October 11, 2008 – Hollywood: As a highlight of the 8th Annual Artists For A Better World Arts Festival, at Celebrity Centre International, the AFABW Awards Event and Concert featured music, dancing, awards, and more music, dancing and awards! It was a high-energy celebration of creating a better world through aesthetics that packed the Garden Pavilion.
Guests arrived at the reception and were enchanted by the music of JoJo Zawawi, an improvisational pianist, who graced the room with aesthetic melodies.
Master of Ceremonies, and Toastmasters International “World Champion of Public Speaking,” Lance Miller, presided over the evening’s honors and festivities with congenial humor.
South African Rock and Roll band, The Lemmings, kicked things off to high gear with their songs, “Heartbeat” and “Beautiful.” They have performed well over a thousand shows and are currently on their first tour of the USA. They are also active members of several social betterment groups.
Tracy Repchuk, bestselling author, poetry editor, international speaker and motivator, presented the first of the AFABW Int “Creating a Better World” awards of the evening. She presented the AFABW Int “Outstanding Contribution As An Artist” Award to Damian Perkins. Critically acclaimed actor and renaissance artist, Mr. Perkins, has been a long-time spokesperson for The Drug-free Marshals, The Way to Happiness Foundation, Equity Fights AIDS, and LA AIDS Project. He is also a Commissioner for the Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights, spreading the word about psychiatric abuse and has worked with many under-privileged, abused children, and homeless organizations.
Gilli Moon, past AFABW Int awardee herself, and Founder of the international songwriting network, SongsAlive!, performed her soulful song, “Be.” Gilli is a singer, songwriter, recording artist, pianist, actor, producer, author, painter, entrepreneur, visionary, empowering artistic community builder and has released four albums.
Jeff Harman, Past President of the Renaissance Speakers, presented AFABW Int “Setting a Good Artistic Example” Award to both Michael Wadler and Barbara Jean Beckley. Ms. Beckley and Mr. Wadler, in league with theatrical colleagues, set an example of the fortitude and perseverance necessary for artists with a “Better World” vision, to press forward their creative purpose in spite of the odds and obstacles. Their efforts resulted in helping Los Angeles remain a thriving theatre town, in addition to the many other arts that LA is internationally known for.
The importance of the artist was brought to life through the performance of an original composition by Barbara Cordova, entitled “Mission of the Artist.” Accompanying her were John Fleming and the Church of Scientology Choir, while Vanessa Guerrero embellished the piece with dance.
Greg Labaqui presented a brief history of Celebrity Centre International and its purpose in helping artists with their careers and personal lives.
The St. Genevieve Boys Dance Group, a competitive dance team, created a storm of exciting vitality with their choreographed performance. Their coach, Danielle Brown, has helped them to become an award-winning group, now in their third year and still going strong! Roaring loudly when they performed was a whole cheering section that they brought to the event to see their Hollywood debut performance.
Debbie Shapiro, artist, educator, counselor and minister, presented the AFABW “Spirit of Youth Award” to Zina Bethune. Ms. Bethune is currently Artistic Director for Bethune Theatredanse and Infinite Dreams, the Bethune Theatredanse’s program for disabled children to learn and perform dance. Zina Bethune has directed and choreographed over 50 plays, films, videos and ballets. What distinguishes Zina as extraordinary among her peers is the scope of her acting and dance career against the most adverse of physical disabilities.
Carmelita Pittman, also a past AFABW Int awardee, and Founder of the Rose Breast Cancer Society, performed an enchanting dance and song, entitled the “Joy of Being.”
Bill Moon, spokesperson for the Association for Better Living & Education, presented the positive changes ABLE is making in society through programs which handle drugs, crime and illiteracy.
The Hip Hype Kids Dance Group were leaping, bouncing, and vaulting all around the stage creating an exhilarating performance of physically and aesthetically remarkable choreography. This group mentors kids in programs on health and wellness and they also perform at various charity events.
Harriet Schock, platinum recording artist, presented the AFABW Int “Special Recognition Award” presented to Travis Allen. Mr. Allen created My Record Label.net, a website devoted to empowering the independent recording artist, where artists keep 100% of their record sales.
Tracy Newman, popular independent artist, who had a CD released by Travis Allen, performed her song, “Night Blooming Jasmine.” She is also a TV writer and producer and won an Emmy and Peabody Award for co-writing the “coming out” episode of Ellen.
Gilli Moon presented the AFABW Int “Lifetime Achievement Award” to Aaron Kai, who developed his art to a point where most could not believe that his works were actual hand creations. He was catching the eye of art directors and top-named designers as Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein among others. His one-of-a-kind, hand-painted jackets, worn by top artists as En Vogue and recording artist Sade. A Kai jacket even caught the attention of a very impressed Stan Winston Studios and other entertainment companies, who inquired about the artist’s talent, which eventually brought this impressive artist to Los Angeles. Kai continues to hand-illustrate film and entertainment art with a touch that breathes life in each stroke.
16 year-old entertainer, performer, and vocalist Blair Perkins captivated the audience with a song medley and extraordinary stage presence. He engaged the entire audience from up on the stage and down in the audience, with his high-powered vocals and dance movements.
President of Artists For A Better World International, George Alger, presented the release of the 2009 AFABW Int Fine Art Calendar, and discussed the short story anthology books, poetry compilations books, music CDs and fine art projects that include artists from around the globe.
Singer, Debor’ra Hall and friends concluded the evening by rocking the house with their richly resonating vocal power and tight instrumentals. Ms. Hall has toured the Unites States and also is now promoting The Way To Happiness booklet at her shows.
Special thanks to the following for helping in the production of the 8th Annual AFABW Int Awards Event and Concert:
- David Bartlett, Director
- Ed Knighton, Videographer
- Anthea Dennis, Reception
- Dave Repchuk, Videographer
- Loretta Gardea, Reception
- Reinhard Schulte, Chief Videographer
- Ken Hall, Art Director
- PJ Severtsen, Videographer
- Charles Allen Harris, Award Designer
- Petrina Sharp, Awards Hostess
- Jade Harding, Tech Assistant
- Luba Meltzer, Talent Coordinator
- Liz Harding, Stage Manager
- Julien Mueley, Assistant Art Director
- Jerry Keane, Photographer
- Larry Williams, Stage Hand
Artists For A Better World International is dedicated to building a worldwide network of artists who share a vision of creating a better world through aesthetics and is open to artists and art enthusiasts of all religions, nationalities, creeds, races and cultures.