Human Values Festival in USA

The Institute of Sathya Sai Education (ISSE) of the USA, with support from the SSIO, initiated a new community outreach effort, Human Values Fest, a family-centred festival expanding awareness of the five cardinal human values and the practice of love and service in the community. This first annual Human Values Fest took place in Austin, Texas, on 4th November 2017, at the Don Tew Performing Arts Center. The event, supported by local partner schools, drew about 500 people, including hundreds of local families. It featured a human values art, music, and creative writing exhibition displaying 150 pieces by children in primary and elementary schools, various values-based activities and crafts for children, an art and music contest, and a display highlighting community work by local service organisations. The day was capped by an exhilarating evening concert by International Rhythm Masters and a soul-stirring performance by international hip-hop, MTV, humanitarian, and values-focused recording artist, Nimo/Empty Hands Music. The delightful concert ended with an evening awards ceremony recognising the efforts of all participating children and artists. The first-ever Human Values Fest was so well-received by the community that many individuals, schools, and service organisations expressed interest in participating in next year’s event, in 2018. The facility manager said, “I have worked with many groups over my 15 years here; you are among the very best I’ve ever seen. Your group worked in harmony, asked for nothing, and responded graciously to facility issues. The message and event theme were also like nothing I’ve seen before. I will definitely let the school district know about this and hope we can see you again in the future.” Public responses to the event included “unique,” “moved to tears,” and “very impactful.”