By Ashley Lodato
Saturday’s rain eased for a while during the dedication of Winthrop’s new Confluence Park at the former site of the Arrowleaf Bistro, as residents and visitors strolled about while enjoying refreshments and Dixieland jazz. The cake was delicious, the coffee warmed cold hands, and the band’s music put a swing in your step, but the sweetest aspect of the event was watching groups of friends gathered, in rain jackets and hats for the first time this season, catching up with each other. All over the park people stood in small groups laughing and chatting, while kids gathered leaves and played on the wet grass.
In her speech accepting the donation of the park by Gaye and Jim Pigott, Winthrop Mayor Anne Acheson called the park “a place for people to meet and share stories of the day.” And although Anne had most certainly written her talk earlier in the week, her words so accurately reflected how the park is already being used, and how it will continue to be used in the future. In a world where genuine human connections seem increasingly tenuous, the park will serve as one more catalyst for the bond amongst Methow Valley community members.
Many of you will remember that Luc Reynaud spent several weeks in Jordan last February, as part of a group of artists bringing music, painting and photography to Syrian children in Jordanian refugee camps through an organization called Voices of the Children: “sparking art, opening up channels of creativity, and focusing on the beauty in life,” Luc called it. Luc was so inspired by his time with refugee children that he returned to Jordan to make a music video, which debuted over the weekend in three Washington hotspots: Mount Vernon, Seattle and Twisp.
The “Welcome to My House” music video, which was directed by a Syrian filmmaker and filmed in various sites in Jordan as well as in the Pacific Northwest, features American teens and Syrian refugee youth “with a cross-cultural message of joy, love, and peace.”
About 50 people showed up for the Twisp film release, which included Luc and other artists/presenters showing the video, talking about the project, and then showing some behind-the-scenes footage, including a clip of Luc waiting his turn to get through the Zaa’tari refugee camp checkpoint.
If you missed the showing, you can see the video on Monday (Oct. 17) on YouTube. And what would be really helpful to the project would be for you to visit http://thndr.me/YXaaUB and share the project with your Facebook friends, showing your support for Luc and the Lovingtons and the Voices of the Children and the music video.
“Joy in my walk, love in my talk, peace in my house,” Luc’s lyrics say. “You’re welcome to my house, you’re welcome to my house.” In these days of wars and walls, this is welcome talk indeed.