Artists Embassy International is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting intercultural understanding and peace through the universal language of the arts.Founded by Althya Youngman in 1951, AEI has continuously promoted individual and group artists working in many media, offered venues, publication opportunities, poetrycontest, prizes, festivals, conferences, classes, exhibitions and many other opportunities for the promotion of artists and their work throughout the United States and the world.Membership dues, $30 per year, include quarterly newsletters, advertisements of events, opportunities and contacts for international events and reports on your personal artistic work.Subscription only to the quarterly Newsletter, $10 per year.Send dues, subscription, newsletter articles and information to AEI for inclusion in the next publication.
photos by Judy Hardin Cheung
Natica Angilly’s Poetic Dance Theater Company at Rakkasah West, Vallejo, CA, April, 2008
Spellbound and awestruck! That’s how the audience responded to Natica Angilly’s Poetic Dance Theater Company dancing to the poetry of Richard Angilly (back left) and Mary Rudge, Poet Laureate of Alameda, CA.The first half of the performance was Natica dancing to Richard while he read his poem, We Need To Send Out More Birds. The rest of the dance company flew out onto the stage with gloriously red stardust veils and danced to Stravinsky’s Firebird as Richard read Legend, by Mary Rudge.
Needless to say, this was a one of a kind performance for the three day dance festival and bazaar.
Rakkasah is probably the biggest Middle Eastern Dance Festival in the world. Dancers gather from around the world, under the production skills of AEI member, Shukriya Devine.Over a thousand dancers performed. Hundreds of vendors had goods to sell relating to dance or Middle Eastern Culture. AEI had their salesbooth and did well selling Natica’s Dancing Tambourines and other items.
Additional Major Performances of NAPDTC, 2008
Rakkasah is one of various performances given throughout the year. The Poetic Dance Theater Company is also scheduled to perform in Somerset, NJ, over the weekend of June 6-8, for the Spring Caravan, the Second Annual Belly Dance Fusion Festival, a Rakkasah event produced by Michelle De Vine of New Jersey.
In September, NAPDTC is scheduled to give a magnificent performance as the primary entertainment for the Most Famous Poets Society at the Reno Hilton over Labor Day Weekend.
And don’t forget our spectacular Dancing Poetry Festival to be held September 27, 2008, Noon to 4:00 at the spectacular Florence Gould Theater in the famous CaliforniaPalace of the Legion of Honor Museum in beautiful Lincoln Park, San Francisco, CA. This afternoon extravaganza features prize winning poems, and their poets, from around the world, and stupendous dance performances inspired by and including poetry.
82nd Annual Poets’ Dinner
March 15, 2008, Francesco’s Restaurant, Oakland, CAPhoto by Judy Hardin Cheung
AEI’s Richard Angilly is treasurer of the Annual Poets’ Dinner.
With Rakkasah in full swing, Richard and Judy had to leave and help officiate at the Poets’ Dinner. This annual event is informally run by an ongoing committee. Although loosely tied by joint memberships to the Ina Coolbrith Circle, this annual poetry contest and awards ceremony is an independent entity. Many of our AEI members are also on the committee for the Poets’ Dinner. AEI’s Tanya Joyce, poet and artist, was this year’s contest chair. Judy Hardin Cheung was the decorations chair and read two of the categories of prize winners.The theme was Earth. The decorations were Earth balloons on bamboo sticks placed in pots of growing flowers. This went beautifully with the printed program, designed by David Alpaugh, which showed the world from space on the front and a seedling sprouting from dirt on the back. The lunch was acclaimed by many as the best in many years!
Tanya Joyce, Poets’ Dinner chairperson
Judy Hardin Cheung, Poets' Dinner decorations chairperson and reader of two prize winning categories
Not every minute of AEI board members’ time is filled with non-stop work. Occasionally, we go out to do something fun. This past Christmas, Cindy Levinson’s husband, Bill, gave her a bird watching cruise on the NapaRiver, one of the 8 deep water ports in California. This river flows through the wine country and offers an electric boat cruise through the town of Napa to see historic buildings, old bridges, government protected marshes and lots of birds. It was a wonderful “mini-vacation” day foreveryone.
Photo by Arthur Levinson (photo of Arthur by Judy Hardin Cheung)
Inset Arthur Levinson, L-R: Kay Renz, Nicole Dobson Neal, Judy Hardin Cheung, Captain Kevin, Cindy Levinson, Richard Angilly, Natica Angilly
Gulls in flight
Gathering subjects for artistic endeavors:
Birds of the NapaRiver
AEI and Chinese New Year In the spirit of bridging cultures, AEI’s Judy Cheung is active with celebrating Chinese New Year which consists of a multi-event series of performances each year where local businesses and organizations ask for a lion dance. Judy had nearly a dozen performances this year as percussionist--sometimes playing the lion drum, sometimes the cymbals or gong. In addition to many community performances, there is also a Traditional Chinese New Year Celebration and a grand Chinese New Year Celebration and Fundraiser. New Year Celebrations last for two months!
