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First JAMFest coming to DeLand — Celebration will take over West Volusia
By Pat Andrews
posted Jun 9, 2014 - 10:57:30am
West Volusia will host a new event June 13-15: JAMFest.
Three days of music, dance and art will showcase the sights and sounds of West Volusia’s diverse cultures — from Florida Cracker to urban hip-hop, in venues from DeBary to Barberville, including several in Downtown DeLand.
The name, JAMFest, is an abbreviation for “June Arts and Multicultural Festival.” The organizers took note of the Juneteenth celebration, which commemorates the end of slavery in the United States, and decided it would be great to bookend other events around that celebration. The result is JAMFest.
"We started putting the schedule together, and it grew, and it grew and it grew," said Giuli Schacht of Mainstreet Art and Culture DeLand, one of several sponsor organizations. "We're very excited about it."
A variety of celebrations is planned, all but one with free admission:
Friday, June 13
• Indiana Avenue is the place to be for Friday’s kickoff events featuring Zumba, other dance, and music.
The action begins at 5 p.m. with three instructors leading a Zumba dance party. Zumba dancers are welcome.
At 5:30 p.m., dancers are welcome to be part of the segment that will be filmed for the Upbeat Dancer TV show.
“This will be an event to remember. Maybe you will be the next local talent to be discovered in West Volusia,” organizer Barb Girtman said.
She invited youths and adults to take part in the taping at 5:30 p.m. Friday, June 13, also on Indiana Avenue in Downtown DeLand.
At 6 p.m., the dancers will form a flash mob to dance its way through Downtown DeLand.
Dancers should sign up online to participate, at www.macdeland.com.
Friday evening will also feature a singing competition starting at 6:30 p.m. Jo Jo from radio station 94.5 FM will host the competition, which will be attended by industry talent scouts. The winner will be professionally recorded at North Avenue Studios.
The JamFest Singing Competition preliminary contest will be produced by Andre Darby, and finals for this contest will be on Sunday.
The evening's events will be taped by television station CW18, WKCF/Orlando.
Saturday, June 14
Three events this day span the cultural spectrum from Africa to Old Florida, and reach from DeLand to Barberville.
• The Juneteenth Community Celebration is set for 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, June 14, at the Noble "Thin Man" Watts Amphitheater, 322 S. Clara Ave. in DeLand, showcasing African-American culture, art, music and food.
• The Pioneer Settlement will host a Celebration of Olde Florida 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at 1776 Lightfoot Lane in Barberville, with Old Florida exhibits, a photo-shoot of blacksmithing with a 19th-century-style camera, historical lectures, storytelling, pioneer arts, music and dance demonstrations, Cracker-style food, and more.
* All are welcome to an outdoor movie screening of Under African Skies at Stetson University at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, June 14. The documentary takes a look at singer-songwriter Paul Simon's production of his hit album Graceland.
The movie will be shown on Stetson Green, the lawn near the Carlton Union Building. Parking will be available at Flagler Hall and behind the library, and free popcorn will be served while supplies last.
Sunday, June 15
Sunday will wrap up the three-day celebration, with events at Cafe da Vinci, 112 W. Georgia Ave. in Downtown DeLand:
• Music and Poetry Festival featuring a variety of local talent in various music genres and poetry, 1-4 p.m. Sunday.
• JAMFest Singing Competition finale at 5 p.m. Sunday.
Grammy judges will decide which of the top finalists will go on to win a professional recording package at North Avenue Studio and a television feature on CW 18, and will award the JAMFest trophy.
• Also during the weekend, the Athens Theatre at 124 N. Florida Ave. in DeLand will feature a production of Untamed, a live presentation of dance and musical numbers from Disney’s The Lion King.
Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 14, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, June 15. Tickets cost $9-$16. Call the box office at 386-736-1500.
For more information about the festival events, go online to www.jamfest.info or call 386-338-8863.
“We are very excited about JAMFest; we believe this is an opportunity to express the talents of diverse cultures in Volusia County and will lead to greater appreciation of one another, facilitating unity. Plus, it will be a lot of fun!” organizer Schacht said.
“We are excited to have a part in this first annual event. We are certain that JAMFest will bring various cultures together to raise awareness of different artistic styles and pave the way for future multicultural endeavors," said Judy Thompson, president of the Museum of Art - DeLand and chairwoman of Mainstreet Art and Culture DeLand.
Other organizations partnering to create the festival include:
• Creative Industry Alliance in DeLand
• The DeLand Area Chamber of Commerce
• The African American Museum of the Arts in DeLand
• The DeLand-Orange City Alliance
• The Pioneer Settlement for the Creative Arts in Barberville
• Stetson University
• The City of DeLand
• Gateway Center for the Arts in DeBary
• The Museum of Art - DeLand.
The museums will offer related displays, with no admission charged during the festival.
Clarion Hotel in DeLand will offer out-of-town guests a specially priced package during the weekend. Go online to www.clarionhotel.com/Florida, or call 386-738-5200.
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