BRATTLEBORO -- Flat Street Rising! -- a street fair celebrating the revival of Brattleboro on the anniversary of the devastation of Tropical Storm Irene -- will be held in conjunction with Gallery Walk on Friday. Flat Street will be closed to traffic from 4 to 8 p.m. for the event.
The driving force for Flat Street Rising! is to make area youth aware of the amazing and wonderful array of positive after-school and weekend opportunities offered by non-profit organizations on Flat Street and elsewhere in Brattleboro, as well as to support local businesses as they continue their efforts for full economic recovery.
The event is intended to complement other celebrations of community resilience in the aftermath of Irene, including the Whetstone Studios gala Friday through Sunday and Saturday’s "Swingin’ at the Garden" community dance party to benefit businesses still recovering from losses sustained by the storm.
"This is really a weekend celebration of the life and vitality of the town," said Jon Mack, one of the organizers of Flat Street Rising.
The idea for Flat Street Rising came because Mack, board president of the In-Sight Photography Project noticed something that disturbed him -- In-Sight classes, which normally fill up quickly, didn’t.
"We felt that this was wrong," said Mack, who thought a street fair of In-Sight and other Flat Street area organizations that serve youth -- the Boys and
"This is all about activities for kids. Kids need to do stuff that they can really love doing. They may not really know the choices available to them," said Mack.
In the spirit of inclusion, In-Sight, NEYT, NECCA and the Boys and Girls Club of Brattleboro, welcomed the Brattleboro Music Center, the Open Music Collective and other organizations and businesses, especially Adivasi, to provide entertainment, demonstrations and hands-on experiences.
The event will be emceed by Cyndi Cain and opened by singer Samirah Evans, who was displaced by Hurricane Katrina, will perform her original single "Strength in Numbers," with CD proceeds going to the Vermont Disaster Fund. The Buzzards Brass Band will be parading down Flat Street. Other performers include Tom Woodbury, The Loft Youth Percussion Ensemble and the Open Music Collective Ensemble featuring 13-year-old Gabbi Walton. The New England Center for Circus Arts brings students with their high flying aerial rig, acrobats, trapezists and jugglers.
There’ll be sports activities and a barbecue provided by the Boys and Girls Club, skateboarding provided by BASIC, a giant pinhole camera and cyanotype camera-less photography from In-Sight and more.