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The Ode to Peace International Youth Culture and Art Festival was launched at the Washington, D.C. Capital Hill Club luncheon on 30 July, to promote the spirit of peace, celebrate cultural diversity, and to provide a forum for young people to cultivate friendships through cultural exchanges between the United States and China. A representative of the Mayor of Washington, D.C., as well as the Minister Consular of the Chinese Embassy were present to welcome the Deputy Mayor of the city of Penglai, China (co-organizers of the Festival with Culture to Culture International USA, Inc. of Fairfax, VA).
Ms. Sherri Yi, of Culture-to-Culture International presided over the luncheon at the Capital Hill Club in Washington, D.C. which launched the Ode to Peace Festival.
Liu Shu Fang, The Vice-Mayor of the City of PengLai, spoke at the opening luncheon of the Ode to Peace Festival. The City of Penglai was concurrently celebrating the Festival.
Dr. Pritchard read a Statement-of-Solidarity with the People of  PengLai, China and the organizers of the Ode to Peace Festival at the Capitol Hill Luncheon.
(Photo left) Mr. Greg Chen, Director of the Office of Asian and Pacific Island Affairs,of the Washington D.C. Mayor's Office,  welcomed the Vice-Mayor of Penglai to the City of Washington. (Photo below) Mr. Beverly Stephenson, Chairman of Culture to Culture International, emphasized the importance of promoting understanding between peoples throughout the world,in light of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
(Photo right) Madam Anna Chennault, Chairman of the Council for International Cooperation, warmly congratulated the efforts of the organizers of the Ode to Peace Festival, stating that when there is peace, the arts will flourish.
(From left to right) Ms. Sherri Yi and Mr.Beverly Stephenson (of Culture to Culture), PengLai City Vice-Mayor Liu Shu Fang, Dr. Pritchard (Pa/Pa's Chairman and CEO) Mr. Kevin John Powell (Pa/Pa's Artist-in-Residence), Mr. HenriGeorges Polgar (Pa/Pa Executive Director).
(From left to right) Mrs. Lisa McFarren-Polgar(Pa/Pa's Associate Director), Mr. Henri Polgar, Ms. Samantha Doak (Pa/Pa Couturier-in-Residence)  pose with  Mme. Liu Shu Fang, at the Festival's opening luncheon.
(Photo Left) Mr. Alexey Kryutchenko, Russian foreign exchange student (who is being sponsored by the Pa/Pa) was very impressed with the multi-cultural nature of the festival. (Photo right) Mr. Christopher Noble, staff member of the Pa/Pa was also in attendance.
As an expression of his admiration and respect for the cross cultural program commitments of the City of Penglai and the Ode to Peace International Festival, Dr. Pritchard read the following statement:
Statement of Solidarity with Ode to Peace Festival
Read by Dr. Pritchard at the Washington, D.C. Capital Hill Club Luncheon
To:  The Penglai City Government
        Shandong Province
        People`s Republic of China
 
         And
 
       The Organizing Committee of the Washington, D.C. - Penglai, China
        “Ode to Peace” International Youth Culture and Art Festival
 
On this special occasion of the Third Annual “Ode to Peace” Festival, Our Foundation (the Panamerican-Panafrican Association, Inc.) extends Our congratulations to the Washington, D.C. organizers of this event as well as the Penglai City Government who are on this very same day promoting peace in their city. We especially thank Sheri Yi of Culture to Culture International, Inc., for extending Us this invitation to participate in this Festival.                
 
Having had the honour to create and lead an organization that has been active in the field of cultural and economic exchange for almost half a century, We discovered that the greatest contribution towards world peace can be made through 'people to people` exchanges that are derived through  personal human contact. This lesson was vividly demonstrated to me in 1957 during my first world tour under the auspices of the US State Department as the first virtuoso American concert pianist of African descent.
 
During Our Foundation`s collaboration in subsequent years,  not only with such para statal bodies as the  Organization of American States and the Organization of African Unity but with individual governments as well, We were always reminded that where the lines of communication may be weakened by political and economic self-interest, it is such events  as the “Ode To Peace Festival” which are vital to the survival of our world  which can only flourish through Our understanding of “interdependence” and “mutuality of benefit”. It is in that spirit, that as the Chairman of one of the largest holding companies in the world, We will be earmarking a significant contribution towards the furtherance of  tolerance and peace.
 
We fondly recall Our visit to China in 1989, when We were a part of a unique Sports and Cultural exchange project between our two countries. Organized under private initiative by the International Basketball Association, We were a part of what appeared to be the first visit ever to the Xinxiang Province by American athletes and artists. Indeed, we are persuaded that similarly to Our sports and cultural exchange activities at that time, the Ode to Peace Festival will be successful in creating lasting bonds between our two peoples that transcended national boundaries.
          The Panamerican-Panafrican Association  a non-governmental organization accredited in Consultative status to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, looks forward to being of service in concert with the mandates of the United Nations to promote the “Culture of Peace”.
(Photo above) Dr. Pritchard presented a gift of his  first piano recording to the Vice-Mayor of PengLai City, Mme. Liu Shu Fang, during the festival held at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC. The Pa/Pa's Artist-in-Residence, Mr. Kevin John Powell, also presented a gift of a work of art, which Mme Liu Shu Fang could take with her to China. (Photo left) Gift of Kevin John Powell's artwork presented to Vice=Mayor of Penglai
(Photo below) Mme. Liu Shu Fang, with Mr. Li Dongwen, the Minister-Counselor for Cultural Affairs of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China presented a gift to UNICEF (which Dr. Pritchard accepted on their behalf), which symbolized the theme of the Festival to promote peace.
Group photo of organizers and special guests in attendance at the Ode to Peace Festival in front of the Jefferson Memorial.
Children's Chamber Orchestra of Beijing
The Children`s Chamber Orchestra of Beijing, China`s most gifted young orchestral musicians performed a magnificent repertoire, which included works by Mozart, Rossini, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Strauss, as well as Chinese composer Yiwen Jiang. Dr. Pritchard had the opportunity to meet the conductor of the Orchestra and to express his hope that he would have the opportunity to perform with the orchestra in China.
Invited dignataries pose with the orchestra and conductor, Mr. Jiang Xiongda (third from left) following an exhilarating performance by the Beijing Children's Chamber Orchestra.
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