Sharon Katz travels around the world with her band, the Peace Train, putting on musical events to promote peace and cross-cultural understanding. The South Africans “Transcending Barriers” program, scheduled for July 21, starts at the WorldBeat Cultural Center, then moves south of the border for a concert at Centro Cultural Tijuana. She was kind enough to take some questions over email.
What were your impressions of San Diego before this event?
“We visited San Diego in May 2017 to show the documentary When Voices Meet about the impact of the Peace Train in South Africa. It’s a beautiful city. Chicano Park has amazing murals that tell the story of the oppression of Latino people and their struggles.”
What are your favorite places you’ve in San Diego?
“My favorite place in San Diego is the WorldBeat Center, which is a center for African music. I feel at home there and have become good friends with the director.”
How did you go about organizing this “Transcending Barriers” event?
“The project grew out of our 2017 visit to San Diego. We were about to stage the Peace Train in Northern California. While we were in San Diego we realized how important it would be to work across the border. The idea was initiated by the Peace Train team, and we then applied for funding to the San Diego Peace Makers Fund for support.”
Who are your partners in this event, both sides of the border?
“Our partner in San Diego is the WorldBeat Center. We went to see them and we immediately clicked this past May 2018. They have offered us space for rehearsals and they are staging our concert to honor Nelson Mandela on July 18.”
- Saturday, July 21, 2018, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Paseo de Los Heroes 10001,
“Our partner in Mexico is Promotora de las Bellas Artes. They were introduced to me by the Synergy Foundation in San Diego. Promotora is a non-profit that trains vulnerable youth to sing together in choirs. The children in their project will be performing a concert with us in Tijuana on July 21. Our other partners in Tijuana are Centro Tijuana Cultural, which is the beautiful state of the art performing arts center.... The idea was to get people to understand one another learn to enjoy one another’s different cultures so we could live peacefully together in a new real democracy. We realize that our role in bringing communities together is important in other countries around the world where there are divisions.”