News & Events

2015 Philly Dream Fest Progam

Published on Apr 24 2015

in Events



Dreaming Across Barriers

Did you ever notice that clouds don’t respect international boundaries? They just float, and bring the rain that nourishes everything.

In the past twelve years, we’ve seen Dream Flags grow this way, too—because of the nourishing power of dreams and the way they travel so freely. Who could guess that when Dream Flag teacher Catherine Bauer reached out to her friend at the U.S. Embassy in Macedonia, that little connection would grow into a year-long Dream and Friendship Exchange between students in rural Bistrica and Pensacola, Florida?

And who could guess that Ann Tran at the embassy would see the writing of Langston Hughes and the inclusive community of Ferry Pass as powerful agents to help diffuse the ethnic separation that overshadows the Macedonian school systems? But that’s exactly what happened.

When we teach our students to be bold enough to dream out loud on a flag, to have the courage to take on the vulnerability of saying what really matters to them, what they care about, we see borders crossed, divisions dissolve, humanity nourished.  Like clouds--seemingly insubstantial but essential to life—the dreams travel and connect.

In the coming year, we’ll be looking at ways to help our network of educators who recognize the transformative power of dreaming and connecting grow into a broader and even more inclusive global community.  We need to teach our students skills, but equally, we need motivation, we need inspiration, we need cross-cultural understanding, we need global awareness. We need adults who can teach this and students who can embody this. That would be you.

Thank you for helping us dream across barriers by being here today, by celebrating the inspiring, motivating, and powerfully moving dreams that surround us here. And if you’re a student Dream Flag poet, thanks for being courageous enough to dream out loud. You are already a leader.  (322)

Yours dreaming and doing,

--Jeff Harlan & Sarah Kinder



#1 Dream Collector -- scavenger hunt
#2 Wear a Dream - shirt decoration station
#3 Dream Flag Tatoo Station -- temporary tattoos for all
#4 Notes to Nepal -- create a flag with words of encouragement to Dream Flag school in Khumjung, Nepal.
#5 Dream Banner Art Activity -- add your dream to the group banner
#6 Your Dream Button -- decorate and make your dream button
#7 Open Mike -- bring your dream poem and read
#8 Learning Langston -- puzzle your way through the inspiring life of Langston Hughes



Celebration Gathering

Go to Grand Hall Overlook near open mike.


Circle of Dreams


Celebratio Stage

Move to Kirby Auditorium for Poetry Celebration.


Remarks by Mark Kehres, Program Manager for the National Constitution Center

Dream Flag Poetry Readings

Representative readers from each participating group. Musical accompaniment by guitarist Tim Motzer.

Acknowleggements & 2015 Dreamer Awards

After closing, move to Grand Hall Overlook area and pack up Flags.

Travel Flags

All groups who wish to send their Dream Flags "on tour" -- to Alaska and other exhibitions -- bring them to the Travel Flag desk by Registration before leaving.



Thanks to so many people and groups: the National Constitution Center, administration at The Agnes Irwin School, and so many teacher, parent and student volunteers who made this day happen.

At the National Constitution Center, the dautless Jenna Winterlee has helped us every step of the way, and the vision of Kerry Sautner has kept us going. And thanks to Jen Moses for being here to make everything run smoothly today. And a shout out to Mark Kehres for his comments to all of us.  

At The Agnes Irwin School, the support of our new school Head, Wendy Hill, and of our Director of Studies and Center for the Advancement of Girls, Mariandl Hufford has been critical all along the way. Also at AIS, the support of the Communications Office under the direction of Wanda Odom has given us the hand-on support and quick responses that help our project reach far and wide.

A special thank you for our visitor from Belize who came all the way here to join us: Dawn Flowers, Juanita Bailey, Ty Bailey, Sharema McKenzie, and Terencye Mckenzie.

Thanks for the huge support from our friends of Nepal who came here from DC to support our Rebulding the Dreams campaign: Dawa Sherpa, Phurba Shepa, and Tenzing Sherpa. 

A huge thanks to our amazing volunteer staff who came out today to put up so many Dream Flags and put on a wonderful festival for all of us: Liz Ortiz, Lynne Myavec, Dorren Herne, Andrew Connally, Kimmy Sanna, Lynn Luong, Franceca Capdanno, Keri Farrow, Jenny Liang, Madeline Boyes, Jane Lang, Pat Goodridge, Andrew Flaherty, Andrew Moria, Judy Peeler, Rebecca Wickes, Lisa Mottes, Kim Beamon-Morton, Csilla Mate, Katie Cooper, Julie Richardson, Diana Wilder, Miriam Harlan, Vanessa Tercero, and Carrie Spaulding!

A shout-out and huzzah to our newly formed AIS Upper School Dream Flag Project Support Club who created new activities this year. Great leadership from our MC’s and many others today. They are the best--all year long.

And without all of the hundrends of teachers and thousands of courageous students who put their dreams on the line, this would never what it's become. Thank you the most.