Harmony: Harlem’s Celebration of Life Earth Day Concert

Sunday, March 05, 2006

The Forces of Change

Fluidity and flexibility; these are the virtues of the creative process. This is especially true because an idea rarely materializes without first going through a series of changes. It is essential that any plan has room for tweaking and change or it will be virtually impossible for that to become a reality. This fact is all the more true when one is trying to plan a public event because such occasions require the cooperation and coordination of so many different forces. And this is precisely why the ‘Harmony’ project has and continues to change and evolve as it develops.

The Harmony project has now been changes from the “Celebration of Life Earth Day Concert” to the broader “Community Celebration of Earth and the Environment.” Basically, the focus of the project has shifted from focusing strictly on the Harlem community to encompassing the entire Morningside/Harlem area. The goal of shifting the project’s focus is to truly capture the idea behind ‘harmony.’ By broadening the scope of the event to the entire Morningside area, the hope is that true community awareness of the environment can be achieved. There is an undeniable divide between the Morningside (University campus) area and its surrounding neighborhoods. However, there is no justification for allowing such a divide to persist when we all inhabit the same neighborhood and face many of the same environmental and health concerns. This is precisely why in order to make an attempt at true communal harmony a broader more encompassing focus must be adopted.

The ‘Harmony’ festival will now take place on Sunday April 30th in the Barnard quad. Although the festival is no longer being held on Earth Day, the focus of the event is still to raise awareness of community environmental issues. In addition, thought the location of the event has been changed to Barnard’s campus, that in no way is meant to exclude the surrounding neighborhoods. If anything, by inviting Barnard’s neighbors to the campus, that will only contribute to the goal of communal integration and harmony. In addition, this goal will be further achieved by having all people from around the Morningside/Harlem community celebrating life in that community. Thus, what initially seemed like a continuous cycle of setbacks and false hopes, location changes and road blocks, has turned out to be a blessing. And through continual change while remaining fluid and flexible, this project has taken one giant leap closer to its purpose of communal and environmental awareness.

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