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New Bedford Whaling Museum

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New Bedford Whaling Museum Hosts Eighth Annual Echo Festival Of Performing Arts

"Keeping the Fire in the Dark Moon Times" features New Bedford's Candida Rose and performers from as far away as Hawaii and Alaska

NEW BEDFORD, MA (2.26.08) - The 8th Annual ECHO Festival of Performing Arts will present six performances of "Keeping the Fire in the Dark Moon Times" in various greater New Bedford venues under the auspices of the New Bedford ECHO Project (New Bedford Whaling Museum and Ocean Explorium at New Bedford Seaport) and in collaboration with the national Education through Cultural and Historic Organizations (ECHO) program.

The public is invited to the free performances on Thursday, March 13, at 7:00pm, in the Whaling Museum Theater, 18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, and on Friday, March 14, at 7:00pm, in Verdean Veterans Memorial Hall, 561 Purchase Street, New Bedford.

Through the talents of five storytellers, singers and dancers, the "Keeping the Fire in the Dark Moon Times" interactive performance honors ancestral stories from the cultures of Cape Verde and the Wampanoag of Massachusetts, the Inupiaq and Yup'ik cultures of Alaska and the Native people of the islands of Hawaii. The "Keeping the Fire" story is one of connections made and lost, and then found again. At times of disconnection, the "dark moon times," the performers show how we can stay in touch, if only through a thread as thin as a moonbeam, and remind us that it is each person's joy and responsibility to keep the connection to keep the flame burning.

"We feel fortunate to have this opportunity to help promote an appreciation and understanding of the diverse cultural heritage we all share," said Bob Rocha, Community Science Programs Manager at the Whaling Museum. "This is a wonderfully insightful and important project, especially for the youth in our region, that is made available through our collaboration with ECHO."

Performances will also be given in local schools: the New Bedford Global Learning Charter School on Tuesday, March 11, at 1:00pm; Pulaski School in New Bedford on Wednesday, March 12, at 9:30am; Carney Academy on Wednesday, March 12, at 1:00pm; and the Ford Middle School in Acushnet on Thursday, March 13, at 9:30am.

Representing the New Bedford ECHO Project in this national festival is well-known vocalist, composer and arranger Candida Rose. Born, raised and currently residing in New Bedford, Ms. Rose combines her Cape Verdean musical roots with American influences to bring a fresh, new take on the world/jazz music. A polished and experienced performer, she has over 20 years' experience singing with local, national and internationally known Cape Verdean, jazz and R&B musicians.

The other performers are: Jonathan Perry from the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem; Stephen Blanchett from the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage; Debra Dommeck from North Slope Borough in Barrow, AK; and Ani Lokomaika'i Lipscomb from the Bishop Museum in Honolulu. The tour is also performing in Oahu; Hawaii island; Washington, D.C.; New York City; Salem, MA; Aquinnah, Martha's Vineyard; and Anchorage and Barrow, AK.

The Festival is part of the ECHO (Education through Cultural and Historic Organizations) program. Established in 2001 as part of the No Child Left Behind Act, ECHO brings together innovative programming produced collaboratively by the six participating institutions, which include the New Bedford ECHO Project, and the Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts.

The New Bedford Whaling Museum is the world's most comprehensive museum devoted to the global story of whales and whaling. The cornerstone of the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, the Museum is located in the heart of the city's historic downtown at 18 Johnny Cake Hill. Open daily from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and until 9 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month, admission is free for members and children under the age of 6, $10 for adults, $9 for seniors (59+) and students with a valid ID, and $6 for children ages 6-14. For a complete calendar of events, visit the Museum online at www.whalingmuseum.org



For more information please contact the New Bedford Whaling Museum communication consultants Moore & Isherwood at eisherwood@micomm.com



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