When a break in the music provided an opportunity to introduce myself and thank a talented dancer, I did so. And I’m glad I did. Here's why.
Readers familiar with my writing may recognize a recurring question “Does art really make a difference?” Some already know my answer… Yes, artists can make a very big difference to the people, places, and causes that they care about. Leslie Kimiko Ward is an artist who is committed to making a difference. Her Thousand Cranes for Alaskacampaign has raised awareness of the risk and tragedy of suicide in rural Alaska. Coping with the loss of family, friends or colleagues from injury, illness, and suicide is an all-too-familiar story in many Alaska communities. It’s also a very hard story to share with others. Sometimes grief just stays bottled up inside. Kimiko Ward has channeled her own feelings of loss and helplessness into a campaign of storytelling, movement and media to help prevent suicides and help survivors to heal. Today, her influence is spreading through stories, art, media and through her handwritten words on the slip of paper that she passed to me yesterday. Yes, artists can make a difference, and Leslie Kimiko Ward is proof of that. Spread the word yourself