African American traditions are focus of CREATE project

Loretta Slaton Torain will lead the CREATE Project discussion on African American traditions at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

Special to the OBSERVER

The second session of an outstanding monthly series on cultural traditions and positive child-rearing practices will take place Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in the Dunkirk Public Library’s new CREATE Project Room. “African American Traditions” will be presented by the Juneteenth Celebration Committee. Chairwoman Loretta Slaton Torain, will lead the program with music, dancing, and readings by representatives from the local African American churches in the city.

An intriguing talk about the “Trans-generational transmission of trauma, tenderness, and tradition” by a CREATE Project representative will follow. All are welcome!

This year will mark the 25th anniversary of the Juneteenth Celebration this coming summer and the 40th celebration of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. luncheon.

Throughout 2020, the CREATE Project Library Room will feature special presentations, demonstrations, and performances.

Jason Hammond, library director, invites all to this innovative enterprise. Each third Thursday of the month from 5:30 to 7 p.m., the CREATE Project programs will include activities and discussions led by a representative of a different highlighted culture.

The program will bring cross-cultural understanding through local tradition-bearers as they share their culture and traditions. Related topics such as personal development, family relationships, community building, and child-rearing best practices are also explored in each session.

Refreshments popular in the culture of the evening will give participants a flavor of the country too. Appropriate for children, teens, parents, grandparents, whole families, community members and professionals, the program will also include storytelling and activities for younger guests in the Library children’s room.

The CREATE Project Library Program hopes to inspire ideas, conversation and closeness in our families and community.

At each third Thursday event, special bookshelves displaying fiction and nonfiction titles for children and adults, as well as artifacts representing featured cultures and topics will be unveiled.

Hidden by a rainbow of shelf curtains, the bookshelves are part of the CREATE Project Room and book donation project.

Community members, parents, grandparents, friends, business, organizations, and groups can donate books to enhance understanding of different cultures, traditions, and modes of child-rearing. The CREATE Project Room bookshelves act as a repository and center for community exchange and discussion concerning everyday matters and areas of our most pressing concerns. Books will be available to borrow after a sizable collection for the room is amassed.

Potential donors can choose their gift book by visiting the library website. Many titles are available for selection. You also have the option to make a donation to a general fund for the CREATE Project Book Donation Program. A nameplate bearing the gift recipient and givers’ names and an inscription will be placed in every new book contributed.

Potential donors should visit https://www.dunkirklibrary.org/ and then choose the Community Links dropdown menu. From there visitors can choose the option for CREATE Project Arts and Community Initiative. After that it’s just a matter of clicking the donate buttons.

On March 19, the Irish and British Isle traditions will be the focus along with play and disruption.

The CREATE Project is an arts-based community intervention designed to help our community become free of child trauma, abuse, and neglect, and to become a place where children can grow to their highest potential. The CREATE Project Library Program is the first program of its kind in the world. More program details on the library’s website.

The Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation is the CREATE Project’s fiscal sponsor, and the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Chautauqua County is the lead community partner. Though working cooperatively together, the CREATE Project is a separate entity and operates as such. For more information call (716) 680-0266.


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