Kingston multicultural festival to be held online this year

A scene from past Kingston Multicultural Festival. (Photo by Phyllis McCabe)

The eighth annual Kingston Multicultural Festival goes live online on June 14. Each year, folk artists and cultural organizations in Kingston and surrounding communities gather at T.R. Gallo Park in the Rondout to celebrate the Mid-Hudson Valley’s cultural diversity. 

In this time of physical distancing, the Kingston Multicultural Festival Committee decided to celebrate Hudson Valley diversity and promote cultural sharing with a virtual festival. The festival website (www.kingstonmulticulturalfestival.org) offers a wide variety of experiences. New features this year include Eastern European music from Caprice Rouge, Italian crooner Michael Del Vecchio and his Michael Dell Orchestra, Latino fusion trio Sabor Latino, Latin dance troupe Dojo Dance and the Woodstock Jewish Congregation. 

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The Reher Center for Immigrant Culture and History in Kingston is partnering with Barrett Art Center in Poughkeepsie on the digital cultural quilt Project. Share your culture by contributing a digital quilt square. See more than 50 squares of our ever-growing quilt already posted on Instagram at #CulturalQuiltHV. Find instructions to make a quilt square at ReherCenter.org or on the festival website. 

This year’s festival is dedicated to the memory of Esther Taylor Evans, a member of the Kingston African-American community who was a fierce advocate for the black and multicultural communities. 

The Kingston Multicultural Festival began in 2012 as a Kingston block party led by county historian Geoffrey Miller, founder of the Reher Center for Immigrant Culture and History, as a way to bring the area’s diverse communities together for an afternoon of solidarity. In 2016 it added children’s activities, food and information. 

The mission of the Reher Center for Immigrant Culture and History (www.rehercenter.org) is to preserve and present stories with universal appeal about immigration, community, work and bread. It uses its historic bakery building in Kingston’s Rondout neighborhood to forge connections among all peoples through tours and programs. For information, go to www.kingstonmulticulturalfestival.org.