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Some Friday fun in Ste. Genevieve

The Center for the Arts in Ste. Genevieve will present “Visualizing Peace,” a photography exhibit by Daisaku Ikeda of Japan, who is this year’s recipient of the Visualizing Peace Award for outstanding contributions toward peace through art.

Born in Tokyo in 1928, Ikeda is the president of Soka Gakkai International (SGI) and the founder of several educational, cultural and research institutes.

For his efforts, Ikeda has received numerous honorary doctorates and awards, including the United Nations Peace Award, the International Tolerance Award from the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Rosa Parks Humanitarian Award.

The Center for the Arts is honored to have been selected by SGI to display about 20 photographs that Ikeda has taken around the world.

“To be selected to host this exhibit by Daisaku Ikeda is a humbling experience,” said Diane Wilson, the Center for the Arts’ owner and director. “It is also a great honor for the city of Ste. Genevieve.”

The one-day exhibit will be on display at the Center, located in Ste. Genevieve’s historic district, from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, during Ste. Genevieve’s Fourth Friday Art Walk.

Ikeda is not expected to attend, but several of his representatives from California, Chicago and Farmington, will be on hand.

Representing Ikeda will be International Committee of Artists for Peace Vice President  Kay Yoshikawa of California of SGI and USA Central Territory Director Jim Nobukuni from Chicago will also be in attendance.

Local representatives are SGI Midwest Territory Peace and Community Relations Representative Claire Wroblewski of Farmington and SGI South East Missouri Vice District leader, Lisa Bates of Ste. Genevieve.

City of Bloomsdale representatives – Karl Kline, City Alderman and wife, Dr. Lesa Kline and City Clerk, Lynette Randoll will present an Honorary Citizenship to Ikeda.

A small ceremony will kick off the event.

The Friday night exhibit, as well as an Origami Workshop by artist/dancer Mariko Schmit, is free to the public. The event will also include a live performance by Hideyo Mills singing Japanese Folk Songs, Heysun Missi performing on Korean steel drum and Matt Wroblewski on piano.

Ikeda is third president of the Soka Gakkai lay Buddhist organization and the founding president of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI). He is a Buddhist philosopher, peacebuilder, world-renowned educator, author, poet, and photographer, publishing hundreds of books, dialogues and essays in 26 languages.

In 1975, Ikeda became president of the newly formed Soka Gakkai International.

Since its inception, SGI has grown to include a presence in 163 countries and territories.

Also included during the Aug. 28 Fourth Friday Art Walk will be a block party sponsored by the Tour of Missouri local organizing committee and the Ste. Genevieve Municipal Band from from 5 to 9 p.m. After dark, an outdoor movie will be shown. All events are free to the public.

The Tour Of Missouri, a seven-day, 612-mile cycling race which draws racers from around the world, will roll into Ste Genevieve on Sept. 8. The block party to promote the upcoming race will include music, a child’s bike decorating contest, a fun ride for all ages, prize drawings and food vendors.

All the events will be held in the historic district, downtown Ste. Genevieve.

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