By Jon Krieg, AFSC Des Moines

From colorful octogenarians to a high school hair band, from poetry to painting to meditation, Central Iowans expressed their creative stylings for peace at recent event organized by AFSC. The Des Moines Social Club was the setting for "Journey Together: Building Peace Through the Arts."

Videos from the event are available at AFSC Iowa's YouTube channel.

The musical duo of Big Joe & Jen started off the evening with some lively tunes. Christine, a junior at Drake, and Cody Ryan, a member of Students Beyond War, shared some poetry. Charles Ginter, a retired librarian from Indianola, talked about a series of paintings he created which portray the devastation of war.

In what may have been a first for the Social Club, Charlie Day led everyone in five minutes of silent meditation, making the connection between seeking peace within and peace without.

Awash in bright colors and enthusiasm, the Raging Grannies, members of the Des Moines branch of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, ranted and roared through a number of lively political tunes set to familiar melodies. The Body Electric, composed of members of Students Beyond War, and Normac McCarthy, a one-man band, performed music of a decidedly newer generation.

Somehow the variety of performances and people all fit together, giving life to our belief that there are a number of ways to promote peace and understanding in our world. Keep a look out for the next time AFSC and friends make art, not war.