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22 April 2021

Naugatuck Valley Community College Hosted Virtual Arts Festival

Naugatuck Valley Community College Hosted Virtual Arts Festival

NVCC hosted its annual International Center for the Arts (ICA) Festival from April 27-29, 2021. A college tradition for the last 5 years, the ICA was launched by NVCC’s CEO, Dr. Lisa Dresdner, when she was the Associate Dean of Liberal Arts & Behavioral/Social Sciences (LABSS). Its mission is to connect students and communities to an expanded world that expresses itself through the arts. The ICA extends the reach of the college to become a significant gathering place for discovery, learning, and engagement about traditional art forms and contemporary expressions that reflect the human experience.

B.L. Baker, current Associate Dean of LABSS, commented on this year’s theme, Crossing Borders: Reconnection. “This academic year, 2020-2021, has been challenging for each of us in different ways, filled with feelings of isolation and a desire to connect with others. Our hope for Reconnection has never been more profound. The ICA believes in the power of the arts to enrich the intellectual, cultural, and personal lives of our students and communities."

The virtual festival ran from April 27 – 29, beginning with an invitation to share your poetry! A Poetry Slam kicked off the festival on both Tuesday and Wednesday mornings where acclaimed poet, Vincent Toro, presented his latest spoken word pieces focused on the theme of Reconnection.  During the Slam, Professor Steve Parlato (ENG and ART) read poems that connected to his original artwork which grew out of last year’s events. All voices were invited to share their poems in the virtual event.  

On Tuesday, April 27, 2021, the festival hosted a Bookmaking Workshop (via TEAMS) for students. During this bookmaking workshop students learned how to make an accordion book. Each participant received a FREE kit of all the supplies needed and learned how to measure, fold, and glue to create a blank book. After the workshop was complete, participants filled their books with images and text based on the theme of the 2021 International Center for the Arts Festival. When the ICA Festival returns to campus spring 2022, anyone with a completed book will be invited to participate in an exhibition. 

The Human Library® was a highlight on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. During this event, people become “books” and reading was a conversation that created an exciting opportunity for our community to connect with and learn from each other by sharing unique experiences, stories, and knowledge. In so doing, this event invited our community to practice empathy as they heard from others who have faced and overcame hardships. Readers checked out Human Books for conversations to celebrate differences, break down barriers, encourage new ideas, and strengthen our community.    

There was magic to do on Thursday, April 29, 2021 when the curtain rose on opening night for the musical comedy, PIPPIN. In this 2013 Tony Award winning musical, including Best Musical Revival, a prince learns the true meaning of glory, love, and war in this unforgettable Broadway masterpiece. With a delightful score from TONY (Wicked), Grammy, and Oscar winner, Stephen Schwartz, PIPPIN is the story of one young man's journey to be extraordinary. PIPPIN ran from April 29 – May 1.

The ICA finale featured the Reconnection Collection, an archive of original art pieces, music, dance, poetry, film, and video that showcased performances by two of NVCC’s previous Fulbright Scholars-in-Residence, Felipe Karam (2016) and Aguibou Bougobali Sanou (2018) as well as other ICA events and performances. The Reconnection Collection  remained open and available to students, faculty, and staff from April 26 through May 7.  

 

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