Unity Performing Arts Foundation is committed to keeping our students safe, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are ways Unity is working to bring students back safely:
Unity has created a Crisis Planning Committee. The committee’s sole purpose is developing a reopening strategy that will help keep parents, students, staff and community stakeholders safe.
Unity is consulting Indiana State Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines in drafting the reopening strategy, as well as considering measures promoted by schools, other performing arts organizations, and Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb.
Unity will communicate the reopening plan in a virtual meeting accessible by anyone.
Unity will provide a written document that will be distributed by email or traditional mail.
Unity’s strategy will be a dynamic document that will change as guidance and conditions warrant.
(September 3, 2020) In Times Like These: Hate rises, but is conquered by TRUE LOVE
The camouflaged history of this country has concealed many layers of hateful and destructive behavior. However, since the discovery of the internet, America’s dark past has become more evident over time. Hundreds of hidden stories that had been rewritten and forgotten are being discovered, revealing a dark America of yesterday. We are learning today that millions of innocent people have been murdered in the name of democracy. Luke 12:2-3 states that the secrets will be uncovered, the truth will come forth, and God’s thought about every behavior and action will be vindicated. What’s done in the dark will come to light.
In Times Like These: The cries of the innocent and oppressed generate a genuine love that overwhelms the influence of hate.
Love that continues to fight for the rights and respect for all people will eventually conquer those who promote hating and ruling over others. TRUE LOVE speaks to all of humanity and says, “I have no color, no biases, no party, and no religion. I’m available and unlimited to all.” To all who read this message today, I plead with you, stand up and speak out against hate, and let GENUINE LOVE guide your actions toward others today! Together, let’s challenge America to be better!
(August 27, 2020) In Times Like These: Are you grateful or grumbling?
What’s on your list of complaints today? My body hurts? I hate my job? My boss gets on my nerves? I’m tired of being broke? I can’t stand being in the house, I’m going crazy? These kids are getting on my nerves? What’s missing that could use some attention? Gratitude! The quality of being thankful is something that should never be taken for granted or overshadowed with endless complaints.
In Times Like These: Gratitude is essential.
Stop the busyness, take some quality time to count up your blessings, and reflect on the many things God has brought you through and is now protecting you from during this pandemic. Take a moment of silence and within yourself, right now, say, “I’m Grateful, things may not be perfect, but I. Am. Grateful.” Remember! There are so many like you or worse off than you, who have refused to complain. So, I encourage you to take a permanent vacation from your grumbling and refresh your attitude, focus, and mindset, so that in your pain, you will find peace, joy, and contentment. Always remember, no matter what you face in all things, give thanks, and be grateful!
(August 20, 2020) In times like these: Show someone you CARE
Theodore Roosevelt wrote, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” What a profound statement! There are so many people today who throw around their intellectual sharpness as if it’s valid enough to demonstrate caring. If you’re using your intellectual prowess to criticize, judge, vilify, and nullify people’s value, understand, this is not an honorable demonstration of caring.
IN TIMES LIKE THESE: People are longing for love, joy, and unity.
It takes compassion, a skillfulness of the heart to show caring. When people are hurting from personal, social, racial, or occupational issues, the last thing they need is insensitive intellects analyzing their painful reaction instead of the root of their pain. When caring is connected to superficial expectations or requirements, it is cruelty. However, when caring is demonstrated from a gracious heart despite the person’s ability to meet the expectations, that’s defined compassion. Is there someone around you that may need some love, joy, or a helping hand? Be intentional today, and make the time to show someone you CARE
(August 13, 2020) IN TIMES LIKE THESE: New Opportunities Are Knocking. Don’t Miss Them.
What are you doing with more time? How are you taking advantage of less movement? What are you doing to improve yourself? These and many more challenging questions are floating around in the cosmos beckoning for us to answer. However, during a crisis, people often spend more time moping over the pain, the loss, and the devastation and don’t look for, prepare for, or condition for a new opportunity. There are many opportunities around us: Crossing our cultural borderlines and finding new people who don’t look like us to befriend, studying history you didn’t learn in school, equipping yourself with information on how to embrace a productive spiritual life, or even investing in learning a new career.
