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ATTRACTING OUR YOUNG TO HELLENIC CULTURE AND HERITAGE (cont'd)

2. ENTERTAINMENT: Programs that are entertaining and at the same time, highlight Hellenic Culture and Heritage, can be singularly effective. Music and Dancing Festivals are indeed very effective tools in this respect and of course they have the same appeal to the young all over the world. They closely resemble Rock-Concerts in America, that attract hundreds of thousands of ecstatic youths every year and are big events, with live media coverage.

But even at a smaller scale, one has to observe the delirious and screaming youths during a Michael Jackson concert to appreciate the loud message: that Music has a powerful and sustained influence and casts a real spell over the young, in all societies and so does dancing for that matter. So far, Dancing Festivals have been used in an uncoordinated manner. An annual dancing festival organized by the Church in our area, has been very successful year after year.

-Thus, Greek music concerts organized locally, or given by a grand orchestra from Greece, with tours in key cities and in large Communities, can do wonders for young and adults alike, in boosting Hellenic Culture. There can be additional benefits from these events, such as, concomitant fund raising and widespread positive media publicity. Yianni, Ntalaras, Nana Mouskouri and others can be enticed to participate in such an effort.

-Furthermore, well organized and strictly supervised annual or semiannual Dancing Festivals, specifically designed for the young in the United States and Canada and boosted probably by dancing groups from Greece, could be spectacular. In addition, the need for a National, Greek Folk Dancing Ballet, becomes obvious and could make an enormous contribution to the cause of reviving the interest of our young in Hellenic Culture and Heritage, through Music and Dancing. It is certain that magnificent Greek folk-dancing will be an integral part of ceremonies during the 2004 Olympics. The experience of those of us who attended the Convention for Greeks Abroad in Thessaloniki, was absolutely superb in this respect. The performance of several dancing groups was outstanding.

3. FILM AND THEATER FESTIVALS: Well organized film and theater festivals touring key cities in the United States and Canada, with large Hellenic Communities, can be very effective in financial terms and in spreading the message of Hellenic Culture and Heritage. Greece is endowed with enormous talent in theater, which so far has been almost unutilized.

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