After too long a hiatus due to travel and event restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Newtown-based World Heritage Cultural Center returns to center stage with what promises to be a rich showcase , colorful, steeped in dance and music on stage at Edmond Town Hall on October 1.
The globally connected nonprofit empowers and promotes diverse and unique cultures around the world, creating a global village to foster tolerance, appreciation and unity, according to its founder and Sandy Hook resident , Satie Persaud. She said The Newtown Bee that the event is about more than just bringing in members of the public to watch a show and then get back to their lives.
She hopes to help make a lasting impression on every member of the audience, exposing and enlightening them to their ignorance of the cultures of the neighboring world and the incredible experience of experiencing and embracing them through visual and musical storytelling. . The first of the local non-profit events to be held in Newtown, Persaud also highlighted how this “world of color concert” will further his organization’s mission of promoting diversity.
“We understand that cultural identity reinforces diversity, and therefore believe that acceptance and tolerance are promoted through our creation of a common ground where the creative arts are a powerful tool used to tell great stories of traditions. “, according to the WHCC website.
Residents and visitors interested in the full immersion experience that Persaud and WHCC hope to share are encouraged to start their evening early, as a red carpet celebration kicks off at 3 p.m. Thereafter, a host of artists invite themselves to the stage of the Théâtre de l’Hôtel de Ville in Edmond from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., followed by a VIP gala from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Tickets to the red carpet, concert, and gala—with refreshments and food by Dodgingtown Market & Deli and Cash Bar—are $75; under 16 and seniors $55. Veterans, public sector workers, police, local volunteer paramedics, teachers and firefighters all also benefit from the reduction.
Tickets are available at Dodgingtown Market, which is also owned and operated by Persaud and his family, and tickets can be purchased at the door until they sell out. All proceeds are used to help artist groups cover their travel expenses.
According to Persaud, his organization has produced nearly 250 concerts to date, many of which have been featured on several travel and adventure shows in 16 states.
Since the creation of the WHCC in 2009, Persaud has maintained that “cultural diversity is the glue that holds humanity together, and it is as important as biodiversity is for nature”.
“My organization is not a hobby, but an extension of who I am and the people who have helped me find my voice,” she added. “I give gratitude every day by giving back, and that’s what drives me.”
After helping her family sell candy and cigarettes outside her family home in Suriname after school between the ages of 7 and 11, Persaud came to the United States to achieve an arranged marriage that only lasted a short time.
“Still a teenager, I had the opportunity to become the nanny of my mother’s cousin, and by working two other part-time jobs, I put myself through university,” explained Persaud. After completing additional training in accounting, she entered the corporate world and now works full-time as a senior foreign exchange manager in corporate treasury at OTIS Elevator.
The October 1 “World Of Colors Concert” is hosted by actress, producer and educator Isabella Hofmann (Second City, Burlesque, Homicide: Life on the Street, The Flash), who will arrive from Los Angeles for the evening. Among the scheduled performers representing 21 countries in song and dance, with elaborate costumes and cultural attire, are:
Aubre Hill, a friend and supporter of WHCC since 2009, who is an international dance artist, choreographer, educator and event producer for major ensembles across the United States, Egypt, Morocco, Europe, China, Taiwan and Japan;
Bolivian traditions, a dynamic group from Washington, DC, traveling to Connecticut to showcase the beauty of Bolivia through folklore, dance and music;
The Daynomies including Baby Opie representing Native Americans. Persaud says Baby Opie, 5, has more than 63,000 Instagram followers who clicked to see him performing with his parents and siblings;
Anindita Nanda, performing the Odissi dance, one of eight classical dance forms originating in India that is considered one of the oldest ritual dance forms still in existence, a spiritual expression of devotion to a higher being, Persaud said ;
Manuel Trillo, a global ambassador for Spain with WHCC since 2018 and a master dedicated to Latin performing arts who has been seen on Dancing with the stars representing Spain and Argentina;
Svet, a unique talent of international renown recently featured on America has talent, the Bulgarian electro violinist and friend of WHCC since 2009 merges his talent on the violin with contemporary musical styles;
Together Barynya, founded in 1991, this ensemble shares folk traditions through arts representative of Jewish, Ukrainian, Moldavian and Russian cultures; and
Kaiholuni, trained in both Kahiko (the ancient and original form of hula) and the more modern auana, the multicultural group of women, youth and keiki represent Polynesia and Hawaii.
“This event aims to empower our community with the noble mission we have at the World Heritage Cultural Center,” Persaud said, “to invite people to be part of an important legacy in the making for our future generations.”
Learn more by visiting mywhcc.org or the organization social networking sites, or contact WHCC at [email protected] or 203-489-0963.
Twenty-one different nations and cultures will be represented by the artists, dancers, musicians and bands performing on October 1 at the World Heritage Cultural Center “World Of Colors Concert” taking place at Edmond City Hall . Hosted by actress, producer and educator Isabella Hofmann (Second City; Burlesque; Homicide: Life on the Street; The Flash), and featuring artists like Ensemble Barynya, an ensemble sharing folk traditions through the arts representing Jewish, Ukrainian, Moldovan and Russian cultures, the event promises to showcase diversity through various artistic performances.
Sandy Hook resident and founder of the Newtown-based non-profit World Heritage Cultural Center (WHCC), Sattie Persaud presents the organization’s first “World Of Colors” concert on October 1 at Edmond City Hall – photo courtesy of WHCC