Messages from Our Leaders

from Our President & Executive Director Tomoko Torii

 

 

 

Dear Friends,

Sumer Greetings! I am amazed at how the time is just flying by us. Our Second Annual International Peace Day Concert is just two months away!

This year our concert centers around the concept “Celebrate Peace, Embrace Diversity.”  Every concert, we invite musicians from around the world, each with their own musicality. We bring these performers together, not to merge their sounds, but rather embrace the many cultures and origins that influence their music. Yet their different sounds still harmonize beautifully together.  This year, we will feature an ensemble of international friends with an Eastern and Asian influence in classical rendition.

As the concert date approaches, there is still so much to do. We recently began an international music competition, inviting young musicians to audition to be our Junior Peace and Music Ambassador. The winner will both have a feature spot at our concert, as well as represent Harmony For Peace during the year with musical performances among communities. 

We also launched an online fundraiser to fund our Gift of Music program for this year’s concert. With the help of generous donations, children of the Philadelphia and surrounding areas will be able to experience a night of moving and multicultural music. Perhaps this night could have a lasting impression on our young guests, inspiring them to take up an instrument and to play for peace. 

To make this all possible, we need your support and generosity. No matter where you are, you can join in the effort to not only conceive a superlative musical concert, but spread the message of peace and nonviolence through music.

With peace and harmony

Tomoko Torii

President & Executive Director (Founding Partner)
Harmony For Peace Foundation
 
Tomoko Torii

 

Thanking you for your presence… 

Dear Friends,

Thank you for joining us at our celebration event, “Peace and Tranquility” on April 26th at Shofuso, in Philadelphia. The day began with a downpour of rain until four o’clock. Magically the sky brightened up and the sun came out just before we opened our gate to welcome our guests. After the rain, cool and clean air spread through the ground of the Shofuso.

We welcomed close to eighty guests to the historical tea house.  The evening was filled with many programs; a tea ceremony, Japanese sake & cuisine, a silent auction presentation by Kimono Society with a performance of a few arias sang by our guest opera singers, Eunmi and Yungbae which made it a perfect evening. (You can view the photos from the event from here.)

It was the one of the most memorable evenings surrounded by many good friends. I would like to thank again to our guests, performers, volunteers and helpers at the event making it a wonderful celebration for the Harmony For Peace's fifth anniversay.  

With sincere appreciation,

Tomoko Torii

President & Executive Director (Founding Partner)
Harmony For Peace Foundation

 

Tomoko Torii

 

 

Celebrating Our Fifth Anniversary This Year!

 

Dear Friends of Harmony for Peace,

 

The Harmony For Peace Foundation was founded in 2009, thus celebrating our Fifth Anniversary.  As we look back to our beginning, it is very humbling but at the same time it brings a sense of pride and joy that we have made it through our first five years.  This is of course due to the people who support us, help us, advise us and encourage us in many ways and that makes us go forward with strides.  We thank you for your continued and warm support. Our BIG THANK YOU to you all.

 

To celebrate this special year, on Saturday April 26, we are holding a benefit event “Peace and Tranquility” at the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden in Philadelphia.  Please join us to celebrate the occasion! You can find more details here.

 

Last September, we presented our first International Peace Day Concert in Philadelphia, “The City of Brotherly Love” with the strong message of non-violence and unity through music by many young artists.  We were able to work with over 160 young performers joined from both in and out of the United States, bringing a beautiful harmony for peace onto the stage of the Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center of the Performing Arts.  We were so encouraged with the large attendance that enjoyed the concert, our second International Peace Day Concert will be staged again at the Verizon Hall on September 20 this year.  We will be making an announcement of the performers very soon. Please click here for more details.

 

Excited by this strong bond and unity of music by so many young artists in Philadelphia, we are planning our Peace Concert in Tokyo, Japan this year.  Again the details will be soon published on this website.  All of our friends in Japan, please look out for this exciting news soon!

 

Our New Global Peace Campaign, “From Guns to Butterflies for Peace” will be launched shortly and will be an initiative of an art competition and online exhibition.  This is another opportunity where everyone can participate. So look out for the “How to Participate” in your email soon!

