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'Waves of Compassion' Help to Wash Away the Pain

Portsmouth Herald News (Portsmouth, NH) , March 3, 2005

Summary:

The devastation of the deadly tsunami that ravaged southeast Asia has inspired local storytellers and singers to create their own "waves of compassion."

With fund-raising and relief efforts taking place worldwide, a national community of storytellers has organized a series of benefit concerts for the victims of the Dec. 26, 2004, tsunami in South east Asia and Africa. The official death toll from the tragedy ranges from 170,000 to 182,000 across 11 nations, with much of the money pledged by donor countries for tsunami relief still not received, according to the Associated Press.

The project, named Story Tsunami, presents stories and music from many affected countries (Sumatra, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, the Maldives, Andaman, Nicobar Islands and Somalia) while raising money to support relief efforts.

The national event was started by Lee-Ellen Marvin, a storyteller from Ithaca, N.Y. After hearing the tragic stories from the disaster, she realized that the storytelling community could raise money if they worked together. "In a world that needs so much help, it is easy to feel that one’s own little contribution doesn’t make much of a difference." Marvin said in an e-mail interview. "By seeing our tiny acts as part of a big movement (or a wave), we start to see the power of our generosity. This is especially important for artists, and even more so for people who practice an art that is often overlooked or disregarded."

NOTE: as of April 13, 2005, 51 of 64 planned events have been held which raised over $55,000.

Subjects Covered: storytelling festivals


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