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A Sense of Community
By Dusty Sklar
"I was so lonely when I first moved to Teaneck," a local poet told me. "that I would stop people on the street and ask them for a light, just to make conversation. for me, there was no sense of community until the Teaneck Advisory Board on the Arts came along."
Many people have told me how grateful they are to have an organization that invites participation in the arts. It's a wonderful way to bring people together.
Poets have held workshops and given readings at arts festivals and in the community. An anthology of Teaneck poets will be published in April. Artists, too, have presented their work at festivals. A directory of local people in the arts shows the strength of the artistic community in Teaneck. The Advisory Board has been instrumental in gathering people to share their enjoyment of music and dance in an informal atmosphere.
May 30 (Memorial Day), the Advisory Board will sponsor its annual Fold Festival at Votee Park. Here's part of the schedule: from noon to 2 p.m., a community picnic; 1:30 to 4:30, international folk dancing with Jim gold; songs by Shirley Keller, host of Folk People, a WFDU program, and by Robbie Wedeen, singer-songwriter; recreational activities for children. Other exciting personalities are also expected to appear.
Past fold festivals have featured music of diverse cultural heritages, including Afro-American, Anglo-Irish, Latin American, Hebrew, Yiddish, Balkan, Greek, Indian, and Maori; and diverse folk forms, as such as gospel, blues, bluegrass, ballads, sea chanties, original and contemporary songs. Audience participation has always been stressed. Among the distinguished performers of the past have been Bob McGrath, Suni Paz, Lyn and Jan Ungar, rich Rainey, and the co-chairperson of the Advisory Board, Robbie Wedeen.
At last year's festival, we took refuge from a driving rain in the community gym, where the children had an uncommonly fine opportunity to gather closely around Sasame Street's Bob McGrath. Int he middle of Bob's song, a toddler burst out: "He's wearing Lees too."
Teaneck Public Library
840 Teaneck Road, Teaneck, NJ 07666
Tel.: (201) 837-4171, Fax: (201) 837-0410