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Opening Reception for Mas: Costumes from Hartford’s West Indian Community

August 27, 2015 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm |

Join us for a special celebration for the exhibit opening of Mas: Costumes from Hartford’s West Indian Community that also welcomes the Connecticut Cultural Heritage Arts Program (CHAP) to its new home at the CHS. We’ll have music by the Hartford Steel Symphony, delicious Jamaican food, and the opportunity to try on a costume—don’t miss it! The event is free and open to the public.

Please RSVP by August 21 to rsvp@chs.org or (860) 236-5621 x 238.

The Mas: Costumes from Hartford’s West Indian Community exhibit showcases Trinidad-style carnival costumes (Mas) made by Hartford teens during a summer 2015 Mas Camp, the fifth year of a collaboration of CHAP and the Connecticut International Cultural Carnival Association (CICCA) under the direction of Linford “Junior” Miller. The colorful and elaborate costumes on display are similar to those worn in West Indian celebrations around the world, and are presented by the teens at Hartford’s Taste of the Caribbean Festival and the West Indian Parade this summer. The exhibit opening event will mark the graduation of the teen participants, who have spent six weeks learning how to design and make the costumes under the guidance of master costume maker Keimani “Q” Delpeche, along with experienced assistants Larry Cooper and Tanya Bynoe with several volunteer parents. Artistic director Harold Springer, dance teacher Clerona Cain, and dance assistant Asher-Lee Plummer trained the students in “displaying” their costumes in a parade. Each teen has designed and built a complete costume, including headpiece, arm and foot bands, girdles, collars, backpacks, and all frames and attachments needed for wearing the elaborate structures. Some of the teens will be displaying their costumes in person at the exhibit, accompanied by the Hartford Steel Symphony led by master steel pan maker and player Kelvin Griffith. Visitors to the exhibit will be able to try on a costume and sample delicious Jamaican cuisine.

This project is supported by the City of Hartford Arts and Heritage Jobs Grant for 2015, Pedro E. Segarra, Mayor. CHAP’s participation is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Connecticut Office of the Arts (DECD), and the Connecticut Historical Society. The Mas Camp project was originally developed along with the Institute for Community Research.

For more information, contact Lynne Williamson at (860) 236-5621 x235 or lynne_williamson@chs.org.

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