Three new speakers/performers have been added to the Festival of Faiths lineup: a former news anchor and war reporter, a songwriter activist and local finalists on the NBC show “America’s Got Talent.” This year’s annual interfaith celebration is themed “Compassion: Shining like the Sun.”
All three new additions will appear at a free, ticketless event Wednesday, April 19, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Assumption.
Ann Curry has been a reporter for more than 30 years, focused on covering war zones and natural disasters. She served as the National and International Correspondent/Anchor for NBC News and the Anchor at Large for the Today show.
She worked for NBC News for 25 years and now runs her own multiplatform media startup and continues to conduct major news interviews for a number of different outlets.
Curry has interviewed the Dalai Lama three times, according to NBC News. She has reported from reported from war zones and humanitarian crises in places such as Sudan, Darfur, Syria and Bagdad. She has covered the Olympics and the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
IMAJ is the “Country Darling of Peace & Love.” She’s a country singer-songwriter and the daughter of TV’s Phillip Michael Thomas (Tubbs from “Miami Vice”). Her most popular song is “Colorblind” off of her sophomore album “America’s Sweetheart,” which dropped in early 2016.
On her website, she says that the song is about what she things millennials’ view of being “color blind” means. “The new #Colorblind isn’t about ignoring color, it’s about seeing beyond the stereotypes of color, to see each other for who we actually are,” she writes and recites in the song. “It’s about seeing the vitality of diversity; in our skin, in our language, our culture, our gender, our faith. There’s an intelligence that lies beyond our antiquated fears of one another. That intelligence is LOVE.” (emphasis hers)
Local singing group, Linkin’ Bridge, shot to fame by making it to the finals of “America’s Got Talent.” On the show, the a capella group sang diverse songs like “Free Bird,” Always on my Mind,” Over the Rainbow,” and “7 Years.
The foursome, who have been friends since childhood, are Shon ‘China’ Lacy, Montre Davis, Ekoe Alexanda and Big Rome Kimbrough. The group is from the West End and, on their Facebook page, say that their “hope is to inspire unity in a world divided by social and cultural difference.”
They will lead the musical lineup at the event. The session will also feature the Humanity Passport Project Greater Community Choir who welcomes Wayside Christian Mission’s “Down By The Wayside” choir.
Opening night is being curated by Ambassador Shabazz, a social philanthropist, founder of the Humanity Passport Project and daughter of Malcolm X.
The Festival will be held at the Kentucky Center for the Arts April 19-21 and move to Spalding University on April 22 for a special Earth Day celebration. Tickets for the full event are $250, with most individual speakers, performances or panels at $25 each. The full schedule is available on the website.
Watch IMAJ and Linkin’ Bridge below: