Festival to celebrate arts this weekend


Last updated 4/27/2022 at Noon

Fodé Sylla is a dynamic acrobat, drummer, dancer, and performance artist from Conakry, Guinea, who specializes in traditional West African drum and dance. He will kick off celebrations at Sisters Art Works.photo provided

Sisters is set to celebrate the arts this weekend.

The Sisters Folk Festival (SFF) will host a free Community Arts Celebration at the Sisters Art Works building on Friday, April 29 at 5 p.m. as part of the annual My Own Two Hands (MOTH) arts fundraiser. The family-friendly celebration will include a free concert, interactive art activities, a public art dedication, food and drinks from Oliver Lemon’s, and performances from Americana Project students.

The evening will kick off with a warm welcome from world-renowned drummer and performance artist, Fodé Sylla. Originally from Conakry, Guinea, Sylla is a master of West African rhythms, performing with the Ballet Merveille de Guinea and the Ivory Coast dance troupe Amoussou, before being recruited by the UniverSoul Circus, America’s premiere multicultural circus. A new resident of Bend, Sylla is currently teaching at the local Gotta Dance Studio and the Denfinity Studio in Eugene, as well as offering private lessons. He will be joined in welcoming attendees to the celebration by Sisters students and any fellow drummers wishing to play alongside a true master.

Later in the evening, the Seattle-based funk and soul group True Loves will take the stage as an eight-piece band with a four-piece horn section plus bassist, guitarist, percussionist, and drummer. The ensemble is sure to

deliver a lively set suitable for dancing.

Attendees of the community celebration will be present for the official dedication of the new glass sculpture garden created by art students at Sisters Middle School (SMS), in collaboration with local glass artist Susie Zeitner. With the help of SMS art teacher Judy Fuentes, Patty Lahn, and SFF staff members Teresa Mills and Kate Kittell, Zeitner guided students via an SFF-sponsored artist residency at the school to create stunning glass tile totems built by the hands of over 220 students.

The event will further showcase the talents of Sisters youth with the SMS fiddle club, a poetry reading, the Sisters High School jazz band, and a performance by several Americana Project students. Founded in 2000, the Americana Project is an innovative music and arts education program creating opportunities for self-expression through music. Students learn to play instruments and write songs, as well as the fundamentals of engineering their own music before performing at events such as the MOTH Community Arts Celebration.

This year’s MOTH theme, “Moving Beyond,” expresses a collective desire to celebrate our shared humanity and renew connections by gathering through music, art, and community building. In this spirit, attendees of the celebration can show their own artistic prowess through participation in interactive art activities, including a graffiti wall, wishing tree, coloring book activities for children, drumming, and more.

The culmination of this year’s art celebration and fundraiser will be the My Own Two Hands “Moving Beyond” Art Auction & Party on Saturday, April 30. The event will include a virtual art auction and paddle raise, with a catered dinner, drinks, and live music by the True Loves and is centered around fundraising via an art auction and paddle raise. The art auction features 84 experiences and unique works of art and is open to anyone via online bidding that wraps up at 8:30 p.m. that night. Funds raised through MOTH events support SFF’s art and music education and programming initiatives in the Sisters schools and community.

In light of recent changes to statewide COVID-19 mandates, masking will be optional and at the discretion of each individual attendee. Both nights’ festivities will be held under a heated tent at Sisters Art Works to offer protection from any unpredictable spring weather.

Be sure to follow Sisters Folk Festival on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for up-to-date information. To participate in the online art auction fundraiser, visit https://sffmoth2022.ggo.bid. For information about this year’s My Own Two Hands slate of events, and other upcoming programming, visit Sisters Folk Festival’s website at www.sistersfolkfestival.org


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