 

In 2014, we ask for your continued warm and strong support for Harmony For Peace!

 

With gratitude, much peace and harmony

 

Tomoko Torii

President & Executive Director (Founding Partner)

Harmony For Peace Foundation

 
At Harmony For Peace, we believe in a role of art as a messenger to play a social progress
to transform our society to bring peace for our children and their children.
Peace and Unity through Music
 
 
Tomoko Torii

 

 

 

You can make a difference!

Our International Peace Day Concert 2013 was held with a big success!

Dear Friends of Harmony For Peace:

Thank you for your warm and generous support for our International Peace Day Concert held on September 21 at Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center of the Performing Arts in Philadelphia.

I wish to express my sincere thanks to all who came to the concert, sent in their support and cheered us with warm encouragements. We were thrilled to note that we were able to celebrate the Peace Day along with over 160 performing artists and 800 guests in the audience.  The concert was filled with love and unity calling for peace in the world for a global day seeking nonviolence and cessation of conflicts and hostilities.

The concert brought tears to many and it was indeed a moving experience for everyone at the concert. Our sincere appreciation to all the performers, music directors, partnering organizations, guests, volunteers and of course, Kimmel center's production crew.

Particularly, we were very grateful to our special guests, Yaron Kohlberg and Bishara Haroni of “Duo Amal,” who traveled from Europe to joined us and performed for us. (more information)

We believe this occasion brought many people a great friendship and understanding. We believe everyday should be a Peace Day, and at the concert together, we promised to make an effort to make every day a Peace Day. 

See you again on the Peace Day in 2014!

 Tomoko Torii

President & Executive Director

Harmony For Peace Foundation

 

Tomoko Torii

 

 

Calling for a World Peace on International Peace Day on September 21

We are very pleased to announce our upcoming event of "International Peace Day Concert for Young People" on Saturday, September 21, 2013 at Kimmel Center, Philadelphia celebrating International Peace Day.  

The occasion will introduce the collaborative effort of musically superior presentations by many young artists regionally and internationally, creating a festive cultural exchange and together calling for a world peace.

We believe this occasion will build great friendship between the countries and their people participating and we hope you will be able to celebrate with us in our effort to promote unity through music.

International Peace Day is a day of global ceasefire and non-violence with a cessation of hostilities for the day. For 2013, the United Nations theme for this effort is “Education for Peace” which champions education that focuses on teaching youth to have mutual respect for others, the world we live in, and to help create a fairer, inclusive, and peaceful society.

We welcome our special guests of the evening, “Duo Amal”, a piano duo artists, Israeli Yaron Kohlberg and Palestinian Bishara Haroni, who have been performing together to promote peace and friendship beyond borders. 

Not only on the battlefields, but on this day together we strive for nonviolent effort even in homes, schools, and workplaces around you.

Harmony for Peace supports and strives to promote the vision of Peace One Day” in an effort to create intercultural cooperation towards peace. We strongly believe children to be leaders of peace projects and that the youth are the leaders of tomorrow.

Let’s play and pray for peace together on the Peace Day, September 21, 2013.

Tomoko Torii

President & Executive Director, Harmony For Peace Foundation

 

Tomoko Torii

 

 

Our activities in 2013

Upon reflecting over 2012, the most natural and poignant symbol of our message is when our world was filled with so many beautiful artworks by children and teens.  We are very fortunate to have had this opportunity to communicate such a strong voice for our common goal, a peaceful world, and a world free of nuclear weapons.  This is a step toward our collective effort. We will continue with an even greater effort this year. Please keep your support for us and look forward to our united work with young people in the form of film, music presentation and art exhibitions in 2013.

Thank you again for your continued warm and strong support for the Harmony For Peace Foundation and hope you will join us in our many exciting and inspiring events this year. More news to follow soon!

With gratitude, Much Peace and Harmony 

 

Tomoko Torii
President & Executive Director, Harmony For Peace Foundation

 

Tomoko Torii

 

 

 

After Hurricane Sandy ...

 

All of us at Harmony For Peace express our deepest thoughts to everyone who is affected by Hurricane Sandy.  Our hearts go out to many who are suffering from unimaginable hardships.   We hope that you and your loved ones are now safe and are on your way to recovery.  We wish you all our very best during this challenging time.

