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One Greenport Cultural Arts Festival to highlight diverse talents in community

06/01/2017 11:50 AM |

With summer just around the corner, the volunteer group One Greenport plans to celebrate with a new festival designed to highlight the diverse cultural backgrounds present in the community.

On Sunday, June 4, it will host the One Greenport Cultural Arts Festival — a three-hour event at Mitchell Park designed to showcase local residents’ culinary, artistic and musical talents.

“One Greenport wanted our first effort to be something that was a really nice gathering of our neighbors and showcase kids’ artwork and local musicians,” said village Trustee Doug Roberts, a member of One Greenport.

The event will feature performances by the gospel group Just B ’Cus, Walter the Pan Flute Player, Greenport High School’s a cappella group, a Colombian guitar duo, a Guatemalan dance troupe, dancers from Main Stage Dance Academy and more.

A clown will entertain children and Greenport students’ artwork will be displayed around Mitchell Park. The event poster was designed by Leslie Perez, a junior at Greenport High School.

Local restaurants will be providing finger food. Guests are also invited to bring their own picnics to enjoy. In addition, Sister Margaret Smyth of the North Fork Spanish Apostolate has organized a group of people who will make pupusa, a traditional Salvadoran dish, during the festival, said One Greenport member Dinni Gordon.

“I’m looking forward to just getting together and enjoying the performances that the village has to offer,” Ms. Gordon said. “The festival is going to be very local; that is part of what it’s about it.”

Created this winter by the Village of Greenport, One Greenport comprises a half-dozen local volunteers who came together to honor the various cultures represented in the community.

Similar to the Anti-Bias Task Force, but less politically focused, the group aims to embrace everybody who lives in Greenport.

“With a lot of negativity that was, and still sometimes is, swirling around different communities in town we thought instead of getting political we should create positivity,” Mr. Roberts said. “We’re making a statement that we’re going to celebrate where people are from and the art and music and food from where they’re from.”

The event is sponsored by the village and The Friends of Mitchell Park contributed funds to cover some costs, Mr. Roberts said.

“It’s a celebration of Greenport and relaxing way to start the summer,” Ms. Gordon said. “It’s really just a summer afternoon opportunity for people of the different communities to get together.”

The free festival runs from 1 to 4 p.m. A rain date is scheduled for Sunday, June 11.

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Courtesy photo: One Greenport Cultural Arts Festival’s poster was created by Leslie Perez, a junior at Greenport High School.

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