Third annual Harmony in the ‘Hatt event promotes nonviolence

Muzizi, a local reggae-rock band, played Saturday afternoon at the Bluemont Hotel during the Harmony in the 'Hatt music event. This event was put on by the Manhattan Nonviolence Initiative. (Katelin Woods | Collegian Media Group)

Many music festivals may stick to one genre of music, but the third annual Harmony in the ‘Hatt event on Saturday showcased many different genres through local talent from noon to 6 p.m.

The event is part of the Manhattan Nonviolence Initiative, a local organization dedicated to the education and practice of everyday nonviolence. According to the organization’s website, “everyday nonviolence is a practice of seeing whole systems, discovering connections, identifying patterns and precursors to antagonism and violence.”

Susanne Glymour, co-organizer of Harmony in the ‘Hatt and director of the Manhattan Nonviolence Initiative said she believes nonviolent communication can be used every day. Nonviolent communication was promoted throughout the event, and its premise can also be seen through community classes at UFM.

“Harmony in the ‘Hatt is a project of the Manhattan Nonviolence Initiative which is a part of UFM,” Glymour explains. “UFM Community Learning Center is based on the philosophy that anyone can learn and anyone can teach.”

UFM offers community classes and Glymour teaches workshops for personal communications. The classes come from aspects of nonviolent communication texts as well as constructive communications, aspects of communication and negotiation.

The event was originally scheduled to be held at Triangle Park, but rain moved the event to the Bluemont Hotel.

Music groups included Thundering Cats, Headlight Rivals, Stewart Ray, Santiago Brothers, Wayne Goins Combo and Muzizi. All talent at the festival had some type of connection to Manhattan. The festival’s goal was to draw a pool of local artists that spans over all over music.

With a wide spread of genres, the event showed common interests between audience members who may come from diverse backgrounds and provided new interactions and experiences.

The event organizers co-coordinated with the Beach Museum of Art, which kicked off their Art in Motion event at the time of the festival. Barrie Tompkins, actor and farrier, reenacted a Buffalo Soldier in the Civil War. Tompkins performed in both the Beach Museum and Bluemont Hotel.

To learn more about the Manhattan Nonviolence Initiative, visit their Facebook page or website.