Women’s Open Mic: For Peace and Harmony was an open and inviting event designed to bring together people of diverse beliefs and backgrounds to express faith through the arts.

Dialogue between faiths can sometimes be difficult and I feel the arts can be used as a great tool to foster communication between groups. At this event, people experienced music and arts from different faith traditions and then engaged in peaceful dialogue.

Women’s Open Mic Aberdeen is a recurring open mic night for female and non-binary performers that has been growing in popularity since it’s inception in March 2018 and I was delighted to deliver November’s event in association with Interfaith Scotland with the theme ‘For Peace and Harmony’ for Scottish Interfaith Week 2018.

Interfaith is personally very important to me, as is any agenda designed to celebrate differences, acknowledge shared humanity, bring people together and overcome prejudices. It is my belief that we are all worthy of a voice and space on this earth and individuals should be safe to practice their faith. These values extend to the values held by Women’s Open Mic Aberdeen, whose events are designed to encourage equality and inclusivity. November’s event took place at local independent coffee shop ‘The Cult of Coffee’, where attendees enjoyed a warm and cosy atmosphere, paired with scrumptious coffees, teas and cakes on sale. The cosy venue was packed, with not a seat in the house free, and even a number of people making themselves comfortable on cushions on the floor. The audience were hushed and attentive to the performers, allowing for a supportive, safe space, where performers ranging from absolute beginners to the more experienced shared moving and brave pieces through the medium of song, music, spoken word, poetry and dance.

After the success of this event, I intend to maintain ties with Interfaith Scotland and Aberdeen Interfaith Group, and hope to plan another event in Aberdeen for SIFW 2019, so keep your eye out for that! You can follow Women’s Open Mic Aberdeen on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/WOMAberdeen or find out more about future multicultural and interfaith events I help to deliver in Aberdeen by emailing Rebecca at r.dunn@abmc.org.uk and ask to be put on our mailing list.

As well as organising this event, I also took part in Scottish Interfaith week through performing at the Scottish Interfaith Launch, and an Interfaith Service! I was delighted that my original song, ‘Look Up’, was featured at these events, a song I wrote about acceptance across faith, which I performed accompanied by Aberdeen based youth choir ACE Voices.

(You can see a video of my song ‘Look Up’ here www.facebook.com/RebeccaDunnMusic/videos/1482968375072513. I perform it solo here, I don’t know if a video was taken of the version with the youth choir.

Rebecca Dunn