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The Newton Festival of the Arts Announces Spring Events

The three-month celebration of arts across media begins on Saturday, April 9 in Newton and will continue through Saturday, June 11. This is the second year of the Newton Festival of the Arts, organized by the City of Newton and its Newton Community Pride committee.

Approximately 100 events will take place spanning art, music, theater, Russian opera, dance, food, poetry, storytelling and authors at venues across the City. After expenses are covered, funds raised from sponsors and ticket sales at more than a dozen city-organized events will go to Newton's food pantries and non-profit organizations.

The Festival kicks off with Newton Open Studios, a fine art and craft show, where 150 artists open their studios on April 9-10. There will also be a juried public art project of banners at Newton City Hall and the banners will later be displayed outdoors for one year across the City. The Newton Open Studios juried art show is April 20-June 17 at Newton City Hall.

April Highlights
Music also begins in April with the New Philharmonia Family and Highland Glee Club concerts. These performances are followed by an evening of Cabaret on Friday, April 29 at the Newton Cultural Center at City Hall.

Lasell College, in the Auburndale section of Newton, holds fashion shows by its students on Friday, April 29 and Saturday, April 30.

Newton Mayor Setti Warren said: "The Festival is our opportunity to celebrate and showcase Newton's talented citizens and organizations. Art, music, and cultural events are very important to the richness and vitality of our community."

May Highlights
Nine pianos decorated with art will be placed in the villages from May 1 - May 31. Called "The Artful Piano," musicians, joined by the public, will play at nine outdoor locations. To protect the pianos from the weather, Lasell College students in the Fashion Department have created tarp coverings. The pianos will be in West Newton, Auburndale, Newtonville, Newton Center, Waban, Chestnut Hill (The Street), Newton Highlands, Newton Upper Falls, and Nonantum.

On Sunday, May 1, the city holds its 17th annual day of volunteer service called NewtonSERVES, An expected 1000 residents will fan out across the city to work on dozens of spring cleanup projects.

Composer and musician, Prof. Hankus Netsky, leads four performers in Lost and Found Jewish Musical Treasures from the Hebrew National Salvage Project. Hassidic melodies, Klezmer dance tunes, and Yiddish songs will be featured on Sunday, May 1 at Temple Shalom of Newton.

The Music for Food concert to benefit Newton's food pantries is Tuesday, May 3. Kim Kashkashian, a Grammy award-winning violist, will be joined by several outstanding musicians and the Pro Arte Orchestra. and West Stockbridge Chamber Players are also included in the Festival.

Throughout the day on Saturday, May 7, dance takes center stage at City Hall. At the same time, there will be amusement rides and food trucks for KidsFEST. On May 8, residents celebrate Newton's diversity with an Ethnic Heritage Festival filled with music, arts, crafts, and food representing the city's rich culture.

Ten artists have been commissioned to create a new work of art related to an object from the Historic Newton Collection at the Jackson Homestead. The art will be displayed from May 12-June 12. On Saturday, May 14, Acoustic Newton will be heard on the Green in Newton Center. Music fills the air from 3pm-9pm and covers a wide variety of melodies from folk, swing, bluegrass, blues, rock and roll, ending with the Klezwoods and its multi-cultural music.

On Sunday, May 15, the day begins with Futures of Jazz performed by high school students from Newton North, Newton South, and Brookline. In the evening, there is Russian and Jewish music at the Cultural Center at Newton City Hall with the Nigun Chamber Ensemble.

The week of May 16 features a mix of music, food, and innovation. On Tuesday, May 17, a chant repertoire from the Medieval period to modern day is at City Hall; May 18 highlights cuisine from Tokyo to Paris with a demonstration and dinner of Sushi to Sweets at City Hall.

At the Showcase SuperLux in Chestnut Hill, innovation and creativity intersect with art, science, and technology during a panel discussion on Thursday, May 19. It will be moderated by WGBH Executive Arts Editor Jared Bowen. He will be joined by Lynne Allen, artist and interim Dean of the BU College of Fine Arts; Paula Apsell, senior executive producer, WGBH-TV's Nova series; Scott Bailey, managing director, MassChallenge of Boston; and, Paul Ha, director, List Visual Arts Center at MIT.

On Wednesday, May 25, the Mayor's annual Prayer Breakfast is held at Boston College to promote racial, ethic, and religious harmony. The West Stockbridge Chamber Players perform on May 26 at The Lutheran Church of the Newtons.

Following the Sunday, May 29 Memorial Day Parade, music returns to the Newton Center Green with a Country Motion Dance Party. On May 31, Mayor Warren hosts an Arts Appreciation Celebration at City Hall.

June Conclusion
"The Importance of Being Earnest," by Newton Theatre Company and Newton Nomadic Theater will be performed June 3, 4, 10, and 11. The Newton Festival of the Arts ends on Saturday, June 11.

Festival Supporters and Recognition
"The Festival requires artists, performers, a legion of volunteers, and equally important sponsors," said Linda Plaut, director, Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs. "More than two dozen businesses are helping underwrite the three months of events led by Platinum Sponsor, The Village Bank, and 16 Gold, Silver and Bronze sponsors. Tens of thousands of residents and visitors enjoy the festivities and our arts organizations benefit from publicity and grants from funds which remain after expenses." Many of the sponsors are recognized with street banners attached to utility poles in Newton.

Last month, the Massachusetts Cultural Council joined the supporters' list with an award recognizing the Festival of Dance and Ethnic Heritage Festival weekend May 7 and 8. The Council noted what it said was "the great work you do in providing significant programming that is a vital part of the cultural landscape of Massachusetts."

In addition to the Festival web site, news and information is also available at:
And, the Spatter app for the Festival can be downloaded for some iOS and Android mobile devices.

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