Spring Smiles

The XA Project held the 2nd annual “The Arts Touching Hearts” benefit concert on March 11, 2016 at the Kreeger Auditorium (JCCGW, Rockville, MD). In line with the theme for the 2016 benefit concert – “A Celebration of Young Artists” – 4 pre-professional ballet schools gave AMAZING performances that evening: Berrend Dance Centre (Founder/Director: Patricia Berrend), Hope Garden Ballet Academy (Founder/Director: Frances Ichijo), Maryland School of Dance (Founder/Director: Kim Palmer), and the Washington School of Ballet (Director: Kee Juan Han). In addition, two lovely young singers shared their incredible talents: London Mevaa and Xochi Atienza. Along side these talented young artists were professional artists who gave simply stellar performances including: Sharón Clark (with Chris Grass & Eliot Seppa), Yolit Flamenco (with Behzad Habibzai, Carlton Ashton, Catherina Irwin), and The Washington Ballet Dancers – Maki Onuki, Tamas Krizsa, Francesca Dugarte, and Luis Torres. For “The Arts Touching Hearts” 2016 concert, a patient family from The Children’s Inn at NIH was one of the guests of honor, and got to meet the artists backstage before the concert. It was a magical and inspiring evening, filled with music, dance, singing, and smiles! THANK YOU to all who came to support The XA Project’s mission to transform and enrich the lives of pediatric patient families through the Arts!
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Over the past several months, The XA Project, in partnership with arts, medical and transportation organizations, continued to bring smiles and joy  via the arts to patient families in the Metro DC area. In February 2016, patient families from Children’s National Medical Center attend one of the concerts by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre at the Kennedy Center. In a Facebook post, one parent stated, “I wanna send a HUGE THANK YOU to The XA Project for making it possible for Jason and his brothers, sister and myself to see the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater this weekend at the Kennedy Center. We all really enjoyed the experience and are truly grateful…
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In March 2016, patient families from the Children’s Inn at NIH had the pleasure of attending a performance of “The Peking Acrobats” at Strathmore. The XA Project received a kind note from the Children’s Inn stating, “I wanted to thank you for providing the Peking Acrobat opportunity to our families, and also for going above and beyond to secure additional tickets, allowing all interested families to attend! We can’t tell you how much it was appreciated. The families had an amazing time and it was definitely the most popular trip so far.
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In May 2016, patient families from the Children’s Inn at NIH were treated to the humorous and very creative performance “Air Play” at Strathmore. Many thanks to Barwood Taxi for donating transportation for this event. In Air Play, balloons, umbrellas, bouncy balls (small, big, and enormous), large pieces of parachute cloth, and glitter flew up in the air with all assortment of fans. Music and lighting helped the actors tell a story of friendship and fun. The pediatric patients (and their families) giggled and smiled throughout concert as the two performers created, well basically, magic. The families had a chance to meet the artists after the show and take silly pictures.
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The Children’s Inn at NIH highlighted the partnership with The XA Project in a blog  entitled “The Arts Touching Hearts at The Children’s Inn” (see: http://childrensinn.org/the-arts-touching-hearts-at-the-childrens-inn/). The partnership with The Children’s Inn is wonderful and we thank the Inn for spotlighting the smiles with patient families created because of this collaboration.
The XA Project looks forward bringing more smiles and joy to pediatric patient families in the near and distant future. The Arts really do Touch Hearts. <3

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