Dear Greater Keene Community,

The Keene International Festival Planning Committee would like to extend its heartfelt gratitude to everyone who attended the second annual Keene International Festival. We were blown away by the number of people who showed up to celebrate our community’s cultural diversity and were thrilled that we had an even bigger turnout than last year. Among the festival-goers were dozens of performers, craftspeople, vendors, game-leaders, and representatives of community organizations, all of whom added their own flair to the festival. Throughout the day, many languages were heard, friendships were made, and minds were opened, all while indulging ourselves in the sights, sounds, and tastes of different cultures.

A number of people expressed that this festival made them feel at home for the first time since moving to our community. Every person who attended this event can take credit for that; the sheer number of attendees demonstrates that Keene is a welcoming community where people of all backgrounds are honored and celebrated. It is a place where we can all come together and revel in the fact that all cultural delights, whether they be Bollywood dances from India, hammering games from Germany, or curry chicken from Jamaica, belong to everyone, to all of humanity.

We would like to invite you to our third annual Keene International Festival on Saturday, September 26, 2020, for another exciting celebration. More information will be posted on our Facebook page throughout the year. We believe that this festival will be a longstanding tradition and we hope that everyone in the community will be a part of it!

Finally, we would like to thank Tree Free Greetings, C & S Wholesale Grocers, Fenton Family Dealership, Savings Bank of Walpole, and the Gallup Fund, whose sponsorship made it possible for us to bring this wonderful event to fruition.

We look forward to seeing you in 2020.

With sincere appreciation,

The Keene International Festival Planning Committee

Ritu Budakoti (Keene India Association) and Elizabeth Nieuwsma-Dell (Keene educator), Co-Chairs

Lisa Abohatab (Keene Community Education), Melinda Belden (Keene educator), Andy Bohannon (City of Keene), Jenna Carroll (Historical Society of Cheshire County), Agnieska Cersosimo, Yves Gakunde, Annu Joshi, Julie Moulton (Keene Community Education), Sandra Neil Wallace (The Daily Good), Vidhya Sreenath (Keene India Association), Jack Timmons (Keene educator), Sarah Visser, Gail Zachariah (Keene Public Library)


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