For the second year in a row, the multi-disciplinary art festival, Festival Darom, bonded with ADI Ofakim – Beit HaYotzer, holding its wide range of cultural activities within the grounds of the rehabilitative workshop. The central theme of this year’s March 20-22 festival, was “What I Learned from My Daughter,” featuring actor and comic Tal Friedman who shared his rocky road of fatherhood with spectators in an intimate personal performance.
The festival, now in its 13th year, is based upon cooperation and collaboration with Sapir College’s Department for Culture, Creativity and Production and the Municipality of Ofakim and features music, theater and plastic art. Throughout the festival’s three days of activity, ADI Ofakim – Beit HaYotzer hosted shows, community events, workshops and a variety of activities that targeted all sectors of society, from young children to retirees.
This year’s festival opened with a moving theatrical performance in which Beit HaYotzer actors spoke to the audience about what work means to them and what their dreams are. Beit HaYotzer’s Flex workshop was filled to standing-room-only capacity, and as conversations carried over into the audience, the crowd learned to work, dance, sing and open their hearts.
In a later show, for the first time in his life, Tal Friedman peeled back layers and shared his often-shaky experiences of fatherhood, telling how his “not perfect daughter taught me who I am,” in an act that was immersive, exciting, often funny and, most importantly, significant in its emphasis on tolerance and acceptance of the other.
Ro’i Rappaport, director of ADI Ofakim – Beit HaYotzer, pointed out that, “the festival establishes a cultural meeting point between communities. It is of utmost importance in Tikkun Olam for Beit HaYotzer participants. We are proud to take part in the festival and to stage a show in which the entire cast consists of people with disabilities. The show highlights the strengths and abilities of our employees and places them as central elements in the municipal mosaic.”
Yair Vardi, Festival Darom artistic director, “This is the second year that the festival was staged in cooperation with ADI Ofakim Beit HaYotzer. One of our goals is to create a tradition of new cultural formats in Ofakim of the kind that enable encounters between residents of all local communities, encounters that otherwise may not take place.”