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October 25, 2016

Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation Celebrates Archbishop Tutu with Facebook Live: #TutuAt85

This article originally appeared on the Huffington Post.

On October 7th, the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation, was able to do something remarkable. We launched Facebook Live: #TutuAt85, a multi-continent celebration of the Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s 85th birthday. From Cape Town to Los Angeles and everywhere in between, people around the world joined on social media to with celebrate our Arch – all thanks to the wonderful support of our friends at Facebook.

The celebration kicked off with a first – even for the social networking platform – at 7 am SAST, Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation launched a Facebook Live stream of the Friday Eucharist, presided by the Archbishop himself. This event was unique as it marked the first time a major church service had ever been streamed live to Facebook. Thousands across the globe joined friends, family and community members gathered in St George’s Cathedral to rejoice and celebrate the life of this amazing man. In addition to the traditional Eucharist service, the Archbishop paid a moving tribute to the cathedral, where he paused to weep briefly.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu gives Eucharist at St. George’s Cathedral on October 7th, 2016 Photo: Sumaya Hisham

Archbishop Desmond Tutu gives Eucharist at St. George’s Cathedral on October 7th, 2016
Photo: Sumaya Hisham

That afternoon, the #ShareTheJoy team live-streamed as they went through downtown Cape Town, inspiring young people to perform acts of joy – a campaign inspired by the recent book by Archbishop Tutu and the Dalai Lama, The Book of Joy. The streets of downtown Cape Town came alive as the #ShareTheJoy Team handed out cupcakes to passers by.

Human rights champion, Advocate Hina Jilani delivers the 6th Annual Desmond Tutu International Peace Lecture at the Artscape Theatre. Photo: Sumaya Hisham

Human rights champion, Advocate Hina Jilani delivers the 6th Annual Desmond Tutu International Peace Lecture at the Artscape Theatre.
Photo: Sumaya Hisham

For six years now, the celebration of the Archbishop’s birthday celebration day culminates in South Africa with the Desmond Tutu Annual Peace Lecture. An event sponsored by the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, this year’s lecture was hosted by Ms. Hina Jilani, an award-winning Pakistani Supreme Court advocate and human rights campaigner. Ms. Jilani who is a member of The Elders, an organization co-founded by Archbishop Tutu, gave a compelling speech on the need for peace in our communities. We were able to live-stream this event with the assistance of SABC television.

Of course, when the the celebration (at least the live-streaming portions) was wrapping up in Cape Town, we were just getting started celebrating across the globe! Friends and admirers of the Archbishop went live with their #TutuAt85 to share their birthday wishes to the Arch. Arianna Huffington, Richard Branson, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Alanis Morissette, Graça Machel, FW de Klerk and so many others took time throughout the day to wish the Archbishop a Happy 85th!

And while dawn was breaking in Cape Town, the party was just getting started in Los Angeles! Quincy Jones, Incubus, Fishbone, Lily Haydn, Pato Banton, Steve Vai, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and so many more artists joined Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation for UNITY: The Desmond Tutu Legacy Project. The three hour event was a celebration of the Archbishop kicked off the beginning of #TutuAt85, the first of a series of concerts scheduled to take place in cities all over the world. This entire event was shared live with tens of thousands of people across the world.

Quincy Jones arrives to the Saban Theatre for UNITY: The Desmond Tutu Tribute Concert Photo: Michael Collopy

Quincy Jones arrives to the Saban Theatre for UNITY: The Desmond Tutu Tribute Concert
Photo: Michael Collopy

We are so especially grateful to everyone who helped to make the Archbishop’s 85th birthday an extra special one, and especially to our friends at Facebook for providing us with the technology and platform to be able to share this amazing day with his friends and supporters all over the world.

If you missed any part of the Facebook Live: #TutuAt85, check out the video archives on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DesmondTutuPF/

August 19, 2016

Artists Come Together for MINI-BIG Show Benefit Concert Series to Celebrate Desmond Tutu’s 85th Birthday

For decades, Archbishop Tutu has preached a message of unity through ubuntu – what affects one of us, affects us all. On October 7, at the Saban Theatre in Los Angeles, an all-star group of artists will unite to put this philosophy into practice with a concert in tribute to the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 13.46.22-1The Los Angeles show kicks off UNITY: The Desmond Tutu Legacy Project, a global effort spearheaded by the Archbishop, his daughter Mpho Tutu and the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation to ensure his work for peace, justice, and equality continues for generations to come. Each concert will unify musicians, actors, artists, and activists who will lend their voices to raise awareness of Tutu’s life work and global impact. All artists are donating their time for this international cause.

The first UNITY Mini-Big Show will be held on Archbishop Tutu’s 85th birthday, October 7, 2016. It will coincide with a series of events attended by the Archbishop in Cape Town, South Africa, including a concert and the 6th Annual Desmond Tutu International Peace Lecture. These events will mark the beginning of a year-long celebration of Archbishop Tutu’s life, culminating in October 2017, with an all-star grand finale event that will take place in Cape Town when numerous international artists come together for a birthday tribute concert and Legacy Award ceremony.

Each Mini-Big show is an intimate performance of notable artists designed to reach the largest audience possible worldwide. Each concert will take place in a theater as opposed to a stadium and will be live streamed in partnership with Facebook, with audio simulcasts on terrestrial radio in each market.

Additional Mini-Big Shows will be held throughout 2016-7. Confirmed cities, dates, and acts include: Toronto, November 2016; New York, December 2016; Miami, March 2017; Atlanta, April 2017; with more cities to be announced.

Each Mini-Big concert will be filmed for inclusion in an exclusive retrospective documentary on Archbishop Tutu’s life story, produced by Sir Bob Geldof, which will trace the evolution of his extraordinary legacy. The documentary will feature rare archival footage and interviews with iconic personalities including Annie Lennox, Bono, Samuel L. Jackson, Peter Gabriel, Steve Tyler, Alfre Woodard, Sean Paul, Johnny Clegg, and others who have been inspired by his work. Quincy Jones will serve as Executive Producer of an all-star soundtrack to complement the film.

Special thanks to our sponsors – Facebook, Astrella, Glow Living, Guitar Center and Musician’s Institute.

Tickets for the Los Angeles show go on sale at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016 at ticketmaster.com. There will be a fan pre-sale for American Express Card holders that beganon Wednesday, Aug. 17, and will run through 10 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 19. Ticket prices range from $60 to $105. Twenty VIP tickets are available for $250 each, which include front row seats, a private meet and greet with the artists, access to the backstage reception (after the show), and a commemorative poster created and signed by artist Bob Masse.