4th Annual CLF CultureFEST

With over eighteen performances by more than 80 students from four CLF schools, the dust has finally settled after over 400 people attended the 4th Annual CLF CultureFEST on Saturday, April 16, 2016.

Before the performances, appetizers from India, France, and Greece paired with southern USA’s staple refreshments of lemonade and iced-tea were served to the patrons while even the CLF Tiger could be seen prowling the audience before the show, hunting for pictures and high-fives.

A brief speech by emcee Mr. Mark Sutherland opened the show and began with a quote from Leo Tolstoy, “The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of a doubt, what is laid before him.” Continuing, culture is defined as the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively and then context comes by way of Wendell Pierce’s commentary: “Culture is the intersection of people and life itself. It’s how we deal with life, love death, birth, disappointment…all of that is expressed in culture.”

Whether one attended for a family member or for fun, the montage of international / multi-cultural acts and a myriad of artistic styles from around the world, there was something for everyone at this year’s CultureFEST! Yes indeed, American pop-culture shared soundwaves with artists from around the world while hometown cheerleaders grooved alongside the solos, duets, chorus and even instrumentals on piano and the Veena (that’s an ancient stringed instrument from India). After intermission, Prince George’s County School Board Representative Sonja Williams spoke to the crown and offered praise for CultureFEST and the continuing diversification of CLF’s STEM events & curriculums to also include the celebration of Arts and Culture.

Before the audience stepped back into Maryland’s perfect 70 degree sunny Saturday, CultureFEST’s incredible closing performance was not to be missed! An impressive, energetic a ‘Capella performance by TBD, the professional barbershop subsidiary of The Alexandria Harmonizers, brought the house down with a mixture of classic rock and modern pop in a finale that left everyone in the audience tapping the feet and trying out their own harmonizing abilities.

May humanity’s harmonizing continue long after the curtains close and sounds fade with the hopes that culture is something we all continue to celebrate and educate. After all, as Gandhi says, “A Nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people” or as Albert Einstein’s says, “Without ethical culture, there is no salvation for humanity.”

A very special thank you to everyone that made this event possible: the coaches, students, parents, teachers, and staff at Chesapeake Lighthouse Foundation’s CSP, CMIT North, CMIT South, CMIT Elementary, and of course, YOU!

We hope to see you next year for the 5th Annual CLF CultureFEST!