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GIVING BACK: East meets West for Adirondack Global Arts Festival 2018

February 16, 2018
By GRIFFIN KELLY - Staff Writer ( , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - In the Adirondacks, a few of the closest cities that are viewed as cultural hubs - Burlington, Montreal, Albany - are still a good distance away. Yet, despite being slightly secluded, Tammy Loewy believes the North Country has a strong sense of diffusion.

On March 9 and 10, multiple organizations, nonprofit groups and businesses will host the Adirondack Global Arts Festival, an educational and engaging event that is meant to infuse a little cultural diversity and awareness into the North Country.

"The Adirondack Global Arts Festival is basically engaging cultural events through the arts and using food, film, music, dance and visual arts," said Loewy, the director of the festival and co-owner of Green Goddess Natural Foods in Lake Placid.

The festival is an offshoot of a previous fundraiser, the World Music Festival, which was organized by Reason2smile.

Reason2Smile is a nonprofit organization that provides educational opportunities, food, clothing and healthcare to kids at the Jambo Jipya School and children's home in Mtwapa, Kenya.

"What is was supposed to do was bring world music, workshops and performances to the Adirondacks and Lake Placid while supporting this orphanage and school in Kenya," Loewy said. "But what we found was that we wanted to make it larger and more community oriented."

Loewy said the festival is no longer a fundraiser; some money will go to charities, but it's not the main focus.

"As part of their education component of their mission," Loewy said, "[Reason2Smile] wanted to turn over the event to the community and make it all about engaging cultural diversity and global arts."

Other nonprofit organizations such as the Lake Placid Center for the Arts, the Adirondack Diversity Initiative, the Adirondack Film Society and John Brown Lives! have come together to make a more all-encompassing event in which the community and schools can get involved.

Friday, March 9

The Adirondack Film Society will screen the film "Coco" at 7 p.m. at the LPCA, and it will be free to all Spanish teachers and their students. "Coco" is the latest movie from Pixar.

The film tells the story of a young boy named Miguel, who lives in Santa Cecilia, Mexico. Miguel desperately wants to be a guitarist like his idol Ernesto de la Cruz, but his family wants him to become a shoemaker like the rest his relatives. After digging up and strumming Ernesto's guitar, Miguel finds himself in the Land of the Dead where he seeks to find his dead ancestors and figure out how he can please his family while also pursuing his dreams of music.

From 3:06 to 5 p.m. on the 9, North Country Public Radio's David Sommerstein will host a live session at the Lake Placid Pub and Brewery of his show, The Beat Authority.

After Sommerstein, the local folk, bluegrass band Big Slyde will perform from 7 to 9 p.m. The five-piece group, which sometimes includes Olympic biathlete Lowell Bailey, delivers harmonies of stringed instruments interspersed with some rather funky licks.

Saturday, March 10

The Adirondack Carousel in Saranac Lake will host the student festival from 10 a.m. to noon. This year, the Carousel is celebrating Dr. Seuss with free books, rides, snacks and readings.

The main festival will run from 2 to 10 p.m. at the LPCA and is headlined by Jeh Kulu Dance and Drum Theater, Burlington Taiko and Sabouyouma.

Also throughout the day, there will be other cultural activities like yoga classes, origami making and Capoeira, the Brazilian art of dance fighting.

The Adirondack Global Arts Festival is currently raising $1,000 on the Adirondack Gives website,, to help pay for the acts.

Loewy said people often travel to New York City to listen to music, watch dance, eat international food and enjoy a different cultural perspective, but they don't need to go all that way for those experiences.

"I think that you have more and more people who are interested in engaging on a more global level -the access to information via the Internet and being able to see and hear and fall in love with things that are not so readily available to us. I think that pushes us to try to bring some of that into the Adirondacks."



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