Autumn in the Park celebrates peace and art in all forms

By Kitty LeShay - ReminderNews
Stafford - posted Thu., Oct. 10, 2013
Cheryl Maynard and her boxer, Allie, are waiting for the Nenad Bach Band to take the stage during Autumn in the Park. Photos by Kitty LeShay.
Cheryl Maynard and her boxer, Allie, are waiting for the Nenad Bach Band to take the stage during Autumn in the Park. Photos by Kitty LeShay.

The Stafford Arts Commission chose peace as the theme for its eighth annual Autumn in the Park celebration in Hyde Park, held Oct. 5. A variety of performers and activities were gathered to help influence people into thinking how the elusive goal of peace could be reached.

From face-painting and Acoustic Rick’s songs, to the themes of the songs of the Nenad Bach Band and the storytelling of Sara deBeer, conciliation, respect and love were the threads weaving the message of peace.

“Peace is profitable; war is not, except for a few. It is misery for the rest of us. It is time to use music and all art to carry the message. If enough people stood up, we would have peace in an hour,” Nenad Bach said following the band’s performance.

The headlining band of the day performed songs with insight. Lyrics of the song “I Will Follow You” lamented some of the problems in today’s society: “Too many bankers, too much marketing; too many clowns, not enough laughter; too many children, not enough fathers.”

“Nenad came to our Coffeehouse Series and we got to know and appreciate his music. He has had two CDs which have been number one in Europe, and we thought his message and music were perfect for this day,” said Georgia Michalec, chair of the Stafford Arts Commission. He was introduced as “the John Lennon of Croatia.”

“Acoustic Rick” Sylvester, a well-known local musician, preceded the Nenad Bach Band. “I loved him, great voice and acoustics,” Fran Roach said.

People in the audience reflected the mood of the day. Children danced, played and ran with their faces painted by Fran Couch, who offered kids and some adults a variety of choices, ranging from the demure glittering butterfly to the fierce tiger. “It has been a steady stream all day,” she said.

Sara deBeer was the last artist to present, and she told stories with themes of peace and respect. “I choose my stories based on who is in my audience. I have been a storyteller since 1978 and have a large repertoire to pick from,” she said.

The day was concluded with the showing of the film, “The Point.”


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