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FreeWorld - "D-Up (Here's To Diversity)"


Diversity. One of the foremost qualities in nature that defines our planet. Without it, all flowers would smell the same, every creature would look the same, and all people would be the same. Life would not only be incredibly boring, but virtually impossible without the multitude of diverse beings populating our world. The endless variety of colors, thoughts, beliefs, perceptions, styles, desires, hopes, and dreams just within humanity alone is astounding. It was this reality that inspired Richard Cushing, leader of the Memphis-based musical ensemble, FreeWorld, to envision the re-recording of their song, “D-Up (Here’s to Diversity)” in the fall of 2020. The song (with lyrics written by David Skypeck) and accompanying video (produced by Justin Jaggers), came bursting forth with new life through the amazing production talents of Niko Lyras, along with the instrumental & vocal contributions of over three dozen established entertainers, talented newcomers, and legacy artists, who all came together and donated their time and talents to create a work of art that celebrates and exemplifies the musical, cultural, emotional, intellectual, and Spiritual unity and diversity inherent in our city and the world beyond. This project was not conceived to raise money for any cause. It was brought to fruition to raise awareness of our deep need as a people to appreciate the ever-expanding palate of our diverse reality here on planet Earth, to celebrate our racial and cultural differences, and to help us all embrace the true worth of our uniqueness and individuality. As the lyrics of the song say, ”There is power in our differences / So maybe we can use it to further our existences / With Communication, Respect, and Harmony / Here’s to Diversity (D-UP!)”




Information for the Audience: 

Directors: Richard Cushing Writers: David Skypeck, Richard Cushing, Brian Overstreet, Prentice Wulff-Woesten, Alphonzo Bailey Producers: Justin Jaggers, NIko Lyras, Richard Cushing Key cast: Wendy Moten, Al Kapone, Terrance Simien, Tierinii Jackson-Naftaly, Hope Clayburn, Adam Levin, Reba Russell, Larry Springfield, Marcela Pinilla, Marcella Simien, Todd Poole, Richard Cushing, Chris Johnson, Alexis Roberson, Chris Stephenson, Katrina Anderson, Walter White, Joyce Cobb, Prentice Wulff-Woesten, Harold Thomas, Robert Wrightsil, Jerome Chism, Earl "The Pearl" Banks, George Lawrence, Andy Tate, Niko Lyras, Luther Dickinson, Ori Naftaly, "Blind Mississippi" Morris, Alice Hasen, Peter Climie, Lannie McMillan, John Gutierrez, Paul McKinney, Freedman Steorts, Laura Haynes

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