CRYSTAL LAKE – FaithBridge and the Harran Productions Foundation will celebrate World Interfaith Harmony Week Jan. 28 at the Raue Center for the Arts in Crystal Lake.
More than 150 children from various faith communities will gather for a day of interfaith music and dance, with the event culminating in a public “Sounds of Faith” concert at 4 p.m.
“Sounds of Faith” will bring together some of the best children’s ensembles to represent various faith and ethnic traditions from throughout the Chicago area. Each ensemble will share sacred sounds and songs of their traditions.
The public concert will feature song, dance, recitation and chant from Islamic, Jewish, Christian and Hindu traditions. The participating ensembles also will join together to perform the shared anthem, “Peace in the Desert,” composed and conducted by well-known composer Lee Kesselman, and “Gate, Gate,” a Buddhist chant composed by Brian Tate.
Endorsed by the Parliament for World Religions, “Sounds of Faith” will inaugurate local celebrations of World Interfaith Harmony Week, which officially begins Jan. 27.
Sponsored by the United Nations, World Interfaith Harmony Week seeks to spread the message of harmony and tolerance among the followers of all of the world’s religions, faiths and beliefs.
King Abdullah II of Jordan, who first proposed the idea for World Interfaith Harmony Week, offers three prizes to be awarded to each of the three best events or texts organized in honor of the week. Awarded based on how well they promote the goals of the initiative, prizes include $25,000 and a gold medal for first place, $15,000 and a silver medal for second place and $5,000 and a bronze medal for third place. No American event has ever won a prize.
If “Sounds of Faith” is named among the three events most successful in promoting interfaith harmony and impacting religious understanding, a local representative will travel to Jordan for a ceremony to receive the prize.
The prize will be split between FaithBridge, the Harran Productions Foundation and each of the participating ensembles.
“Raue Center is proud to be inclusive of all faiths and all people,” Raue Center Executive Director Richard Kuranda said. “I truly hope the event captures the attention of His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan. The arts are inclusive of all.”