In the spirit of bridging cultures, AEI’s Judy Cheung is active with celebrating Chinese New Year which consists of a multi-event series of performances each year where local businesses and organizations ask for a lion dance. Judy had nearly a dozen performances this year as percussionist--sometimes playing the lion drum, sometimes the cymbals or gong. In addition to many community performances, there is also a Traditional Chinese New Year Celebration and a grand Chinese New Year Celebration and Fundraiser. New Year Celebrations last for two months!
Salon For Your Imagination, WOW!
Recent Past Events
AEI has been booked almost continuously with art shows at Cafe Arrivederci in San RafaelCalifornia, organized by art promoter, Angar Mora. Natica has had her masks and tambourines displayed and for sale in rotating exhibits. Richard Angilly has had his Poetry Bytes presented. Alisha Rodrigues, from Tetonia, Idaho, was featured. Janet Kiyo Brockman also had her work up. Judy Hardin Cheung had her poetography displayed and also gave presentations during the Monday evening Salons. AEI and WOW! have a long history of working together to present art and to create innovative concepts in producing salable art.
Natica shows off the art of AEI’s Alisha Rodrigues, Tetonia, Idaho. The central “picture” is an opening in the wall--part of the artistic environment of this art-oriented, fine restaurant.
In a different section of the same room, Natica shows off one of her mask panels, an innovative method of displaying masks with other items such as this one with a tambourine and Asian flute. This exhibit also included Judy Hardin Cheung. The theme was Ancient Music. It featured tambourines, concepts of musical construction, and photographs of drummers, flute players and tambourine players from various cultures.
Up Coming Events
Although we are overbooked with already committed events, Natica accepted another group show for Arrivederci in April. It features Judy, Richard and Natica. The theme is Bytes of Life. This show began on April 25.
Natica will also have a new show in the entry way, beginning May 10. The theme will be Angels and will have new combinations of her masks and tambourines combined with props for an excitingly interesting display.
Currently Judy has a show in the bar area. Floating, features prints of jellyfish, a sculpture of the world, and a lotus. These are in frames 40”-50”.Bigger Is Better will be the topic for her May 5th art talk at the Monday evening Salon. We hope to see some of the Bay Area poets and artists present for this evening of wonderful art conversations. June 21, a show featuring dancers will go into the entry way.
For details about the exhibits or to make reservations for the Monday Night Salon For Your Imagination, WOW!, please call Host, Angar Mora, 415-897-7313.
One of the innovative concepts being pursued by WOW! and AEI is the concept of a Tamb Slam, percussive accompaniment to poetry presented as entertainment. Judy Cheung (R) gave a talk and demonstration on how to use percussive instruments, especially the tambourine, to punctuate presented poetry. The Tamb Slam was won by Geoffrey LaPlace from San Francisco. Diana Gordon from Santa Rosa, recently from Winnipeg, Canada, shows off some of Natica’s tambourines used during the Slam. In the background, are a dumbec, various bells and other percussion instruments that were used. The next round will be on April 28, led by Geoffrey La Place, featuring the use of bells.
Selected upcoming events presented or participated in by AEI
for RSVP and information on any listed event, contact AEI at naticaaei @aol.com or510-235-0361
January 1-May 15, Dancing Poetry Contest see insert for rules.
March 29-April 18, Judy Cheung’s Poetography exhibit in Cafe Arrivederci’s bar, combines poetry with photography.
April 28, April 30, May 1, Natica Angilly teaches Poetic Dance classes in conjunction with National Dance Week. Call Natica at 510-235-0361 for class registration material, times and location.
May 5, Judy Cheung will give an art presentation: Bigger Is Better, describing use of size for impact in art
May 10-June 20, Natica’s masks and tambourines exhibit in the entry way of Cafe Arrivederci.
June 4-8, Rakkasah’s Spring Caravan Belly Dance Fusion Festival. AEI will have a sales booth. Natica will dance. Visit www.rakkasah.com for more info.
June 21-August 1, Judy Cheung’s Poetography exhibit in Cafe Arrivederci’s entryway, 11 G Street, San Rafael, CA
August 9,Multi-Cultural Poetry Reading and Poet Luck Lunch, RedwoodEmpireChineseAssociationCenter, Santa Rosa, CA, Noon-4. Co-sponsored by AEI and Poets of the Vineyard. Call Judy Cheung for info 707-528-0912
September 27, Dancing Poetry Festival, Noon to 4:00 p.m. CaliforniaPalace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco.
January, 2009, AEI art exhibit at the AlamedaArt Museum, Alameda, CA. Artists Reception date TBA.
July 16-20, 2009: Plan ahead for the World Congress of Poets in Managua, Nicaragua. Many AEI members plan to attend.
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