DEBRA GIUSTI has had a successful 30 year career as an entrepreneur, event/festival producer, dancer/dance teacher and spiritual adventurer. After getting a BA in Dance and Massage Therapy, in 1977-78 she founded Health & Harmony Festival, Spirit of Christmas Crafts Fair, The Well Being Community Center and the Well Being Community Newspaper. In 1978 she also founded and grew for 15 years Wishing Well Distributing Co., distributing over 3000 health and new age products and videos nationally, and sold it in 1979. She successfully produced the Harmony Festival, Spirit of Christmas Crafts Faire for 25 years until 2004, then she established a dynamic production team to continue to produce both events. Since 1978, she has also produced many other community events such as Community Networking Exchange, Sonoma Single Soiree, and hosted prominent nationally known speakers through Harmony Events. She is now publishing a TRANSFORMING THROUGH 2012 online Multi-media eBook, www.TransformingThrough2012.com about the coming revolution in consciousness, featuring 35 prominent and emerging 2012 authors with online text, audio and video! Debra's personal passion for spiritual evolvement keeps her on the cutting edge of the human potential/spirituality movement and allows her to continue to provide information, resources and transformational events around personal and planetary evolvement.
A Historical Overview of the
Harmony Festival 1978 - 2009
In 1978, student Debra Giusti and a group of dedicated young community activists in Sonoma County had an idea, which was to merge a music festival with an exposition at Sonoma State University that featured the cutting-edge lifestyle options that were arising at the time. Today, an amazing 31 years later, that idea is more current and significant than ever. This year, the 31st anniversary Harmony Festival will run at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds June 12 – 14, with a stellar lineup, 300+ vendors, multiple stages, an on-site bookstore, and an expected 30,000+ guests.
Founder Giusti explains, “The Harmony Festival was birthed in 1978, from the passionate core values of the 60’s movement, which had touched every soul in America during that time. From the youth there was a cry, a protest, and celebration that there needed to be an evolution in our culture in how we treated ourselves, our brothers and our planet. It was an emerging new planetary consciousness, a cultural phenomenon, and a personal spiritual awakening. Separate counter culture movements rose simultaneously to claim new awareness around holistic heath, ecology, progressive politics, the women’s & peace movement, new technology, world music, the arts and spirituality. And in 1977 it was time to ground that new awareness in practical lifestyle changes that could make a big difference in the quality of our life and for the future of our children. So we began 31 years ago, with 500 hundred crazy, very passionate counter culture community members, creating the first Health & Harmony Festival.”
From that point, the festival has become the holistic hub where all these movements have come together to empower and support each other’s growth and be successful in contributing in making a positive difference on the planet. Through the years, the Festival supported these waves of emerging cultural consciousness, allowing for the sharing of cutting edge information and products and creating the opportunity to gather in like-mind support tribes, among fun and celebration with the latest popular progressive music.
In 2005, the name was changed to Harmony Festival, according to Giusti, “because Harmony is the umbrella that includes all the core values of the Harmony Festival, including Health, Art, Ecology, Healthy Living, and Spirituality”.
Now attracting over 25,000 people who participate every year, the festival has been a doorway for mainstream America to stream in and join the movement to support the positive planetary shift in creating a new world. The Festival happens through networking groups, with community connection, collaboration and celebration, in the vibe of HARMONY. And at the Harmony Festival, it becomes obvious that we are all one.
CEO of the Harmony Festival, Howard “Bo” Sapper, says “I am so excited about the growth of this festival. It warms my heart, having been a vendor for the first 5 years at this sweet, community based gathering and now 31 years later to be the CEO of the longest continuously running premier music and lifestyle festival, which has now become a destination for two generations. Some call what we do edutainment or a progressive county fair. I like to refer to it as "a party with a purpose" because I believe that we have truly influenced the dialogue across the spectrum in a deep and important way. We invite everyone to learn, laugh and dance with us into the future we are becoming.”
For long-time attendees and supporters of the Harmony Festival, it is heartening to notice that so many of the emerging concepts that were showcased at the Harmony Festival over the last three decades, such as new thought in ecology, social activism, artistic expression, and alternative spirituality, have now become accepted components of American culture. These include ideas and practices that were considered radical at the time, such as yoga, alternative healing techniques, photovoltaic technology, organic food, electric vehicles, perm culture, festival greening, Goddess spirituality, and appreciation of world music to name a few.
31 years later, the passion and drive to manifest health and harmony for all, is still alive and thriving at this year’s Harmony Festival. Green consciousness is now supported in mainstream corporate marketing, yoga classes can be found in churches regardless of denomination, and Eckhart Tolle’s teachings are reaching to millions worldwide. Harmony Festival now hosts 3 generations! Those who started the movement are now supported by their children as a collective body of people passionately driven to manifest healthy and peaceful lifestyles.
Giusti says, “We are now at a time when we are being required to fully walk our talk, integrating completely this knowledge, eco lifestyle and business practices, with collaboration and respect for our all our fellow human family, or face the consequences. And we can do it, especially with the powerful alignments and exchange that we achieve through coming together at the Harmony Festival and continue collaborations throughout the year. We must support the most graceful, conscious and positive planetary shift coming, so that we can live in HARMONY, which is the bottom line.”
June 5, 2009
Dear Debra Giusti!
Yesterday I received the information about your 31st Harmony Festival on June 12-14, 2009 in Sonoma County Fairgrounds, Santa Rosa, CA. When I studied this information and your site (http://harmonyfestival.com), devoted to this Festival, I was enraptured! I admire with your, extremely fruitful, and so long vigorous activity devoted to new planetary consciousness of harmony and a life in harmony! (I am devoted it practically simultaneously with you: since 1976. It is not casual coincidence too!). You ingeniously guessed 31 one year ago and excellent expressed coming revolution of consciousness in a harmony direction.
You express the same thoughts, that the Global Harmony Association: “Harmony is the umbrella that includes all the core values of the Harmony Festival, including Health, Art, Ecology, Healthy Living, and Spirituality”.
Or: “We must support the most graceful, conscious and positive planetary shift coming, so that we can live in HARMONY, which is the bottom line.”!
One more remarkable coincidence consists that among the GHA 15 projects there is one by GHA 72 co-authors created in September 2008 which is titled: «World Harmony/Peace Festival 2010»: http://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=342.
Unfortunately, this year we can not take part in your remarkable Festival, but we will be happy to organize it next year together and under wider program of our project.
This and similar coincidence is not casual. They once again convince that we live during an epoch of the change directed to global harmony. It understand the most different people from different continents, in the different countries, in Europe, America, China, Russia etc. It is the first signs of a new, harmonious civilization. They become more and more. It is very pleasant, that last time all of them arrive from the USA, from President Obama who in April initiated nuclear disarmament, and yesterday – initiative of harmony with the Muslim world. All it, as well as your 31st Festival of Harmony, inspires us and strengthens our belief in inevitability of global harmony on the Earth.
Your great contribution to global harmony induced me to create on the GHA website «Peace from Harmony» (www.peacefromharmony.org), which united for 4 years of hundred supporters of global harmony from 48 countries, your personal page: «Debra Giusti: Harmony Festivals Goddess» in Russian: (http://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=ru_c&key=395) and English (http://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=370) languages. This title is not casual. The GHA emblem is Harmony Goddess spiritualizing our planet by harmony. You are similar to this Goddess in your sphere of Festivals and other events of Harmony.
I included you, as the first-ever initiator of Harmony Festivals, in «The GHA Social Harmony World Achievements List since 1950».
The GHA hopes for the closest cooperation with your inspired team of Harmony Festivals. For this purpose we invite you in the GHA Board as its Honorary Member.
I suggest the GHA members to recognise Debra Giusti in the GHA higher honorary nomination: «Global Harmony Creator» about what to declare on June 21, 2009 in the Global Harmony Day on the GHA Harmonious Era Calendar.
I also call the GHA members to support Harmony Festival on June 12-14 in California and to accept in it any feasible participation.
Best harmony wishes,
Dr. Leo Semashko,