New Orleans, LA (RPRN) March 26, 2009—New Orleans musician Susan Cowsill and her band will perform at the 2009 Education Without Borders Conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). Susan Cowsill has suffered personal tragedy from Hurricane Katrina and can speak to the power of using artistic expression to cope with loss, as she continues to be active in post-Katrina recovery efforts. The International Child Art Foundation (ICAF) will also display artworks by child survivors of Hurricane Katrina at the 2009 Education Without Borders (EWB) Conference, held March 30th through April 1st.
Mr. David R. Voelker, chairman of Louisiana Recovery Authority and managing partner of Frantzen Voelker Conway Investments, will also participate in EWB organized by Dr. Tayeb Kamali, vice chancellor of UAEâ€™s Higher Colleges of Technology, and hosted by H.H. Sheikh Nahayan Al Nahayan, UAE Minister of Higher Education.
Susan Cowsill made her initial mark on popular culture at the tender age of eight with The Cowsills, the 60s family pop group that not only scored Top Ten singles The Rain the Park and Other Things, Hair and We Can Fly but also served as the real-life inspiration for TV’s fictional Partridge Family. During Susanâ€™s decade with New Orleansâ€™ roots-pop supergroup The Continental Drifters, she won the hearts of discerning listeners with her impassioned vocals and personally-charged songwriting, gracing three widely-acclaimed albums and a decadeâ€™s worth of riveting performances.
The biennial EWB Conference engages students, educators and business leaders in dialogue that promotes social change in countries around the world. As part of the dialogue, the ICAF will present the Children of Katrina: Then and Now exhibit on behalf of its Healing Arts Program. Although the featured artworks depict sorrow and disorder, they are balanced with illustrations of renewed spirit. The exhibit will convey that art is an effective method for children to find internal and external relief from natural catastrophes.
â€œThe ICAF employs the power of the arts to help children heal so they can unleash their imagination and creativity,â€ said Dr. Ashfaq Ishaq, chairman of the ICAF. â€œWe are grateful to the UAE government for its $100 million donation to the U.S. government for Katrina relief. This exhibition shows how the children suffered and how they recovered through our program that made use of their innate resilience. The exhibition pays tribute to the UAE for helping the children overcome the catastrophe.â€
â€œThis was a very important project and I was eager to share our story of New Orleans,â€ Susan Cowsill said.
â€œIf I were to see my music through an activism filter, my “cause” would have to be love. If we are not a songwriter and cannot easily express our feelings that way, we can surely listen to music and find comfort and self-expression through someone else’s songs or any other art form that speaks to you. This is one reason why music is so important to our young people,â€ Cowsill emphasized.
About the International Child Art Foundation (ICAF)
The International Child Art Foundation (ICAF) was founded in 1997 as the national art and creativity organization for American children and the international art organization for children around the world in order to harness their imagination for positive social change.