The Tri-Cities Encounter 2014: Beyond the Barricade cultural event is March 15-16 at Richland High School.
"Through fascinating exhibits, music, performances and art, Tri-Cities Encounter examines the question what unites us, as persons, cultures and nations," said Nina Powers, director of the event.
There will be performances by the Academy of Children's Theatre, snibbets from the Mid-Columbia Musical Theatre's production of Les Miserables, folk group Tall Heights from Boston, the Base 6 Breakdance troupe from Pasco, the Mid-Columbia Pipe and Drum Corps, the Nathaniel Dett Chorale from Canada, mariachi singers from Wenatchee, and opera singer Jose Iniguez, who grew up in Mattawa and now lives in Seattle.
Speakers include Bishop Blase Cupich from Spokane and Elizabeth Nguyen van Thuan from Canada, the youngest sister of Cardinal van Thuan who spent nine years in a Vietnam prison for preaching publicly about forgiveness and reconciliation.
A panel discussion features Mid-Columbia Symphony maestro Nicholas Wallin, Tri-City theater director Jo Brodzinski, Mastersingers director Justin Raffa, van Thuan and Iniguez. The panel members will talk about why they live as they do and how their art is an expression of communion, Powers said.
Karen Gaffney from Portland will also give a talk about living with Down syndrome and accomplishing professional-level swimming. She swam the English Channel and Great Salt Lake and has participated in the annual Escape from Alcatraz swim in San Francisco several times.
A full schedule of events is at TCEncounter.org. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. March 15 and from noon to 5 p.m. March 16. Admission is free.
-- Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @dorioneal