With Much Peace

 

Ban Ki-Moon

 Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks at the award ceremony for the “Art for Peace” Contest, in New York on 23 October:

It is a great pleasure for me to participate in this very moving event.  This is an inspiring event.

I spend a great deal of time urging Governments to create a nuclear-weapon-free world for the sake of children and youth.  Today, I get to see how children and youth themselves envision a nuclear-weapon-free world.

As was introduced by Angela Kane, more than 6,600 young people from 92 countries shared one message for this project — a call for peace.

I am delighted to be here with our first-place winner, 17-year-old Haruka Shoji.  Congratulations.  Her beautiful painting is called “Someday”.  We see a young woman looking into the distance to a better future.

I am presenting this painting to the Permanent Mission of Japan.  I know they will treasure it.  Haruka said:  “Maybe it is your child, or your grandchild, or [a] much later [generation] who says ‘bye’ to nuclear weapons.”  I hope that leaders around the world hear this message.  I hope they stop to consider what young people have told us through this contest.

One girl said:  “Under the threat of nuclear war, the world cries day and night.  For those who love peace, let us demolish nuclear weapons.”  A young boy said:  “With no threat of nuclear war on the planet, there will be smiling children everywhere.”  All of the contestants said they want peace.

They inspire me to fight even harder for a safer world.  They inspire me to keep insisting that spending on education and health care is much more valuable than spending on tanks and missiles.  They inspire me to keep demanding that everyone work for a world free of nuclear weapons.

Ms. Shoji, today we honour you.  You have enormous artistic talent.  But, I am even more impressed by your vision and your idealism.  You have a wonderful future ahead of you.

I promise I will do everything possible to make your beautiful painting a vision of the present, not the future — so that you can be the one waving bye to nuclear weapons and entering a safer world.

Congratulations on winning this year’s Art for Peace contest.  I am pleased to present you with this award certificate and cheque.

 

Thank you very much.

Tomoko Torii

 

 

 

September 21 is International Peace Day!

It marks UN International Day of Peace (https://www.facebook.com/unpeaceday) as well as Peace One Day campaign (https://www.facebook.com/peaceoneday) - A global base campaign in spreading efforts to bring about a peace – a day of ceasefire and non-violence, - To lay down weapons, to stop fighting and conflicts. Non-violence is not only in war zones and battlefields between countries, regions, and ethnic groups but must be observed at homes, at schools, workplaces between people around you. Everyone and each one of us need to make a greater effort in creating unity among us and sharing friendships. We can make a difference. Please go to these Face book pages to support this day of non-violence and celebrate lives and peoples.

Much Love and Peace from all of us at Harmony For Peace Foundation

 

Tomoko Torii
Art for Peace 2012 - Now closed, over 6600 submissions! View the results HERE! Big congratulations to the winners!
Dear Friends,
It has been most wonderful inviting young artists to the Art for Peace 2012 art contest. The last three months have been very busy but each day was filled with so much joy witnessing so many images flooding in with messages for peace echoed throughout.  It is with enormous pleasure that we share the final count to be over 6600 entries from 92 countries. 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the team at the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs headed by Chief John Ennis who worked tremendously hard to make this contest successful. With their kind guidance and cooperation, we work together to make this initiative of great global interest. Please go to http://www.un.org/disarmament/ to find out more about the work they do.
 
We would like to extend our thanks from the bottom of our hearts to all who have shared Art for Peace and to those who have submitted: Children, Teens and their parents and teachers. It is you who have made our Peace Art contest a great success! Please continue sharing its gallery with your friends and families, and enjoy viewing the submitted images. An international panel of jurors was assembled and worked hard to select the finalists in all three categories. They spent many hours dedicated their effort with much care in their consideration on the entries. Their contribution was very much apprciated by all of us. We could not have completed the art contest without their support.  
The results of the contest can be viewed by following this link

Everyone who entered the contest is a winner for peace!

Visit
www.unartforpeace.org/gallery  to view the submitted artworks.
 
With warm gratitude and much peace.
Tomoko Torii