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Legacies: Faith, Hope and Peace (1998)

jamesdepriestThree one-hour radio documentaries produced by Dmae Roberts of MediaRites, and hosted by Oregon Symphony Conductor James DePreist.

The three programs were distributed in October 1998 via National Public Radio satellite. About 100 public radio stations across the country aired this three-part series of one-hour documentaries about what moves the human spirit to create, to make sense of the world, to survive and to grow.Ê MediaRites is a non-profit multicultural arts producing organization based in Portland.

LEGACIES: FAITH, HOPE AND PEACE won the 1999 HEART OF AMERICA award given by the American Legion Auxillary for Best in Radio. The HEART OF AMERICA honors work that celebrates the contributions of American women and families. MediaRites was asked to present the award-winning series to the national convention in September 1999.

store_buddhaFAITH…THE JOURNEY OF LADY BUDDHA, a personal and historical exploration of cultural conflicts in spirituality and the search for the Asian goddess of compassion and mercy, Kuan Yin, by Amerasian Radio Producer Dmae Roberts, creator of the Peabody-award-winning “Mei Mei: A Daughter’s Song.” With readings by Actress Elaine Low, Giang Pham, Yuquin Wang and Ping Khaw-Sutherland and music by Composer Stephen Hoyt.

In this country, very little is known about the mythology and the worship of Kuan Yin. Roberts’ mother was sold to work as a bonded servant in Taiwan and suffered abuse and starvation during World War Two. Throughout her life, Kuan Yin has offered her spiritual solace and strength to survive. Roberts called this figure Lady Buddha and in adulthood has tried to find out more about the stories that her mother could not communicate to her.

In this search, Roberts met Professor Chung-Fang Yu through a chance discovery and set up a correspondence via email. This piece is about discovering a puzzle piece to one’s culture and personal history, and about finding compassion for a religion one cannot embrace but can respect.

store_hopeHOPE… THE HERO OF YOUR OWN DREAM, a “year in the life” documentary co-produced by 20 English as a Second Language 8th grade children from 17 different countries and nationalities at Binnsmead Middle School, one of the poorest schools in Portland. During the course of one year, they grow up, sing songs, write poems, and talk about war, love, friends, family, their homelands, and what they see as hope for the future. A booklet of creative writings from this project was also published (see supplemental materials). MediaRites has since established the only professional arts program in Southeast Portland during the afternoons throughout the school year at Binnsmead Middle School where there is still no arts funding and the highest rate of children in poverty in Portland.

store_abuPEACE…THE LANGUAGE OF PEACE, a documentary written and narrated by Arab-American novelist Diana Abu-Jaber (Oregon Book award-winning author of “Arabian Jazz”) as she explores cultural identity and conflict resolution both personal and global and new ways to speak the language of peace. With readings by Actress Mary Jo Abi Nader and music by Al-Andulus.

The Language of Peace is about conflict resolution first within one’s own self and then in a larger way throughout one’s community and describes the ways that art and language can be used to bring about peace between peoples.