In Times Like These: Our desire, drive, and determination levels will only grow through discipline. Without the presence of discipline, you can easily find yourself doing nothing. Remember, nothing from nothing leaves nothing. I encourage you to make the most of this season, discover a new you, develop that new you, and increase your capacity to think sharper, deeper, and wiser. On the other side of this pandemic, I hope you would have discovered the things in you that were lying dormant, locked in a closet, or sitting on the back row of life. I implore you to GET UP and STAND UP and release the hidden gifts inside you, the abilities you have for so long doubted. Change the way you see everything and become a new YOU! Today Is Your Day!
(June 16, 2020) In Times Like These: BE STABLE & DON’T GIVE UP
There is nothing more dangerous, especially during a crisis than a double-minded and unstable leader. The heavy load of a crisis can affect almost every aspect of your life and sometimes put you in positions where you feel like throwing in the towel. My friends, remember the race is not given to the swift nor the strong but to them who endure to the end.
In Times Like These, what you are made of, will come forth. If you are unstable and shaky, a crisis will ultimately break you apart; however, if you are secure, sure, and assured, nothing will be able to move your commitment or distract your attention. Until one is committed, there will always be a hesitancy to draw back, which produces ineffective results.
Whatever you are feeling now, if it’s not encouraging you to be steadfast and stand your ground, you need to quickly dismiss that feeling. I encourage you not to grow weary in doing good and producing good, for at the proper time you will reap a harvest if you DO NOT GIVE UP!
(June 9, 2020) In Times Like These: EVIL IS RECRUITING & LOOKING FOR NEW PROSPECTS
Some people may describe evil as chaotic and unorganized; I beg to differ. Evil is very much organized, structured, and running an operation in good standing. Evil has recruited a great list of influential and uninfluential prospects on his roster. He has politicians, educators, the rich, the well-off, the poor, judges, police officers, attorneys, athletes, entertainers, business owners, world leaders, corporate leaders, religious leaders, community leaders, financial experts, healthcare workers, young people, the list goes on and on.
In times like these, beware of evil’s most destructive weapons of attraction, deception, control, and power. These weapons can take the most unassuming and intelligent human mind and change its ability to distinguish between right and wrong or true and false. Once this occurs, that person completely loses their ability to accept, understand, or embrace reality. Deception deflects reality, while control restrains reality, and power oppresses reality.
However, NONE of these weapons can function in the presence of TRUTH. I encourage you to surround yourself with people who can discern the truth and have the wisdom to distinguish right from wrong. Filter who you hang around, what you listen to, what you read and what you watch, and keep yourself accountable to someone who will challenge your mindset and keep you in check. Finally, be kind and treat people with dignity and respect, and together we can produce more GOOD in the world.
(July 2, 2020) In Times Like These: ONLY THE STRONG & PREPARED WILL SURVIVE
Living a life on the edge in an ordinary sense can become a disaster in a severe crisis. What we do with ourselves and for ourselves during the days of sunshine will ultimately be tested during a stormy season. Preparation is essential to overcoming an unexpected crisis. In this life, you will be faced with the unannounced presence of surprise, and if you are properly equipped and conditioned, you will be able to overcome anything.
IN TIMES LIKE THESE: Be very careful who and what you invest your trust into, jobs, money, businesses, churches, education, associates, politics, family, friends, success, etc. The question is, can these things intrinsically secure and protect you from the unexpected? No, because all of these things are unpredictable and extremely unstable. You need an anchor that can withstand any form of calamity and keep you secure even when things and people disappear. Your preparation will determine your survival, so be sure that your anchor holds and grips the SOLID ROCK. Trust not in yourself but in the creator of all things and let him give you the wisdom to prepare for whatever you may face in life. I implore you to AWAKEN and prepare yourself for what’s coming.
Matthew 7:24-27 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
(June 25, 2020) In Times Like These: ANXIETY, FEAR, & STRESS BECOME SILENT RULERS
The presence of chaos can automatically intensify our levels of anxiety, fear, and stress. Over the years I have found that understanding these harmful enemies helps give me the upper hand on dealing with them. I’ve given them distinct identities: anxiety is the mother of worry; fear is the father of the unknown, and stress is the enemy of order.
