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, poetry contest, 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. Send dues, newsletter articles and information to AEI for inclusion in the next publication.
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Photos by Judy Hardin Cheung unless otherwise stated
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Artists Embassy International
At the 23rd World Congress of Poets
March 25-29, 2014, Osaka, Japan
AEI had many members who attended United Poets Laureate International’s 23rd World Congress of Poets in Osaka, Japan. Many AEI members are on the board and planning committee of the Congress, so we left our homes on March 21, and returned on April 1. We all had a grand time visiting with poet friends from around the world and sharing our poetry in the friendly city of Osaka, and its environs.
It is with sadness that we announce the death of our AEI member, who was the long-time president of United Poets Laureate International, Mr. Benjamin R. Yuzon. After a long bout with cancer, he quietly passed in his home, surrounded by family and friends, in September, 2013.
Ben is succeeded by his brother, Virgilio (Gil) Yuzon who lives in Manila, The Philippines. Virgilio is an accomplished poet and a very successful businessman who is now retired. His first project is a Global Poetry Contest which will be launched very soon through both the UPLI website, www.upli-wcp,org, and the United Poets Laureate Facebook page which are both under revision and revitalization.
AEI members who are also UPLI members were major contributors to the Congress by being on the board and by providing services and entertainment for the Congress. Natica Angilly’s Poetic Dance Theater Company was honored to present the opening entertainment for the gala final dinner.
Please join us by sharing in these beautiful days through the following photo.
We got together over lunch, did the preparitory planning, put plans into action and enjoyed each other's company as poets from around the world arrived.
AEI meets international UPLI from USA, Philippines, Japan, India, and South Africa
Cindy Levinson and Loywanner Haddadou renew an old friendship wih Naoshi Koriyama of Japan.
While some worked on the Congress, others took the Bullet Train to Kobe for a look around. No one reported seeing the contented cows. Kay snapped Jeffrey Garland contemplating an intersection and its signs.
Kay Renz caught Richard in a moment of poetic contemplation on a cement riverbank in Kobe.
We had an afternoon at Tennoji, the oldest Buddhist temple in Japan.
AEI members who belong to UPLI and also Poets of the Vineyard from Santa Rosa, CA, pose for a photo on the grounds of Tennoji, the oldest Buddhest temple in Japan. Pilar Yuzon could also have been in this photo, but she was walking elsewhere on grounds when we ran into eachother and posed for this shot.
In our spare time, which wasn't much, Cindy and Arthur explored the hotel and found the 2nd floor wedding rental shop with anything needed for a traditional or western style wedding.
Everyone had an opportunity to read poetry. Natica gave a speach about dancing poetry and poetic dance, Judy gave a speach about why it is important to share poetry. Everyone else was able to read at least one poem. Most were also published in the anthology, Our Voices on the Winds 2014.
Judy Hardin Cheung
Dr. Kenneth Kuanling Fan
A Congress trip to Kyoto offered us a walk down a fairy-tale path through the cherry orchards of the Imperial Palace Gardens.
Cindy and Judy get snapped in front of the Golden Pavillion in Kyoto.
The UPLI Board meeting met for business, then received gifts of original art from Dr. Kenneth Kuanling Fan. AEI members who are part of the UPLI board are Dr. Kenneth Kuanling Fan, Natica Angilly, Judy Hardin Cheung and Pilar Yuzon. (Judy took the photo.)
Our final dinner was a beautiful array of exquisitly presented Japanese food served buffet style at the Awina Hotel in Osaka, Japan.
Toasts were given by Richard Angilly and Peter Lee.
Everyone dressed in their finest, including David and Nancy Merritt. David is a poet, musician and composer, Nancy is a poet, dancer and playwrite.
Richard and Natica opened the evening's entertainment with the Poet and the Dancer.
Natica Angilly's Poetic Dance Theater Company at the Awina Hotel, Osaka, Japan, March 29, 2014, dances the poem, "The Dance of the Goddess" by Suparna Ghosh from Canada and India, a Grand Prize winner in the Dancing Poetry Festival of 2012.
Suparna Ghosh tells of her experiences as Grand Prize Winner for the Dancing Poetry Festival, 2012, during a costume change.
"Out of Temper, Out of Tune, by Jan Dederich, was performed. This was a grand prize winner in the Dancing Poetry Contest, 2013.
Seamstress Masters Her F=Craft, by Joanne M. Clarkson, Olympia WA, was thought provoking and very different from most dances. The costumes were created on stage as part of the dance. This, also, was one of three Grand Prizes that were danced at the Dancing Poetry Festival, 2013.
Dancing Tambourines, by Claire J. Baker, Pinole, CA, was a Grand Prize winner in 2013.
Natica danced a poem read by Richard Angilly, written by Noriko Mizusaki, President of the 23rd World Congress of poets in Osaka, Japan.
Richard Angilly's poem, "Wind Music", danced to Strauss's "The Blue Danube" was breathtaking.
Dorthea Muller-Ott from Austria was so thrilled that she ran onto the stage and told Richard that she wanted to jump into the dancer's Blue Danube. Dorthea, thank you for the spontanious kudo!
For their finale, the dance troupe performed their signature closure, "Circus," which introduces everyone--Cindy Levinson is the fortuneteller with the crystal ball
Arthur Levinson was our ringmaster.
Nancy Merritt as Isis, the Egyptian winged woman.
Wanda Ingmire as a wild animal trainer. Usually, Sarahann Lum dances with her. We missed Sarah because she was unable to come with us to Osaka.
Loywanner Haddadou as a circus clown with her grand-nephew, Jeffrey Garland. Jeffrey doesn't usually dance, but he was recruited for this performance to be a desert sheik
Alisha Rodrigues, retired from the dance troupe and now living in Idaho, made a guest appearance as a snake charmer, tossing stuffed snakes into the audience.
There was a grand finale photo op with the audience joining in. We never got everyone in one shot because some were always taking pictures.
The day after the Congress was officially over, we visited Nara National Park in a torrential downpour. It was said that when it rains, Buddha is washing away all bad luck. We must have been among the luckiest people on Earth that day.
Richard was so inspired that his aura glowed in Nara National Park, on a trip after the Congress was officially over. Or was it really a raindrop on the camera lens? Photo by Jeffrey Garland.