Ancient Meets Urban at The Sixth Annual New England Culture Fest
September 13 2009 with world class acts in honor of a more sustainable, vibrant, and unified world! Also: The interactive Ethical Art & Biz Expo showcased talented artists and dynamic businesses and The Fashionably Fair Runway Show stunned the audience with a display of ethical global fashion!
In its sixth year, this outdoor benefit festival featured Senegalese phenomenon Gokh-Bi System, who combined ancient sounds of instruments like the bougarabou, djeme and sabaar drums, ekonting- with modern hip hop beats and rhymes in multiple West African languages accompanied by African dancers and... a special treat to set the tone: the ladies and gentlemen of the 2009 Fashionably Fair Runway Showwill showcase recycled and modified clothing from local and global cutting edge designers strutting their stuff to the music and a special surprise from urban fashion label and beak dance crew, Losst Unnown. Since their arrival in America in 1999, Gokh-Bi System completed 10 US tours sharing the bill with artists such as Kanye West and Damian Marley. Gokh-Bi emcee Mamadou says, "Through our music we want to spread that sense of family we share in Senegal around the world."
A crowd favorite of the festival was Boston's reining reggae king Mighty Mystic and the Strings of Thunder who captured national attention for his string of hits including "Treat Her Right," "Riding on the Clouds," and the recent "Here I Am" featuring superstar Shaggy. Various DJs juggled innovative funk, world, and house beats in between acts and hosted a spotlight called Dance for a Better World featuring Bradford James (SEED) and Adam Gibbons (Uhuru Afrika). The day kicked off nice and funky with Boston based B3 driven funk outfit Organ in Orbit hitting everyone hard with sounds spanning the Meters to John Scofield via talents Jeremy Parker on B3 organ, Bruce Bartlett on guitar, and Steve Langone on drums. Hailing from Brattleboro, Vermont Mo Ambesa got the crowd moving to hip hop infused reggae invoking influences as eclectic as Ras Tafari to Sufi mystics. Mo Ambesa means 'Children of the Lion' in the Amharic language of Ethiopia. Dimple Shahtreated the Culture Fest audience to an amazing Bharatnatyam dance performance and back by popular demand was a fun Salsa Dance party with Dan Marshall of FreEMotion Repertory Company!
The rain may have moved the event one day up - but it cleared away nicely to allow the crowd to just beyond the Culture Fest Stage, become immersed in the NECF's Ethical Art & Biz Expo, with henna, live art, children's activities and sixty interactive exhibitors ranging from fresh orange juice to pizza, to jewelry and free piping hot fair trade Green Mountain Coffee! As night falls we enjoyed large scale interactive video installation art manipulated by NYC artist Bryan Teoh featuring the global images of The Second World Fair Trade Stories Film Archive. Also projected onto the historic downtown buildings was the animated mash up film combining 1920's blues and the Ramayna with a modern story of lost love and resilience in Nina Paley's Sita Sings the Blues. Everyone saw when the sun went down why Roger Ebert gave this Indian dub infused resilient flick "two thumbs up."
Smiles were the trend when the scintillating fashion show hit the runway to live music! The Fashionably Fairadvocacy program was hot- fusing fashion and fair trade displayed innovative design supporting economic justice and indigenous cultural preservation in the local and global community. Under the vision of Valerie Parker, Fashionably Fair founder the buzz this year was recycled vintage setting the scene with style source Cult of Individuality makeup artist Nichole Richard, urban fashion label and Boston break dancing crew Losst Unnown, Jamaica Plain artist Maj-Britt Pedersenand Lichiban a Brooklyn-based visual artist to create a play between tribal and urban that just might be the fabric of the future. Savage Traders pulled out all the stops with hand knotted necklaces which rocked perfectly with original creations melding haute couture with urban and current ethical design pulses. Hair and makeup was top notch by cutting edge stylists and was showcased on the beautiful and diverse faces of Fashionably Fair ethical fashion revolution to live music from the NECF09 headliner, Gokh-Bi System!
STAY TUNED FOR THE AUCTION INFO! Bid on these treasures in the Fashionably Fair Online Auction!
We wish to recognize all the youth artists who created the amazing two hundred foot NECF Art Fence which welcomed all attendees with a beautiful display of artistry and talent on behalf of fair trade worldwide on the fabric of the American Industrial Revolution, from the historic Lowell Boott Cotton Mill as part of the Lowell National Historic Park!
To recap: more than one hundred artists, ethical businesses, friends of fair trade, fair trade organizations and restaurants participated in NECF 2009!
This festival is a celebration transporting New Englanders to another place: immersed in the sights, scents and sounds of global culture on behalf of raising funds for fair trade economic empowerment projects around the world.
Event Partners include Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Audio East, Enterprise Bank, The Boston Globe, 88.9 FM WERS, The Weekly Dig, Medici Musica, Pose Video Productions, Microfundo, Mother Jones, The Fair Trade Federation, Transfair USA, United Teen Equality Center, The Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce, Mahoney's Garden Center, Christian Party Rental, The Holiday Inn Andover Tewksbury, Jakprints, Stellar Productions, Second World Productions, Kinney Hill, Baker Street Productions, One Lowell, Showtime Sound, The Boott Cotton Mills, and The City of Lowell. Raffles and prizes featuring prizes from 100 featured New England businesses, artists, fair trade organizations and craftspeople at NECF's Ethical Interactive Art & Biz Expo will also be ongoing throughout the day of the festival. The present echoes the past as in the spirit of the Lowell Mill Girls, Second World brings you an amazing event rallying for a better world for a very fair ticket price.
This is the Fair Trade Festival, being a unique event in the United States and globally highlighting the movement celebrating creative excellence, and the continuing struggle to provide a self-sustaining living wage and safe working conditions for artisans, musicians and workers worldwide.
The New England Culture Fest Mission Statement:
The funds raised via ticket sales to the festival will support Second World's art empowerment documentation projects around the world which go hand in hand with fair trade advocacy and educational programs (lectures, workshops) in the Boston area. On the Second World website under "Initiatives" please find information regarding Second World projects. They involve not only documentation and in-depth research, but also the education of the public through marketing initiatives and the development of art empowerment projects and micro-credit funds to re-establish income generation in disaster/conflict affected regions. With funds raised from the New England Culture Fest, Second World will continue to develop these initiatives linking New England with communities throughout India, Nepal, Peru and Jamaica to increase awareness of fair trade and increase the number of orders given to cooperatives, along with establishing a self-sustainable online portal of multimedia information regarding fair trade, and its cultural/economic impact for disadvantaged indigenous and marginalized communities.
About Second World:
Bridging the gap between the so called "First" and "Third" World, with media, music and art.
Second World is a dynamic non-profit arts and development organization combining media, music and art for a better world. As a leader since 1998 dedicated to the marketing of fair trade artisans, and their stories, the nucleus of Second World is a multimedia research archive of educational tools for the fair trade marketplace. This is key to increasing the number of orders given to artisans involved with fair trade art projects. Based on over a decade of research, Second World aims to address the crucial need for fair trade education. Ultimately, Second World hopes to bridge the gap between the "First" and "Third World" through media documentation, musical events and fair trade art empowerment.
"First" World. "Third" World. Forget What Your Were Told. Welcome to the Second World.
http://www.second-world.com : NECF Facebook GROUP is : http://bit.ly/37XuA3