I believe our most significant error in dealing with these three forces is that we think they can be conquered by human effort. IN TIMES LIKE THESE, we need someone higher than ourselves to overcome these dangerous silent rulers.
I’m reminded of a passage in 1Peter 5:6-7: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
Friends, we can’t conquer them alone. We must learn to manage the influence they can have on us. I encourage you to fight with your will, heart, and soul, and when you feel weak, call for reinforcement and cast them over to God to conquer. Remember, in times of trouble, HE CARES FOR YOU! May God’s Comforting Hand Be With You.
(June 18, 2020) ⭐️In times like these: The Army of CHANGE is Deployed⭐️
As seasons reach their end, change is deployed to remove and replace, however when comfort is the order of the day, it tends to shun the very presence and thought of change. You see, change was naturally inserted into the creation of every living and the non-living things made by the Creator. In some instances, change is only embraced through the presence of a crisis. Why? Because of a strong will against change.
In times like these: When the oppressed begin to cry out, evil systems and regimes start shaking, and as the oppressed people continue to cry out louder and longer, the army of change is deployed from the universe, and soon evil systems and regimes crumble. Change doesn’t happen by the hand of man; the voice of the oppressed beckons it. God’s not dead; my sweet mother used to say, all the time when I was a little boy, and boy, was she right. When God deploys his army of change, nothing on earth can stop them. To everyone who is in the way of destiny, change will move YOU and replace YOU. So, you have two ways to embrace change, either willingly or by force, I encourage you to embrace change so that you are not caught fighting destiny. There will come a time when the oppressed are no longer oppressed, and chaos will yield to order, and conflict will submit to peace because Everything Must Change. Be An Agent of Change.
Benard Ighner and Quincy Jones composed a piece in 1974, called Everything Must Change. This song reminds us of an inevitable fact that there is a season for everything. In your period of silence and meditation, please let this song saturate your spirit.
(June 11, 2020) 🎶In Times Like These: WE NEED MUSIC IN THE AIR🎶
“Over my head, I hear music in the air; there must be a God somewhere.” The music of this Negro Spiritual plays a sweet sound of hope in the ears of those who are and have been awakened to the presence of hate and evil in the world. Being alert to injustice and aware of inequality makes you now responsibly informed to act on ridding our society of these two cancers.
The music I hear in the air is refreshing, rejuvenating, and inspiring to all of us who see and believe that every human deserves the right to be respected and given a fair opportunity to grow and add value to this wonderfully created world.
IN TIMES LIKE THESE, we need the music of peace, the music of equality, the music of joy, and the music of justice to ring out in the air so loud that everyone who hears it can be healed by it. The power of music that heals humanity is not created by man but given to man by God to perform. Those of you who are on the side of peace, I implore you, don’t fret, and don’t you give up the fight, because good will ALWAYS conquer evil. The battle might get rough while we fight, and some might get hurt or even killed, but good WILL win! So my sisters and brothers, what healing music do you know that will fill the air with hope? Please share it with us in the comments! Shine the light of understanding, and rest in the peace of God.
(June 4, 2020) ⭐️In Times Like These: REAL PEOPLE & TRUE FRIENDS ARE ESSENTIAL⭐️
As we watch darkness thicken, and experience evil, piercing through the darkness of a pandemic in the form of racism, it sickens your heart to the core. Since the beginning of man on the earth, the battle between good and evil, true and false, real and fake, has been competing for the attention of humanity.
IN TIMES LIKE THESE: Real people and true friends are essential. Real people have a clear view of goodness and kindness, regardless of race, political affiliation, nationality, gender, religion, or economic class. They see people as humans, and they value and cherish their relationships. In this life, if you are blessed to connect with someone and gain a true friend, that is the most extraordinary expression of light. The ripple-effect of true friendship is strong enough to dissipate darkness and ease the pain of evil. Who are the real people and true friends in your life? I ask you to stop right now and call them, send them a post or send them a letter, and let them know how much they mean to you. No power on the earth can destroy the impact of evil like LOVE.
