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Gualala Arts

Promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961.

Archive of past events: 2004 through 2014

Gualala Arts Lecture Series presents:
AIDS Orphans in Africa

- Julie De Rossi et al

Monday, March 6, 7:30 pm
$5 donation requested

AIDS Orphans in Africa Annapolis in April evokes thoughts of blossoming apple tress, meadows strewn with wild flowers, and the home of the Starcross Community. It does not evoke African villages plagued with an AIDS epidemic, the subject of this month's Gualala Arts lecture entitled "AIDS Orphans in Africa" on Monday April 3 at 7:00 in Coleman Auditorium at the art center.

Starcross Community member Julie DeRossi will describe the efforts by those at Starcross and their benefactors to assist the countless children orphaned all over the African continent, but especially at the Houses of Hope in KwaZulu, Natal and in Uganda.

Founded in 1971 as an independent community of lay men and women living in the monastic tradition, the community moved from San Francisco to a dilapidated apple orchard in Annapolis in 1976. Originally, the founding members wanted to be self sufficient and live off the land but over time had a calling to help orphaned children, first from Eastern Europe and more recently from Africa.

The journey to help orphans began simply with a Christmas party for Annapolis children in the area. That led to tutoring and schooling for area children. Next came Morning Glory House in Santa Rosa for babies, innocent victims of the AIDS pandemic. In 1991 the group established Casa Speranta in Constanta, Romania for children orphaned in that chaotic country. A letter asking for spiritual help in 1997 led to the first work in Uganda.

To support their efforts Starcross first relied on Christmas wreath sales and later on Christmas tree sales. Now the community is planning to sell olive oil made on the premises from trees planted on the property. Over 18,000 people on the community's mailing list provide material and spiritual support for the work with youngsters left without parents because of the AIDS epidemic.

Perhaps the best-known child in the Starcross family is David McCarroll who came to Annapolis from Romania when he was three. He has grown into a promising concert violinist. But, there are many other exceptional stories to be found on the Starcross website,

To learn more attend this talk, which promises to be not only interesting, but also inspirational. Suggested donation is $ 5.00 at the door.

Located at 46501 Old State Highway in Gualala, the Arts Center is open weekdays 9 am to 4 pm, and weekends from noon to 4 pm. Please call (707) 884-1138 for more information.