Global Reach with International Foundation for Arts and Culture

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Dr. Haruhisa Handa, Chairman of IFAC and Sing for Hope’s Global Patron, continues his worldwide support of “art for all”

Mezzo-Soprano Krysty Swann and Pianist Michael Fennelly perform for The International Foundation for Arts and Culture’s International Executive Director Midori Miyazaki, former Prime Minister of Australia Tony Abbott, The Handa Foundation Executive Director Kevin O’Brien, and the general public in a Sing for Hope pop-up concert at Little Island. 

This week, Sing for Hope (SFH) was delighted to welcome to New York City the organization’s esteemed Founders’ Circle members and dear friends, The International Foundation for Arts and Culture (Dr. Haruhisa Handa, Chair, Sing for Hope Global Patron). The International Foundation for Arts and Culture (IFAC) has been a transformative presence in the life of SFH through its decade-long pledge of support for the organization. Traveling in for the visit from Dubai and Australia, respectively, were IFAC’s International Executive Director Midori Miyazaki and former Prime Minister of Australia Tony Abbott. Ms. Miyazaki and Mr. Abbott were joined by Kevin O’Brien, Executive Director of The Handa Foundation, Dr. Handa’s non-profit organization dedicated to building hospitals and schools in various countries of Southeast Asia. 

Demonstrating what IFAC’s generosity helps to make possible, Sing for Hope hosted a special pop-up concert for the guests at SFH’s newest NYC parks partner, Little Island, featuring SFH artist partners Krysty Swann (The Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago) and Michael Fennelly (Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall). The duo shared arias and songs on one of Little Island’s beautiful new Sing for Hope Pianos created by noted artist and architect Jieun Yang. The instrument is one of the more than 500 artist-created Sing for Hope Pianos placed in public spaces to date.

One of the Sing for Hope Pianos created by noted artist and architect Jieun Yang for Little Island in 2021 

Following the performance, SFH Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director Camille Zamora and SFH Education Director Sharyn Pirtle shared news of the organization’s recent program developments, including its employment of hundreds of NYC’s top-tier musicians in 125 consecutive daily concert at Javits Vaccination Center during the pandemic shutdown. They also learned more from Ms. Miyazaki and Mr. Abbott about IFAC’s other global cultural initiatives, including the renowned Handa Opera on Sydney Harbor, established a decade ago by Dr. Handa and now one of the opera world’s most beloved open-air venues. The discussion lingered on the role of high-quality public performance options (ranging from individual Sing for Hope Pianos to full outdoor opera productions) that facilitate the incremental post-pandemic steps needed to restore our musical/theatrical seasons worldwide.

In addition to supporting Sing for Hope’s ongoing programming, Dr. Handa’s philanthropy has made possible the creation of Sing for Hope’s global arts program, HandaHarmony, which launched with a special flagship Sing for Hope Piano as the centerpiece of the youth-arts-centered United Nations High-Level Political Forum Side Event on July 16, 2019. The Sing for Hope HandaHarmony initiative was repeated in a COVID-safe virtual format in 2020 and 2021, and is due to return in person once again in partnership with UNICEF at the United Nations High-Level Political Forum in July 2022.

The Sing for Hope team has been known to use the phrase “art in the stream of life” in reference to its methodology of using the arts to meet people where we are—in the places we convene each day to learn, heal, work, play, grieve, and grow. It’s an approach that positions creative hope in the center of our lives and in the middle of our days, and as such, seeds powerfully positive change in individuals, organizations, and communities local and global. This kind of broad-scale positive change is a clear throughline of Dr. Handa’s philanthropic portfolio, as seen in his support of new hospitals in Cambodia, new operatic stages on Sydney Harbour, and new avenues for expression and uplift via the Sing for Hope Pianos and education programs. 

In Dr. Haruhisa Handa’s words, “I believe that music and the arts have the power to transform human hearts and minds, to draw us inward and upward to make the world around us a better place. Sing for Hope brings this transformational power to the disenfranchised of society. I am happy to support Sing for Hope as it continues to leverage the arts to illuminate and create a better, brighter, more sustainable future.”

Mr. Abbott joins pianist Michael Fennelly for some fun on the keys during a special Sing for Hope pop-up event at Little Island for The International Foundation for Arts and Culture
(L to R) SFH Co-Founder Camille Zamora, IFAC International Executive Director Midori Miyazaki, SFH Mezzo-Soprano Krysty Swann, former Prime Minister of Australia Tony Abbott, SFH Pianist Michael Fennelly, and Sing for Hope Education Director Sharyn Pirtle
Little Island, NYC
Little Island, NYC

Below are photos of previous Sing for Hope HandaHarmony programming made possible by The International Foundation for Arts and Culture, in partnership with UNICEF as part of the United Nations High-Level Political Forum 

Sing for Hope HandaHarmony Youth participant Darrius Simmons plays the Sing for Hope HandaHarmony Piano at the United Nations High-Level Political Forum side event ‘Child and Youth Art, Advocacy and Action to be Safe to Learn: A student presentation on SDGs 4 and 17.” The HandaHarmony Sing for Hope Piano featured designs sourced by over 3,000 global youth via the Comics Uniting Nations’ School Superhero Comic Contest
Sing for Hope Youth Artist Kaylin Hedges and students from Nord Anglia Schools sing “Dream Big, Speak Loud,” written by Jennifer Walsey. They were accompanied on the HandaHarmony SFH Piano at UNICEF House.
18-year-old Indonesia native Rizka Ramli speaks at UNICEF House about her design featured on the Sing for Hope HandaHarmony Piano. 
Darrius Simmons greets the crowd at UNICEF House in front of UNICEF’s special Sing for Hope HandaHarmony Piano.
Sing for Hope Co-Founders Monica Yunus and Camille Zamora with young pianist Darrius Simmons at UNICEF’s Sing for Hope Piano, made possible by IFAC.

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THE SING FOR HOPE FOUNDERS’ CIRCLE

  • The International Foundation for Arts and Culture
    (Dr. Haruhisa Handa, Chairman, Sing for Hope Global Patron)
  • The Arnhold Foundation in loving memory of Sissy and Henry Arnhold
  • The Thea Petschek Iervolino Foundation
  • The Anna-Maria & Stephen Kellen Foundation
  • Ann Ziff
Sing for Hope is supported, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts with support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation.

Unitex is a founding sponsor of Open Arts

Sing for Hope is a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization (EIN 01-0856384). A copy of our most recently filed financial report is available from the Charities Registry on the New York State Attorney General’s website (www.charitiesnys.com) or, upon request, by contacting the New York State Attorney General, Charities Bureau, 28 Liberty Street, New York, NY 10005, or Sing for Hope at 99 Wall Street #1812, New York, NY 10005. You also may obtain information on charitable organizations from the New York State Office of the Attorney General at www.charitiesnys.com or (212) 416-8401.

Our mission is “art for all” – we actively engage those with special physical or intellectual needs. Both our office and our SFH Pianos Studio at 28 Liberty are ADA compliant, as are our partner sites.

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