STATEN ISLAND, NY – The Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden welcomed a – socially distant – sea of Staten Island residents on Saturday afternoon.
Porch Plays and the Snug Harbor Fall Festival took to the venue from noon to 6 p.m., welcoming guests with free admission as long as attendees wore face coverings and maintained social distancing when possible. The dueling event, incorporating educational and creative providers, was the product of a partnership between Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden, Amoy Barnes, 2021 City Council candidate North Shore, Staten Island artist Jahtiek Long and Melissa West, vice president of conservation at Snug. Harbor.
“It’s so great to see everyone here today having a good time while staying safe,” said Aileen Chumard Fuchs, CEO of Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden. “Bringing the community together through public events is something we’ve been missing for so long. “
“Porch Plays” was a collaborative effort that allowed Staten Island musicians and creators to show their work in a public stage area in Snug Harbor. Talents had to apply to secure their place and had to wear masks until they were on stage. For hygienic reasons, each artist covered their microphones with a cloth and this cloth was changed after each artist left the stage.
“It was necessary that we come together as a community,” Barnes said at the event. “It takes a village and right now it’s about working together.”
The “Porch Plays” afternoon lineup included Michelle Claussell, Esmé Ng, Dennis MA, The Grace Foundation, Rocio Uchofen, Julia Aldana, Nanci Richards, Dasja Pennix, Carolyn Clark and Kelly Villar.
The evening lineup was Justy, Staten Island OutLoud, Juaquin Bennett, Stephanie Alvarado, Saint Phillips, Kofi Antwi, Jenn Gallo and Antonio Mancilla.
Between queues, participants were encouraged to walk around the event area surrounded by local vendors. Organizers said it was important for the audience to emphasize inviting vendors with both educational and creative products. As local artists and photographers displayed their work, some tables contained information on environmental changes and how to register to vote at the advance poll.
Harbor Eats was open on the grounds as the main event catering location.
There is no official say on whether another “Porch Plays” is planned, but the participants – and the organizers – were openly happy with Saturday’s participation. For more photos from the event, keep scrolling.