ICAP performers both young and old delighted the residents of several local nursing facilities with Japanese dance, Korean drumming, a women’s chorus, contemporary keyboard works and several other types of performance. And perhaps most importantly, they spent valuable time engaging with and lifting the spirits of the residents.
The City of Crystal City, as it’s officially known, is an important American manufacturing center. It derives its name from the fact that in the early nineteenth century, a superior quality of sand rock—or silica—ideal for making glass and crystal was discovered in an area 27 miles south of St. Louis. The town that sprung up around the glassmaking industry was established in 1843 as Crystal City, and by 1896, it had become the largest supplier of plate glass in the world.
Thomas V. Schilley, mayor of the City of Crystal City, learned of the artists’ efforts through conversations with local community organizer and ICAP member Claire Wroblewski. This prompted him to learn more about the organization promoting, through artistic and cultural exchange, the revolutionary idea that true peace is created through helping to bring about the happiness of all individuals.
On November 18, the mayor attended a performance at the Crystal Oaks Skilled Nursing Center. Mayor Schilley not only praised the participants’ efforts, he also used the opportunity to celebrate ICAP and the lifetime achievements of Daisaku Ikeda and his wife, Kaneko, welcoming the couple as honorary citizens of the City of Crystal City.