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Concert to benefit Ashland Culture of Peace Commission

Karl Anthony will perform Saturday, Sept. 3, in a benefit concert for the Ashland Culture of Peace Commission.

The concert will occur nearly a year after the commission's official launch Sept. 21, 2015, on the International Day of Peace.

Anthony, a singer, songwriter and guitarist, has worked for 12 years in a healing arts program at a children’s hospital in San Diego. His song “Hold the Sky” comes from an inspiring exchange with a boy on chemo, who said the treatment felt “like an earthquake inside me.” Anthony asked how he handles that, and the boy said, “I hold the sky.”

ACPC is an independent, community- and citizen-based commission with nonprofit status. "The intention is to inspire new thinking and see through new lenses to further develop the culture of peace for the present and future generations," according to David Wick, executive director of the commission. "The proceeds from this concert will allow the Ashland Culture of Peace to conduct community trainings and peace education for children."

Anthony will perform at 7:30 p.m. at Ashland Community Center, 59 Winburn Way. Advance tickets cost $20 or $36 for two ($25 at the door). Tickets are available at Ashland Music Coop.

“It’s an engaging and uplifting performance, very dynamic, with chanting,” says Jack Gibbs, owner of Fortress Financial Group in Ashland and a member of the commission. “It’s very peaceful music and is aligned with our mission.”

One song features sacred words and phrases from many religions and chants, “God belongs to all of us,” said Gibbs, who saw Anthony perform in Grants Pass and spent time with him on a raft trip and arranged the concert.

“My children, 9, 11 and 13, love his music. It arrests them, and they fall into a little spell,” he says. “He tells stories, too. He has a real way of connecting with children but speaks to everyone.”

Anthony notes, “It’s all been amazing, as a songwriter and singer. I never would have guessed how beautiful it has turned out. I didn’t pursue the work with children; it pursued me. I do it when I’m not on the road performing.”

The concert precedes the ACRC Eleven Days of Peace events set for Sept. 11 to 21.

Sept. 21 is the International Day of Peace, a worldwide celebration declared by the United Nations in 1981. Here the celebration will include ceremonies honoring the tragedy of 9/11 at the Peace Pole at U.S. Cellular Park in Medford, as well as singing at Ashland’s Methodist Church and vigils at Ashland’s Plaza, with singing by Ashlander Pauline Sullivan. More details will be announced later.

For more information about the concert, call 541-488-3600 or email thekeepersofpeace@gmail.com.

Anthony will be featured at 10:30 a.m., Sunday, Sept. 4, at Havurah Shir Hadash, 185 N. Mountain Ave., Ashland.

John Darling is an Ashland freelance writer. Reach him at jdarling@jeffnet.org.