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Christopher Luna by Alisha Jucevic for the Columbian

Christopher Luna by Alisha Jucevic for the Columbian
Christopher Luna by Alisha Jucevic for the Columbian

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mary Rose Allred and the Lusaka Art Project

This weekend Toni and I attended a very special event organized by our friend Mary Rose Allred. Mary Rose is a senior at the Vancouver School of Arts and Academics ( For her senior project, she planned and performed in a benefit concert and silent auction for the Lusaka Art Project, which brings art to schoolchildren in Zambia. We were entertained by the Mark Simon Trio (, a hot band featuring Mark Simon on piano, Leah Hinchcliff on upright bass, and Dave Averre on drums. The concert took place in the high school’s black box theatre, which had been decorated to resemble a nightclub. I wrote the following poem while listening to the trio: we remain - a prayer in honor of impermanence if people realized that each of those we love is as fleeting as the notes played by a jazz trio in a darkened room it would not be possible to take a single moment for granted people don’t value what is “always” there unaware that “always” is utter fiction pure nonsense Christopher Luna May 2, 2009 Later Mary Rose sang three songs with the trio. She has an absolutely lovely voice, but what really struck me was the control she exhibited over her voice, a quality one doesn’t often find in high school-aged singers. Then, when Mary Rose sang “My Funny Valentine,” I had chills, and felt as if I was truly feeling the emotion behind the song for the first time. When she sang that song, it broke my heart wide open, and I wept. What a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Here is what Mary Rose had to say about the Lusaka Art Project:
“The Lusaka Art Project brings art supplies and instruction to students in Zambia. This work is a huge blessing in the K - 9 students lives, the opportunity for Artistic expression. The students it will be benefitting are orphans (or have lost at least one of their parents), victims of AIDS, malaria, and other disease. The Lusaka Art Project has also: - helped build a studio space for the kids to learn - sold their art work to help them economically and also to bring them more supplies. - sistered with the Vancouver School of Arts and Academics so to create an artistic relationship and liason to bring a local awareness of this cause. In Zambia there is a rich artistic culture, but often few tools to express this creativity. The Lusaka Art Project is a way to allow their creativity to unfold, to help their emotionally sanity, and to help the students and their families economically. If they would like to donate they can call me at (360) 852-4394 or e-mail me at”
Please consider donating to the Lusaka Art Project.
I admire Mary Rose for her musical talent, for organizing this event, for caring enough to make her senior project a benefit concert, and for believing in the power of art to bring people together and change their lives.
Congratulations, Mary Rose!

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