Women's Day 2001 served as a Fundraiser for The Art of Living Coalition's production "Choosing Peace Now" that Documents the Annual Citywide Peace Conferences put on by the high school group We Care For Youth - WCFY Founders Linda Maxwell and José Quintenar

Our event launched "Choosing Peace Now," The Art of LIVING Coalition's national media campaign to create peaceful solutions in our schools and communities.  (Click on title to learn more about the campaign and documentary.)

"It's time to take control over what we know
time to take it back, take it back, take it back.
It's time to be what we used to be
Or try what is new and free
Found on this strange journey,
It's about what we can do together
This is my life.
It was given to me in a dream,
in a dream, in a dream
This is my life!
It was given to me in a scheme,
with a scheme
It's no matter to me what you believe
Who you pray to or what you seek
If malice is not what you feel.
I said it's time, now, to be at Peace
With life's uncertainties.
Hear yourself - be what you believe
It's about what we do towards forever"

- Arlys Alford

Gospel of Hope - Arlys Alford

Arlys Alford Web Site

Mother of the Ocean - Georgianne Cowan and daughter, with Aparaceda

Bringing people together in community is the life work of the women and men who have collaborated in creating our International Women's Day events - they are activists for the environment, for humanitarian causes, they're people who lead movement groups specifically to get people in their bodies and their feeling sense where they can connect more fully with themselves and others. They're masters of the voice who give people permission to express themselves through sound. All are exemplars of what it means to be artists of life.

A point which Frankie Lee often emphasizes with regard to our Women's Day gatherings is that while they look like events they are really the thing itself - the living of our lives - involving the process, which is the feminine, as much as the masculine result. To successfully put our events together in such a short amount of time (Celebrating the Mystery took five-and-a-half weeks total) involves looking at all the things that get in our way - the "shoulds, the have to's, I'm busy, I'm about to be overwhelmed, the me, me, me's and you, you, you's" - recognizing them as the mind and letting them fall away. Every single person that was involved, from the first woman who offered, "Yes, I will dance, and I will also help clean up afterwards" was challenged at one time or another to risk, be vulnerable, to not know, to stretch to include another's perspective. It is awe-inspiring to see Michael Skelton dance the dance of the feminine in everyone!

Gloria danced by Michael Skelton

Michael Skelton Web Site

Twenty belly dancers weave their energies together in the Dance of the Feminine, as they move throughout the sanctuary of Pacific Palisades Community Methodist Church

"Deep down, beneath all the ways that we identify ourselves, we are essentially creative. I call this being an artist of life. The true spirit of art isn't an advocation, it's an invocation and it infuses everything. When we separated art out from life, as if it only applied to painting and drawing and writing, and the rare person at that, we lost something that we need so much to reclaim in our lives and our selves - a lived sense of the Mystery."
- Frankie Lee

Imagine hundreds of people dancing and drumming down the aisles of the Pacific Palisades Community Methodist Church!

"The awakening possibilities of our day come from so many streams now and I believe we should just join that - that the religious organizations should realize that this is congruent with the teachings of their sages and their founders. The Awakening that you hope for is one that is not limited to or only benefiting one group, but it is including all groups, benefitting all groups. And that's a wonderful thing."

- Pastor Ignacio Castuera

Dancing our Dreams to Life with Drummer Christopher Pellani and "Choosing Peace Now" promo editor Katherine Brooks, and dancing in the center, GiGi Ridgeway who contributed her Magic Mirrors

Photos by Ginny Winn