In celebration of Every Campus a Refuge, supporters, friends, and participants gathered at Guilford College to hear a beautiful selection of music and marvel in the artwork of Leila Abdelrazaq and Ali Khasrachi. The evening started with a performance from the Triad Tapestry Children’s Chorus. Led by choir director Melissa Burris, the Chorus sang five songs about hope, community, and diversity. The entire room joined in song at the last selection, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” leaving smiling faces and dancing children all around.
The next awe-inspiring performance came from mezzo soprano Sarah Love Taylor and pianist Radha Upton. Their first selection was in direct response to one of the first recent immigration bans. Most of their selections had a political undertone and spoke to the challenges and triumphs of the immigrant and refugee experience. They chose to perform a song cycle using quotes from people that came through Ellis Island. This cycle included a prologue, a six-part journey, and an epilogue that was musically sublime with some stories leaving the audience laughing and some with gloom.
After these incredible performances, friends were asked to take a look at the artwork of Ali Khasrachi, a refugee hosed by ECAR. His works are still on display in the Hege library next to photographs from the Red Sand Project.
The evening was filled with activism and resistance, urging people to become part of the movement to celebrate a beauty that only comes when cultures collide and differences are uplifted.
Photo Credit: Alana Harrelson