ArtsFest Program Announced

The Holocaust Center has announced that it will once again be part of Central Florida’s ArtsFest in February. Its events for ArtsFest, the month-long community celebration sponsored by United Arts and Bank of America will be part of over 300 free performances and events presented by organizations in a four-county area.

The first event offered by the Holocaust Center is the film Three Faiths, One God, scheduled for Sunday February 5 at 2 PM. It is a fascinating interreligious dialogue, produced by PBS, that explores the similarities in scriptural texts and religious practices among Jews, Christians and Muslims. It also gently explores the historical conflicts and differences in practices of the three faiths, and the crises brought about by blind fundamentalism. The message is that, while individuals of the Abrahamic faiths share basic, human values, it will take compassion and honest dialogue to achieve real interfaith acceptance.

A discussion after the film will be led by guest speaker Dean Patrick Powers, Dean of the Knowles Memorial Chapel at Rollins College. His principal role there has been to nurture the religious life in the Rollins community with programs that are interdenominational and interfaith. His efforts support persons in a variety of faith traditions, emphasizing the conviction and commitments they share with one another.

A second film is also part of the Center’s ArtsFest offerings. On Sunday February 26 at 2 PM the Center will present Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust. This documentary presents film clips of Holocaust-era American films, demonstrating how depictions of Hitler and the rise of the Nazis both inform and reflect our views of that time in history.

Also on the schedule for February is a Teacher Forum, open to the public, on How Children Become Upstanders. As part of the Center’s commitment to educating the community through its UpStanders: Stand Up to Bullying initiative, this presentation will look at the dynamics of bystander behavior and identify ways to help children safely intervene when they witness bullying. The forum is at 6 PM on Thursday February 16th.

During the entire month the Center is exhibiting Besa: A Code of Honor. This exhibit, based on the works of American photographer Norman Gershman, provides an unexpected glimpse into the lives of a people whose faith requires them to act unselfishly on behalf of others. The word “besa” applies to an Albanian interpretation of the Koran, and is generally translated as “faith” or sometimes “to keep the promise.” Through photographs and texts based on interviews with the Albanian righteous, this exhibit reveals the extraordinary choices of ordinary people acting within their Muslim faith, rescuing nearly every Jew in that nation.

Because all of its events are free, the Center’s ArtsFest offerings are not part of the festivals ticketing system, but is participating in the Passport feature of the event. You can read more about ArtsFest here.

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The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida · 851 N Maitland Ave · Maitland, FL 32751 · Phone: 407-628-0555 · info@holocaustedu.org