You don’t have to wait to arrive at the AFS Annual Meeting in Harrisburg to start learning more about the traditions and perspectives of the diverse communities who live there. Even if you can’t travel, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts makes it possible for you to enter into dialogue with traditional artists and practitioners from central and southern Pennsylvania as they talk about the work they do and how it sustains their communities. From Sviraj Balkan tamboura ensemble to the creative traditions embedded in words and stories from Harrisburg’s Black and Latinx communities, this series will spark conversations about practice, community, resilience and sustainability so we can not only enjoy a celebration of local traditions and hear local perspectives, but also critically engage together on questions that concern us all during the pandemic and beyond. The series is facilitated by members of the AFS Annual Meeting Local Planning Committee who have strong ties to the featured speakers. A new gathering follows each month until our October meeting.
Look for information on our 2021 AFS Annual Meeting page in the weeks to come for information about how to register for each session.
Links to recordings of the past sessions will be added below as they become available.
- May 13: Easter Traditions of Central Pennsylvania
Tradition bearers Barbara Felty and Mary Lou Leisey will demonstrate and discuss the significance and sustainability of egg decorating traditions from Central Pennsylvania.
- June 8: Sviraj
A Balkan tamboura ensemble from Steelton who perform ballads, popular songs and especially kolos, upbeat dance music.
- July 8: Textile and Fiber Traditions
An overview of local textile traditions that have European and Asian roots.
- August 12: Magnificent Healing, a Reader’s Theater by the PA Immigrant and Refugee Women’s Network
A reader’s theater play about immigrant and refugee women’s experiences with the U.S. healthcare system and its collisions with traditional healing practices.
- September 9: Spiritual Messengers Warriors for God
A men’s contemporary gospel ensemble based in the First Spirit Filled Missionary Baptist Church in Harrisburg, who describe themselves as a source of healing and connection, motivated when “people get on their feet and start clapping and shouting.”
- September 23: Creative Texts and Spoken Word Traditions
Creative traditions embedded in words and stories from Harrisburg’s Black and Latinx communities, featuring Rick Kearns and Nathaniel Gadsden as well as The Writers Wordshop.
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