Brenz Band appointed UNESCO Artist for PeaceBrenz Band, a German group of handicapped musicians, will be appointed a UNESCO Artist for Peace for 2005-2006 by Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura on February 3, at a ceremony to be held at UNESCO Headquarters (Restaurant, 7th floor) at 6 p.m.
Brenz Band is being honored “in recognition of its fervent involvement in the promotion of peace through its musical activities and its commitment to the ideals and goals of the Organization.”
The band, founded by people with learning disabilities, began its career in the pedestrian area of Ludwigsburg (Germany) in 1977. Since, it has performed numerous concerts in Germany, Switzerland, France and the Middle East, “where, because of its charisma, it has succeeded in conveying a message of peace and joy despite any handicap.”
Defining itself as a “messenger of tolerance and peace”, the Brenz Band is a member of Paix 21. This foundation brings together three national associations in Switzerland, Germany and France (in the process of being established). Its aim is to “promote and establish peace in the world, through all forms of non-violent dialogue, on the basis of respect for differences and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”
Paix 21 is currently working on a project to set up a Peace Centre, at an estimated cost of US$350,000. At first the project will be essentially a charity, and will later take on educational, cultural and sports dimensions. The foundation is also funding the creation of an emergency health centre, thanks to sponsors. Brenz Band will give a series of concerts next month in Switzerland to raise funds.
For two years Brenz Band will join the other UNESCO Artists for Peace - including Russian orchestra conductor Valery Guerguiev, Cameroonian musician Manu Dibango, American painter and writer N. Scott Momaday and Japanese painter Countess Setsuko Klossowska de Rola - who promote UNESCO’s ideals throughout the world.
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