In light of the renewed importance of building a sense of community among the nations of the Americas as a new presidential administration comes into office, Cultures in Harmony (CiH) is strengthening its relationships in Mexico and Belize with exploratory projects there in January and February 2017. Founded in 2005, the nonprofit CiH promotes cultural understanding through music with over 40 projects in over 16 countries.
In Mexico City from January 30 to February 4, CiH founder and director William Harvey will partner with the Youth Orchestra and Choir Program in Mexico City, coordinated by Maestro Ariel Hinojosa. From Monday to Friday of that week, Harvey will work with orchestras and teachers will be held in five of the 16 boroughs (alcaldías) of Mexico City: Gustavo A. Madero, Iztapalapa, Miguel Hidalgo, Tláhuac and Milpa Alta. The week will culminate with a final concert on February 4 with the “Armando Zayas” Youth Philharmonic Orchestra of Mexico City at the Futurama Youth, Art and Culture Center. CiH carried out projects previously in Mexico in 2007, 2008, and 2009.
In Belize from February 7 to 26, CiH will partner with the National Institute of Culture and History. In an itinerary coordinated by Kim Vazquez, Youth Development Officer at the Institute of Creative Arts, Harvey will collaborate with musicians including James Sanker and Jackie Castillo, and will coach the National Youth Orchestra, conducted by Mr. Colville L. Young, Jr. The collaboration will focus on ways of preserving and promoting traditional Belizean music, such as brukdong, alongside other genres, such as Western classical. CiH previously conducted a project in Belize in 2013.
Both projects in Mexico and Belize will identify future means of deepening and continuing the collaboration with CiH and its partner organizations in order to promote a vision of inter-American community that is egalitarian, mutually respectful, and mutually beneficial.
“Entre almas, no se puede construir paredes”
(Between souls, walls can’t be built)