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A Multicultural Unity Fest Comes to Southampton

Thu, 07/23/2020 - 14:34

The Southampton Arts Center will host a Unity Fest for the first time Sunday, inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. The center’s grounds will be the scene of an array of multiculturally owned and run businesses and organizations, as well as musicians, motivational speakers, food, and art. 

The festival will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and that night at 8:40 the documentary "Killer Bees," featuring the Bridgehampton High School boys basketball team, will be screened, dedicated to the late Bobby Hopson, the team’s career scoring leader.

Musically, performances will be by Certain Moves from noon to 1 p.m., Dwayne Kerr from 1 to 1:45, Winston Irie and the Selective Security Band from 2 to 3, Yacouba Sissoko from 3 to 3:45, and Project Vibe from 4 to 5. 

At 11:40 a.m. there will be an opening address by Amy Kirwin, the center’s artistic director, Brenda Simmons of the Southampton African American Museum, and Georgette Grier-Key of Eastville Community Historical Society. From 11:45 a.m. to 7:45 p.m., many speakers will take the stage, including Paul Jeffers of the Bridgehampton Child Care and Recreational Center, Minerva Perez of OLA, and Larry Street of the N.A.A.C.P.’s Eastern Long Island Branch.

At 7:40 p.m., Tanisha Wingfield-Highsmith will sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” and at 7:45 the "Killer Bees" filmmakers, Ben and Orson Cummings, will take part in a pre-screening panel discussion with the Killer Bees’ former coach Carl Johnson. “Advance reservations strongly encouraged,” the art center’s website says.

Community involvement has also been encouraged. On a large banner attendees can write messages and draw pictures of hope and unity, which, upon completion, will be displayed in one of the arches at the front of the center. Additionally, there will be a variety of information booths, from Long Island United Youth, Shelter Island’s Sylvester Manor, and the Plain Sight Project, among others. 

And on the refreshments front, the offerings will include Maria Rosario's empanadas, native soul food by Niecy Smith, and goods from the South Fork Bakery. Among the vendors on hand will be Tavia Jeffries, who makes wineglasses and lip gloss, and Nylejah Green and Tiana Grampus, who make Madu Organic Soaps. Kristine Goree will do hair braiding.

Wearing face masks and following social distancing guidelines will be expected. Hand sanitizer and masks will be available.

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