SATURDAY MARCH 19, 2011 11-4 P.M. FREE AND WIDE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC - YMI CULTURAL CENTER AT EAGLE AND MARKET STREETS IN ASHEVILLE, NC
Asheville Wordfest and YMI Cultural Center join hands to bring artist Edwin Gil and the Flag of Hope to Asheville on Saturday March 19 between 11 and 4 p.m. People from all walks of life, all nationalities, all cultural backgrounds are invited to participate in this state-wide art project. People will first sign a giant 6' x 20' canvas and provide their name, date, and birthplace and then place their handprint on top of their signature. The Asheville canvas will be connected to canvasses created in the Piedmont and Coastal regions, forming a 36 x 70 foot “flag” representing the diversity within North Carolina.
Gil who was born in Itagui, Colombia, South America, has done similar projects around the world. He documents these experiences through a blog, video, pictures and personal interviews with participants. Readers can visit his website at www.edwingil.com. His goal for the project is to promote hope and understanding within North Carolina’s diverse communities, as well as raise awareness around diversity and acceptance. Through his recently completed social service project, Nuestra Bandera, Nuestro Pais, Nuestro Hogar (Our Flag , Our County, Our Home), Gil saw firsthand "the struggles, sacrifices, determination and above all else, the hope, that we use as tools to support one another." He contends that "we all have different backgrounds and that North Carolina was built by each of us." Therefore, a flag made of handprints will serve as a reminder of interconnectedness within diversity. Gil, who has completed similar projects around the world, intends to bring the word diversity to life and tell the numerous stories of hope behind each handprint. He documents these experiences through a blog, video, pictures and personal interviews with participants. Readers can visit his website at www.edwingil.com.
Wordfest director and marketing director at Grateful Steps Publishing House and Bookshop, Laura Hope-Gill, received a message from Banu Valladares of the North Carolina Arts Council announcing Gil’s quest. “I said yes without hesitation. Wordfest and the YMI have just recently joined hands for Wordfest 2011, and I contacted them right away. We share the goal of bringing everybody together. This is a powerful way of really throwing the doors wide open.” Hope-Gill is working with Ron King, Tydarryl Bailey and Dan Johnson of the YMI to reach out to all individuals and communities to fill the canvas. Music and food will also be part of the day’s events. There is no charge to participate. Wordfest and YMI welcome donations to cover expenses. Grateful Steps Publishing House and Bookshop is a co-sponsor of the event.