Human Values Festival 2019: Austin, TX
The second annual Human Values Fest (HVF) took place in Austin-Texas on Saturday 6 April 2019 at the Weiss Performing Arts Center. Free tickets for HVF 2019 were completely snapped up two weeks prior to the event. Despite torrential rains and inclement weather, nearly 500 people attended the festival.
Launched in 2018 by the Institute of Sathya Sai Education (ISSE) – USA and under the auspices of the SSIO-USA Public Outreach Mission, HVF is a free family festival which celebrates five universal human values inherent in all of us - Love, Truth, Right Action, Peace and Non-Violence. The HVF event includes stage performances by renowned artists, an art-dance-drama-music-creative writing-technology exhibition and contest, community hero awards, and value-based activities and positive fun.
The HVF 2019 festival was spearheaded by the ISSE- USA with support from the Sathya Sai Center of Austin, SSIO-USA South Region, various schools and nearly 100 volunteers. The event left a deep imprint in those who participated. This year’s event featured an exhibition of over 150 human-values themed artworks by elementary school children from the community at large. Participants also engaged in creative activities and games with various human-values themes. Among others, activities included the live painting of two large human-values murals by participants and the sprouting of flower seeds under value-decorated rocks.
The day was capped with a highly energetic concert by Emmy-Award winner and inspirational speaker, Mrs. Faith Rivera; and legendary bass player and Gold & Platinum R&B and Motown musician, Mr. Eddie Watkins Jr. The inspirational music session was followed by a recognition of various community heroes, nominated by members of the community. These heroes shared some of their impactful work in the community. Awards of gratitude were presented to: the Travis County Fire Dept.; City of Pflugerville Police Dept.; Ms. Mickie Powers (Volunteer Director – Half-Way Home); Ms. Allison Battlin (Co-Founder, Loloma Foundation); and Dr. Lakshmi Atkuri and Dr. Soumya Pasapuletti (Directors - (Free) Unity Clinic of Texas).
The evening concluded with the presentation of medals and awards to all the children who took part in HVF 2019 and a light dinner for all attendees. The HVF event was a success as evidenced by the very positive comments received from members of the public at large who attended the HVF:
~ “It was very moving to see all the children participating and witnessing their artworks – our future is very bright with them.”
~ “HVF is a beautiful representation of values that need to be taught to everyone, to create awareness and peace in this world and to work in unity.”
~ “A very happy event which makes everyone feel included and brings lots of positivity.”
~ “A wonderful event and wholesome environment to enjoy with our children and family”.