter brought everyone to their feet as they stood for The National Anthem. AFABW Founder Barbara Cordova gave an overview of the group and its accomplishments, and why we celebrate World Art Day. MC Dick Colligan and Stand-up Comedian came up and jumped into a fun routine, then introduced all the performers. The show consisted of a variety of acts of all ages that blew the audience away with their talent. Those who entertained were: Ariela Vuillemot, Millie Fiorillo, Vitamina Clown Magic, Alan Graham, Barcode (Steve Cherubino & Katie Nagy), Sylvie Taft, Sabrina Gordon, Luis Adrian, DJ Loh, Manuela Oliveira and The Warriors Squad. It ended with several members singing Mission of the artist by Barbara Cordova as Manuela Oliveira and DJ Loh danced to the song.
After the show attendees mingled and got more time to view the works of these artists who displayed their works: Andromeda Edison, Amanda Johnson and Washburn Academy, Avna Jungen, Delphi Academy with Gayla Gum, Christine Sargent, Elisa Tomotore, Iryna Okhota Ahrens, LD Sledge, Leonardo DeCastro, Lyn Bechtel, Marlene Glickman, Miki Kline, Perla Holguin, Richel Lavette, Valorie Vogel.
And capturing the event were videographer Sam Lampson and member Richel Lavette Lewis, photographer.
“Dear President of AFABW,
I want to express our sincere thanks and appreciation to you for giving us the opportunity to share World Art Day with you globally on zoom. The celebration was very special to us. We are grateful to be working with renowned Artist Debbie Marie Arambula from your group in Florida who made a connection with The Gambia. We appreciate taking part in Debbie’s Spread the Love campaign. It was very good for us and helped us to get exposed to the global arena and at the same time improve our skills and learn from you and your group. My foundation children are really inspired and want to CONTINUE with you on a regular basis as you can. We celebrate it with joy – and it was very good to learn and enhance our abilities in the Arts. We can see that the best way to improve lives for the community and poor children in The Gambia is through the Arts and other areas of intervention of my foundation.” Fabakary Sanneh FRCSI (Fabakary Rural Support Initiative)
“I liked the variety of acts. Every single artist brought something unique to the stage. It was beautiful.” Nicole Fiorillo
“There were many exhibitors of art, followed by a fantastic musical with kids and adults doing their thing on the stage. It was a highly energetic and fun event. I am sure there will be more of the same in the future. Stay tuned.” LD Sledge
“There were so many really talented artists that participated in this event! You could tell a lot of energy and planning went into this event.” Richel Lavette Lewis
“Everyone loved my Art and my Spread the Love campaign, and even I even had two people get teared up on how grateful they were to participate. I rehabilitated everyone that participated!” Debbie Arambula