GIVE SOME LOVE AWAY TODAY!❤️
(May 28, 2020) ⭐️In Times Like These: OUR PRIORITIES ARE REALIGNED⭐️
What is the most overused phrase in our world today? “I’M BUSY.”
We conjure up a litany of things to justify we’re busy. Yet, we can’t return calls and emails or meet deadlines, and worst of all, we can’t make time for the things that matter the most, family members, friends, and meaningful relationships. This is what being “busy” does to all of us; it robs us from experiencing meaningful moments in our lives.
IN TIMES LIKE THESE, crisis gets our attention and forces us to make some needed changes in our so-called busy life. However, being productively active vs. being busy helps us to value what’s essential and what creates real impact.
I challenge you to take inventory of your life and evaluate the order of your priorities. Why don’t I have enough time? What is truly important to me? Who needs my attention? Questions like these begin the process of making the necessary changes to bring your life back into alignment. Feel free to comment below!
(May 21, 2020) ⭐️In Times Like These Weekly Thought Series⭐️
OUR PURPOSE IN LIFE IS PUT BACK INTO FOCUS
Purpose discovered early tends to get lost within the cares of life because of a preoccupied focus. Your purpose includes you, but it’s not about you, it’s for others. However, accomplishments such as position, power, prosperity, and popularity all work jointly in harmony to hi-jack your purpose and cloud your focus.
But, you have to respect the power of crisis. It brings pain, yes, but IN TIMES LIKE THESE it also brings balance and alignment.
A crisis has an interesting way of reconnecting us back to what is truly important, aligning us once again, to our initial knowledge of our purpose on earth.
In a crisis, the “stuff” of life is slowly removed from our sight and our concentration begins to pierce through the clouds of distraction to a clear path to focus.
I encourage you this day, and this moment, to refocus and re-establish your purpose in life. Be blessed!
During my teenage years, while attending church, I remember playing on the organ the hymn my father would sing on a particular Sunday, “In Times Like These”. As a teen, I didn’t understand what “times” the song was referring to because I thought as a teenager, everything was just fine. However, as an adult, I’ve witnessed some challenging events that have taken place in our country and around the world. Now I truly understand what the hymn, “In Times Like These” means, especially because of the number of challenging times that I have even personally experienced.
This present crisis is one that I’ve never experienced or even thought I would ever experience during my lifetime. For many of you, this crisis is at the back door of your life, and others, this crisis is at the front door. No matter where you are in life, this is a moment in our world history that we will never forget. None of us will be the same after it passes.
- In Times Like These brings our purpose in life back into focus.
- In Times Like These realigns our priorities.
- In Times Like These exposes us to what it means to care for one another no matter your religious, political or educational affiliation.
- In Times Like These reteaches us how to value those around us and those close to us.
- In Times Like These puts us all in the same boat no matter if you are rich, poor, black, brown, yellow, white, male or female, famous, unknown, pastor, pope, king, prince, queen, head of state, etc.
- In Times Like These it brings out the real character and heart of all of us.
I will assure you; God has mysterious ways of communicating to his creation, I’M IN CHARGE! These are the days that try men’s souls, a statement Thomas Paine wrote in 1777, in an essay entitled The Crisis.
This is the time to stop, be still and gain back what so many of us have lost in this busy and dismissive world; the ability to value, care and love others. Take these times to build your arsenal of love, respect, and humility. Refocus your goals on things more meaningful and lasting and not just personal achievements. This crisis has revealed to all of us how important our earthly gains and schedules are…. not that IMPORTANT!
I encourage the UNITY family members and our friends in this community and around the world to let this crisis make you better, wiser, and much more appreciative of the things and people in your life. Let the distress of this crisis increase your strength, stamina, and determination so that you can adjust to whatever lifestyle you are forced to embrace.
In Times Like These, we should look to our creator for protection, guidance, and peace in this crisis.
May God Bless You All,
Marshall White, Founder/CEO
Unity Performing Arts Foundation, Inc.