April 25, 2018

Communiversity: 7 Stages, 200 Booths; “A Wonderful Day To Be in Princeton”

CREATIVITY, FOOD, AND FUN: The Arts Council of Princeton’s Communiversity ArtsFest is set for this Sunday, April 29, 1-6 p.m., featuring seven stages of continuous live entertainment and more than 200 booths. (Photo Courtesy of the Arts Council of Princeton)

By Donald Gilpin

Princeton is looking forward to welcoming more than 40,000 visitors for the 48th annual Communiversity ArtsFest this Sunday, April 29, from 1-6 p.m.

With artists, art activities, continuous live performances on seven stages, more than 200 booths, and a wide array of foods and entertainments, Communiversity is presented by the Arts Council of Princeton (ACP) in collaboration with the students of Princeton University and the town of Princeton.

“This year, attendees can expect to see hundreds of artists and crafters, along with some of the most talented performers we have ever seen apply,” said ACP executive director Taneshia Nash Laird. “With seven stages of nonstop live performances of all ages and genres, rest assured, there will be something for everyone at Communiversity this Sunday.”

Popular highlights among the musicians will be the Cherry Blossoms, Sarah Donner, Eco Del Sur, Fresh Fire, Lauren Marsh, Princeton GirlChoir and BoyChoir, the Blue Meanies, and The Shaxe. Featured dance groups include Fiesta Flamenco, The Pennington Studio, Qing Yang Dance Studio, and the YWCA Dance Department. Some of the exciting newcomers this year will be Lara K LEK, Essie and the Big Chill, the Hun School Jazz Combo, and Zoe Thierfelder.

The Princeton University Band will march up Nassau Street at 12:45 to kick off the afternoon of town-gown festivities. Other University performance groups will include Expressions, Ballet Folklorico, Raks Odalisque, Tora Taiko, Songline Slam Poetry, Mas Flow Dance Company, Contraband, Princeton Brass Ensemble, Princeton Pianists Ensemble, Triangle, and the Princeton University Ballet.

The day will also include the TRASH ARTStravaganza, a sustainability art contest near Nassau Hall, and the Princeton University international students will present a parade of flags on Nassau Street.

Booths will line Nassau and Witherspoon Streets, Palmer Square, and the University campus near Nassau Hall. Free art activities and family-friendly programming at the Paul Robeson Center for the Arts and on Palmer Square will include the perennially popular Nana’s Make-A-Mess Workshop, “messy” materials for children to create their own artwork, and the Sidewalk Chalk Art exhibition on the sidewalks of Palmer Square.

“The Arts Council of Princeton-sponsored art activities on Palmer Square Green and in front of our building are always a highlight,” said ACP Artistic Director Maria Evans. “Our ceramics team spends the entire day at the wheel, always with a crowd of people watching, while our talented staff, instructors, and volunteers work tirelessly running the many ‘make and take’ tables that kids just love! Art is everywhere at Communiversity—it’s a wonderful day to be in Princeton.”

One of the goals of Communiversity is to inspire creativity among local artists, and the Paint Out Princeton project will be back again this year to do just that, with talented painters capturing the sights of Communiversity with plein air painting. The artists’ work will be on view at the Arts Council’s Paul Robeson Center from May 5 through June 16.

Elementary school children looking for a chance to be graphic designers can design an ad for their favorite Princeton-area business and submit it to Town Topics by May 4 (see flier in this week’s paper), with the winner and runners-up published in the May 9 edition of the newspaper.

Sustainable Princeton will be introducing initiatives this year to help mitigate waste and reduce the event’s carbon footprint. Three orange resource recovery tents will be located on Palmer Square Green, at the corner of Hulfish and Witherspoon Streets, and on the University campus in front of Nassau Hall for visitors to recycle, compost food waste, and refill water bottles. Refillable water stations will also be available at five of the performance stages.

Promoting sustainable ways to arrive at Communiversity, the Princeton Bicycle Advisory Committee has coordinated a valet bike parking station at HiTOPS at 21 Wiggins Street. For electric vehicle owners, public EV charging stations are located in the Spring Street Garage and at the Princeton Shopping Center.

In addition to garages and street parking, parking can be found in Princeton University’s parking lots, free and open to the public for Communiversity. Courtesy of Princeton Shopping Center, a free shuttle bus will be available continuously throughout the event for attendees who park at the shopping center.

“Every reusable water bottle used, bit of waste composted, and fossil fuel vehicle left home helps reduce Princeton’s carbon footprint at Communiversity,” said Sustainable Princeton’s Executive Director Molly Jones. “There are many changes we need to make to reduce our impact, and these small behavior changes are steps in the right direction.”

Attendees are encouraged to arrive by foot or bike, bring reusable water bottles, say ‘no’ to plastic straws and styrofoam take-out trays, and visit Sustainable Princeton’s resource recovery tents to recycle, compost, and learn about sustainable living.

Sponsors supporting Communiversity include AT&T, Baker Auto, Fenwick Catering & Events, CenterCourt Clubs & Sports, Chopt Creative Salad Co., Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Palmer Square Management, Penn Medicine Princeton, Princeton Garden Theatre, Princeton Merchants Association, Princeton Shopping Center/EDENS, Witherspoon Media Group, and many more.

For more information, visit artscouncilofprinceton.org.