Tillman Scholars host Playing for Peace to bring diversity through art

Melodic, relaxing music flew through the air at Barrett, the Honors College's courtyard Tuesday at the Tempe campus. Tables were draped with white paper that had an assortment of paint containers and brushes planted in the center as groups of students painted on small canvases.

Playing for Peace, hosted by the Tillman Scholars, is a project that looks to show how students use art to resolve conflict and effect change in their communities.

Part of the Pat Tillman Foundation, the Tillman Scholars were asked by the ASU President’s Office to put on the event with the goal to engage students with the Apple Hill String Quartet, a New Hampshire-based orchestra founded in the early 1970s.

Ashley Brennan, a psychology sophomore and a member of the Tillman Scholars, organized the program and brought together four other student organizations on campus.

The program was inspired by and implemented Apple Hill’s motive of using art for social change.

“We wanted to showcase how some student groups at ASU are doing that,” Brennan said.

The Apple Hill String Quartet will take center stage at ASU Gammage on Saturday. Until then, the group wanted to interact with the ASU community and talked to several classes throughout the week.

Mike Kelley, a violist for the quartet, said the group’s goal is to use music to bring together diverse groups, in hopes that they will connect by playing together.

The quartet is a resident ensemble for the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, which, according to its official website, exists to create, perform and teach chamber music at the highest standard and offers scholarships to international students so they can study and play at Apple Hill over the summer.

The quartet interacted with students as they worked on their artwork.

The art created by students will be donated to the Sojourner Center, Arizona’s largest domestic violence shelter.

Leslie Moore, the community outreach coordinator at the center, said the staff and people who stay at the shelter are excited to receive the artwork and integrate it into the center by putting artwork in each of the participants' rooms.

“(It) creates an atmosphere of feeling welcome and that lets them know that people care,” Moore said.

The Sojourner Center used to be the largest shelter in the nation, but because of budget cuts, it had to cut back and is now operating on half its former budget.

To conclude the event, the Apple Hill String Quartet performed a 10-minute long segment in the Barrett Honors Hall in front of a large group of people.

Contact the reporter at hfrodrig@asu.edu or @hanzzzzzzzy on Twitter.

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