Jazz Saxophonist Eli Degibri and his quartet giving a concert to 150 disabled persons in Beit Chimes
Generosity and social responsibility are an integral part of IcExcellence’s overall values. Accordingly, IcExcellence chosen artists participate in a wide variety of volunteer activities in the community, thereby helping expand the “Excellence Effect.”
These activities take place throughout the year, and range from giving concerts at institutions for special-needs children or adults, participating in fundraisers for non-profit organizations, inviting specific population groups of the artist’s choice to various shows (e.g.: battered women to Yasmeen Godder’s dance performances, and new immigrants to Clipa Theater), guiding talented children in outlying communities, and much, much more. They also include the great amount and many kinds of voluntary assistance that the artists provide to the foundation itself.
Much of the volunteer activity is coordinated through the Ruach Tova (Good Spirit) organization, which helps the artists decide upon and implement their contribution to the community as effectively as possible. www.ruachtova.org.il.
Theater Director Avishai Hadari chose to volunteer at a kindergarten for children with special needs. Avishai conducted theater games over a ten-week period, incorporating storytelling, arts and crafts, and dance. The period culminated in a Purim party at which he screened a short video documenting some of the activities he and the children had shared. By all accounts, the entire experience was quite touching and mutually rewarding.
An inspiring project by Mirit Weinstock, our chosen artist in the field of Fashion Design. Mirit chose to guide a group of six teenaged girls from diverse backgrounds, who wanted to know more about design. In a series of meetings, the girls were introduced to several key elements of the fashion design process, including sources of inspiration, colors, fabrics, techniques and marketing. At their final meeting, each girl had the opportunity to present her own new collection to the group.
Set and Lighting Designer Bambi Friedman is giving back to the community by sharing his special talents with philanthropic organizations. For the past two years, he has designed the main event held by the "Make a Wish" foundation for sick children. This is a giant multi-performer event that has taken place, among other venues, in the Mann Auditorium. In addition, he designs the annual event in Raanana Amphipark for Beit Issie Shapiro, which also supports children with various disabilities.
Musician Din Din Aviv consistently volunteers at different events, such as a “Tair” Rape Crisis Center event on behalf of sexual assault victims, the 2006 charity telethon, an evening for Pazit Gal-Ad – a special-needs musician, and in the past two years at memorial events for Ron Baron, a musician killed in a terrorist attack while playing in a Tel Aviv nightclub. At the 2007 memorial, Din Din performed a song written by Ron.
Movie Director Tomer Heymann decided to dedicate the premier screening of his new movie Out of Focus to help others. This moving film about Choreographer Ohad Naharin, the artistic director of Batsheva Dance Company and a member of the IcExcellence advisory committee, was the center of an event raising awareness and support for the Israel Aids Task Force. Volunteering their talent and time alongside Tomer were his IcExcellence friends Rona Kenan and Din Din Aviv who performed songs and Adi Stern who designed the impressive poster shown here.
The IcExcellence artists often assist the foundation itself and help leverage the “Excellence Effect.”
Thus, for example, they are becoming more and more integrated into the work of the artistic advisory teams and participating in selecting the next candidates in their fields of art. For example, Yaron Gottfried is the foundation’s classical music advisor, and Adi Stern advises us on visual communications. Adi also designed the official stationary and striking new logo for the foundation.
Twenty IcExcellence chosen artists collaborated on a festive interdisciplinary project to help the foundation raise donations and expand “Excellence in the Community.” In a remarkable, thrilling event at the beginning of 2009 they contributed their time and talents to two days of performances and meeting with the audience.
For the main show, entitled “Ithaca,” extraordinary joint performances were given by musician Shlomi Shaban, author Etgar Keret, singer-songwriter Rona Kenan, composer-conductor Gil Shohat, singer Din Din Aviv, composer-conductor Yaron Gottfried, trumpeter Avishai Cohen, opera singer Chen Reiss, jazz saxophonist Eli Degibri, piut singer Lior Elmalich, and percussionist duo PercaDu – Tomer Yariv and Adi Morag. The entire event was directed by film director Tomer Heymann, and the lighting and set design was done by Bambi Friedman.
The following day, a series of rare meetings about art and the “behind the scenes” of the creative process took place with visual artists Yehudit Sasportas and Gal Weinstein, illustrator and comics artist Rutu Modan, designer Adi Stern, and film directors Tomer Heymann and David Ofek. The invitation to the event was illustrated by Rutu Modan and designed by Adi Stern.