Family Event Celebrates Saratoga's Vibrant Cultures

Art, International Restaurants, and Performers Support New Global School Project

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – When aspiring art professional Gabriela Delattibodier Wright heard about plans for The GLOBE School, a project intended to teach Saratoga's children about world cultures and Chinese language, she enlisted her friends and colleagues for an event to help celebrate and raise awareness of the school, as well as Saratoga's international community.

Honduran-born Wright, who came to the United States when she was 17 years old, has gathered art from three French-speaking artists, food from three international restaurants, and enlisted the talents of several performers for the free, family-friendly event, called WHERE ARE YOU FROM?, taking place on Saturday, October 18, from 2-5 pm at Spring Street Gallery, 110 Spring Street, Saratoga Springs.

"Food, art and music are great ways for people to experience other cultures," said Wright, mother of three children "And so is foreign-language instruction, which is why I am so excited for The GLOBE School project. I personally benefit greatly from speaking three languages and as a young girl in Honduras went to a bilingual school from K – 12th grade." Inspired by the mission of the GLOBE school project, Wright enthusiastically threw her support behind the efforts to build a Chinese language library. To this end, there will be a Donate-A-Book Program at the October 18th event, where participants can underwrite a Chinese-language book for The GLOBE School.

Local families are also excited about The GLOBE School. Since August, thanks to a federal grant, children ages 4-7 have been participating in tuition-free Chinese immersion classes at the National Museum of Dance. These classes will grow into a Chinese immersion elementary school, founded by Friends of Global Renaissance Perspectives. "Teaching children how to read is a wonderful journey, even more so when the process involves learning characters. Thanks to Gaby's efforts, book donations from this event will open the world of Chinese language and culture to our students," commented Peggy Sharkey, the nonprofit's executive director.

Language and culture are the main themes of the art exhibit opening at Spring Street Gallery during the Saturday event. Artists Caroline Blake, Francelise Dawkins and Anne Francey are featured in the exhibit "WHERE ARE YOU FROM?: Three Foreign-Born Artists Reflect on a Persistent Question", and their artwork and statements are centered on their experience as native French speakers. The trio -- who hail from Belgium, France and Switzerland, respectively, and work in an array of media, from hat construction to fiber to painting and tiles -- has been instrumental in building a cultural community for French speakers in Saratoga Springs.

Saratoga restaurants Javier's, Mingle on the Avenue, and Sushi Thai Garden are sponsoring and donating food to the event, and performer Ericka O'Donnell and musicians Eric Marczak and Marcus Ruggiero will provide the entertainment.

Spring Street Gallery is an award-winning not-for-profit art and performance space organization in Saratoga Springs, New York, that promotes the arts as a means of social and civic engagement. Our artists and exhibits have raised funds and awareness for local and worldwide causes, including drilling wells in Nepal and Rwanda, conservation of a sheep farm in Northumberland, NY, the urban treescape efforts in Saratoga Springs, saving our local skate park, and much more. Voted Best Art Gallery for three years running from Saratoga Today newspaper, Spring Street Gallery recently awarded the 2014 Gallery System ArtsUp Grand Prize, for our "level of creative thinking, effectiveness, and motivation to go beyond basic expectations."