The City of Newport News presents the World Arts Celebration on August 24, 2019, from 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at City Center at Oyster Point. The 5th World Arts Celebration is an inclusive, signature event that honors the many cultures in our ever-expanding city. This year’s theme is Kaleidoscope- looking through a different lens in order to truly see a culture. Interpretations/presentations of the event theme will be through food, performance, exhibitors and visual and interactive art.
This year’s headliner is Latin GRAMMY Winners Flor de Toloache. They made New York City history as its’ first, and only, all-women Mariachi group. Founded in 2008, Flor de Toloache is led by singers Mireya I. Ramos (founder) and Shae Fiol (founding member). Reminiscent of the early days of mariachi, the group started as a trio with a harp, violin and vihuela. Today, Flor De Toloache’s members hail from diverse cultural backgrounds, including Mexico, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Australia, Colombia, Germany, Italy and the United States. This defines their unique flavor and sound. The result of this cultural bouquet is an edgy, versatile and fresh take on traditional Mexican music.
International performing artists, Synergy Band will perform contemporary Rake N Scrape, the music of The Bahamas. New Bahamian solo artist Lavardo Sands, stage name Shine, will perform his hit song “Feel Like Winin,” which is currently the top single in The Bahamas. Ebony 242, a singer with multiple Bahamian bands and a competitor in international song competitions, will bring her powerful, energetic style to the stage. She performs wearing signature batik fabrics of The Bahamas, along with her signature hair color to match. The Junkanoo Commandos will erect their signature “Pop-Up Shack” showcasing Bahamian culture. The Junkanoo Commandos, a group of professional visual Bahamian artists, performers and musicians, have won The Bahamas equivalent to the Oscars, Emmys and Grammys rolled into one, as recipients of The Cacique Award.
Iowa artist Tom Chouteau will display a dozen of his large kaleidoscopes at the City Center gazebo. A virtual reality area will give the experience of walking through great works of art and creating 3-D virtual art. A mural will be created on site with instant photos forming a kaleidoscope image. Local artists will create works at the event, and hands-on activities allow everyone to make their own colorful masterpieces. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Museum Artmobile, a state-of-the-art mobile museum and education studio, will be open for tours with exhibits to transform lives and communities through the creative power of art.
Middle school age participants in Newport News Youth Programs summer camps collaborated with local artist Asa Jackson to create kaleidoscopes that will be exhibited at the World Arts Celebration. They learned about the process of creating public art, the importance of art for communities and how to express their own creative visions. Youth Programs will help children create their own kaleidoscopes at the event. All ages will enjoy special photo op areas, give-a-ways, henna art and face painting.
Special exhibits by Newport News Sister Cities, the Peninsula Fine Art Center, the Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center, and other local cultural organizations will offer activities and displays showcasing the variety of cultures in Newport News. Vendors will sell international food and crafts.
Entertainment on the World Stage will be Bharatha Natyam – Indian Classical Dance (4:00 p.m.), Alama Lantina – Latin Ballet of Virginia (4:30 p.m.), Panamanian Folkloric Group of Hampton Roads (5:10 p.m.), Synergy Band of the Bahamas (5:30 p.m.) Jow Ga Kung Fu Association Lion & Dragon Dance (6:30 p.m.) and Flor De Toloache – Mariachi (7:00 p.m.). Additional performances include the Confucious Institute at William & Mary Chinese Bamboo Flute – Jie Hou (4:15 p.m.), Mosaic Steel Orchestra Jr. Ensemble (4:30 p.m.) and the Peninsula Chinese American Association Tai Chi and Dance Demonstrations (5:30 p.m.). Stilt walkers, a “Mirror Man,” “Mona Lisa” and a silks aerialist will fill the fountain plaza with performances and photo ops.
The World Arts Celebration is presented by the City of Newport News, Newport News Sister Cities and the Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center. Admission and parking are free. For additional information, call 757-926-1400 or visit www.nnparks.com. Updates and announcements (including weather-related announcements) will be posted on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/NewportNewsFestivals and Twitter @nnfestivals.