6th Annual Rose Variety Arts Show

May 4, 2003 – Hollywood, CA: Hundreds of attendees participated in the 6th Annual Rose Variety Arts Show fundraiser for The Rose Breast Cancer Society which represented a true “International Rainbow of Humanity.” The event combined an Outdoor Arts Expo, Wellness Expo and Variety Stage Show extravaganza on the historical grounds of Celebrity Centre International. Brunch was enjoyed in the Renaissance Restaurant; the Arts Expo and Wellness Expo were featured in the Franklin Gardens amidst its lush waterfalls; and the Variety Stage Show was highlighted in the glass Garden Pavilion Theatre.

Artists For A Better World International President, George Alger; US Congresswoman, Diane Watson; her 93-year-young Mother-of-the-Year, Dorothy Elizabeth Watson; and event organizer, Carmelita Pittman are pictured above right.

The event organizer, Carmelita Pittman, has dedicated this event and organization to the memory of her mother, Juanita Zara Espinosa Uddin, a gifted artist and lover of roses, who fought a four-year battle with breast cancer. Ms. Pittman, a visual and performing artist, gives her mother credit for unconditional love and the gift of art. She has vowed to join the crusade against breast cancer through the arts by inviting the visual and performing artists to unite in this quest to raise funds for prevention, education and elimination of breast cancer through research.

The Outdoor Art Expo in the Franklin Gardens featured talented and prominent artists such as Senator Pasqual Bettio, creator of Artography and Strut Wearable Art as well as the Art in the Park arts festival (photo bottom right). Artists for a Better World was an exhibitor, forwarding its message of building a worldwide network of artists who share a vision of creating a better world through aesthetics. John Adams, former president of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, exhibited his exceptional photography. Some of the participating artists included: Verna M. Campbell, Bill & Sandy Chestnutt, Debby Gillman, Mamie Hansberry, Curtis Jones, Lamon B. Lipscomb, Evelyn McElwee, Elsie McElwee, Jeremiah F. Goode, Marilyn Mason, Lois McMorris (who is a breast cancer survivor), Ferne Sirois, Vernon Smith, Linda Taylor, and Anne Webster.

Additionally, Oscar de Salcaja directed an interactive mural. Exhibitors representing world cultures were included such as Bansri Meta of India, Daryoush and Sara Yerushalmi of the Middle East, Maria Silva of Brazil, Gillyan Thorburn of Indonesia, and others who wore international attire.

The Wellness Expo included the legendary Gypsy Boots, 91 years young, “The Original Nature Boy,” made popular on the Tonight Show by Steve Allen. Additional participants included Penny Rich ; Teresa Quezada of Enliven Inc.; Jean Gilmore who is producing an upcoming health seminar at Serenity Spa in Culver City; Maggie McCoy, reiki practioner; and Marilyn Medina of Inner Light.

In the late afternoon The Rose Variety Arts Stage Show, hosted by AFABW Int, President George Alger presented multi-cultural spectacles of costumes and entertainment. The Xipe Totec Azteca dancers opened with a musical blessing. Barbara Cordova, member of Artists for a Better World sang her composition (co-written by Dan Weitzman), “Planet of Peace,” accompanied by dancer Rachel Lindley. Additional vocalists sang folk songs depicting the times performed by Chelsea Williams on guitar, Leanne Tallis, Keanna Amason, Alycia Brennan, Kelsey Clark of “Steppin’ Out” directed by Jeri Kinney, and “This is the Call”, an original song by guitarist Lisa Turner. In addition Peaches sang her original entitled “Mama Said,” and La Donna Washington of St. Paul’s Catholic Church Gospel Choir sang. Ali Baba of Africa sang traditional Mali and Fulani tunes. Carmelita, accompanied by Amelie M’Baye of Senegal, sang a selection from her CD. The Carolina Russek Latin dancers; Tu Su Kyung and the Kah Yah Korean Traditional Dance troupe (photo first page left); and Dembrebrah West African drummers (photo right) gave incredible performances. A fashion line-up included models Robin; Jasleen Singh (former Miss India); Lady Tracey, who modeled a hand painted Mexican dress; and Sheila Gallegos, who modeled an original by Nita, late mother of Carmelita; Ms. K.M.D., Ms. Erma Adams, Alex Opoku of Ghana, Amelie M’Baye, Alicia Ali and daughter Milan; and designer Akouavis of Africa and her daughter wore her originals. Mr. & Mrs. Jerry and Carmelita Pittman modeled imported garments by A. Remi of Africa.

Highlights of the event included an on-stage presentation of a check for breast cancer research for U.S.C. Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, received by representatives Paul Hosch, development officer, and Ivonne Villa Lobos (photo left), assistant to Dr. Michael Press, award winning and foremost worldwide pathologist and researcher of breast cancer. In addition Congresswoman Diane Watson, honorary member of The Rose Breast Cancer Society, donated $1,000. Her 93-year-young Mother-of-the-Year, Dorothy Elizabeth Watson, was presented a plaque and vase of roses on stage (photo top right).

Also featured was a tribute to the Ruth Handler, creator of the famous ‘Barbie’ and ‘Ken’ dolls and Nearly Me breast prosthesis for breast cancer victims. Although a supporter of the breast cancer cause, in 2002 Ruth Handler made her transition due to breast cancer. Acknowledgement was made to her husband, Elliot Handler, for his contribution and support.

President of AFABW Int, and also Master of Ceremonies, George Alger remarked, “Today, Carmelita has vividly demonstrated, once again, through the spirit of multi-cultural art and community cooperation, that she is helping to build a better world through aesthetics.”

Additional dignitaries, pictured from left to right, included Senator Pasqual Bettio, creator of Artography, Strut Wearable Art and the Art in the Park arts festival; Father Gerardo Cabral, the head priest of St. Paul’s Catholic Church; and Carmelita Pittman, the event organizer.

The event closed with performers and the audience joining their hands together while 10-year-old Crystal Lopez sang “Imagine.” This was followed by the presentation of raffle prizes provided by gift basket designers Marlynn Northcutt, Priscella Ford, and Whole Foods Market, Ralph’s, Gelson’s Market, Trader Joe’s, Golden Tanning, Bleu Clothing Corporation. Roses for Mother-of-the-Year were provided by Fleurs du Jour, of Santa Monica, Calif.

The Rose Variety Arts Show fundraiser for The Rose Breast Cancer Society, is held annually on the first Sunday in May.