Breaking Barriers and Building Bridges: Poetry, Music, and International Exchange

Sat. March 21, 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

Paramount Theater

215 E Main Street, Charlottesville, VA 22902

Sponsored by: Charlottesville Sister Cities Commission and the Virginia Folklife Program

Hosted by: WTJU 91.1FM and Charlottesville Welcome Book

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Join the Virginia Festival of the Book and the Virginia Folklife Program for an afternoon of poetry and music exploring the ways in which folk and traditional arts can serve as a powerful means of international exchange and cultural diplomacy. This special program combines musical performances by Virginia traditional artists who participated in international exchanges in Cabo Verde, Cuba, Bulgaria, and Serbia with readings by the critically acclaimed poet Nina Murray.

These impactful exchanges were produced by the Virginia Folklife Program in partnership with the US Department of State where Murray, who originally hails from Ukraine, currently serves as the Deputy Director of Cultural Programs. Murray will read from her recent collection of poems, Alcestis in the Underworld, inspired by her own time as a foreign service officer in Russia, Lithuania, and Canada. Musical performances will feature Shenandoah Valley multi-instrumentalist Danny Knicely with Cabo Verdean musician Zerui Depina, Sephardic ballad singers Susan Gaeta and Gina Sobel, and Richmond gospel icons The Legendary Ingramettes. Virginia State Folklorist Jon Lohman hosts.

Tickets are required. Book and music sales will follow.

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Why should you attend?

Cross-cultural sharing of folk traditions is one of our most powerful tools of cultural diplomacy and fostering cross-cultural appreciation and understanding. Within the Commonwealth, across the nation, and abroad, the Virginia Folklife Program brings Virginia artists together with practitioners from around the world. Exchanges between traditional artists build bridges between seemingly disparate communities and traditions, and help artists and audiences to better understand and articulate the important influences of other cultures on our own Virginia traditions.

All photos by Pat Jarrett, Virginia Humanities

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