Global Love Day

By Billy Thao




On May 1st, from 6:00 P.M. to 7:30 P.M., Cottage Grove Arts Commission and I hosted a brand-new event, Global Love Day, at River Oaks Golf Course and Event Center in Cottage Grove. Global Love Day, according to The Love Foundation, a global nonprofit organization, is “a universal recognition of our innate oneness through love.” Every year, on May 1st, Global Love Day unites and invites various people all over the world to celebrate love and compassion.

Cottage Grove’s Global Love Day was a free event for all ages. The Arts Commission provided snacks and drinks, and there was a drawing for three winners who were given three artworks as prizes. In addition, paper roll, color crayons, markers and squeeze ‘n’ brush paints were provided, and guests creatively drew and wrote inspirational quotes and words. Although the crowd was small, the brief event was about inviting the community to live in the present moment of compassion, love and living one’s own moment of innate oneness. Furthermore, it was a moment to socialize and connect with the community. The Global Love Day mural stood for more than a piece of artwork; it stood for community and diversity. Last meeting in April, commissioner Cheesman suggested, “the mural can communicate diversity.”

The idea of hosting Global Love Day was proposed last year in September to the Arts Commission; however, it was temporarily postponed until December. I joined the Arts Commission in November of 2017 with the vision of spreading diversity and different cultures via the arts. I was encouraged to premediate the event with the support of the arts commissioners. The Cottage Grove Arts Commission consists of: Chairman – Joe Kovarik, vice-chairman – Barbara Forthun, and the commissioners – Jennifer Cheesman, Joe Filipovich, Shawn Foster-Huot, Leroy Johannsen and I; and our liaison, La Rae Mills. As our chairman affectionately reminds the commissioners, the Cottage Grove Arts Commission’s mission is “to inspire passionate, creative expression of the arts through education and collaboration with the community of Cottage Grove.” The Arts Commission has successfully hosted numerous events such as Films in 5 Fest, Make Music Day and Paint ‘n Sip Party. This summer the Arts Commission will be organizing and engaging artists, writers and musicians with Summer Concert Series, Path to Poetry, Artists of the Month and Strawberry Fest/MN Sings.

As commissioners of the arts, we continue to dedicate our endeavor to support, organize, educate and seek for creative talents within our community. Global Love Day exemplified our devotion to strengthen our community via the arts. As the year of 2018 is ongoing, the Arts Commission’s arduous effort will also persist.