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Overtown Youth Center’s Enrichment Festival immerses community in the arts


Crowd at Enrichment Festival

Students generally spend their days off from school in front of a television or glued to their computer screens, but thanks to the Overtown Youth Center, families in the community got a day to become immersed in the arts instead.

The OYC hosted its first Enrichment Festival on Monday, Jan. 23 on its outside grounds. The free event was open to members of the community and started at 11 a.m.

“We are trying to provide additional art and music enrichment for our students while bringing together our local community by having individuals share their talents with our young people, so they can dream better about their aspirations,” OYC Executive Director Tina Brown said.

Local artists such as MusikForYou performed violin and keyboard renditions of Alicia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got you,” while students from Miami Arts Charter School performed an act from the Broadway show, “Dreamgirls.”

Members of the community were hands-on with the arts, participating in an art zone, face painting and crafts while learning more about cultural events that go on in their own backyard.

“I think it’s great because it allows everyone to come out and come together as a community, experience new things and introduce different programs,” said Chimney Purdy, wife to local community vendor, Jackson Bro’s ice cream, who was in attendance.

Other local food vendors making an appearance included Pineapple Express and Out of Town Wings, as well as a crowd favorite, a snow cone and cotton candy machine. When children were finished with their meals, they could either participate in the AET Kids Fit & Fun bus, check out a book from the City of Miami’s public library bookmobile, or make their way over to the Buzz Boxx and receive a free haircut on behalf of Talent4Change.

“We love to do this for the community,” Michael Caraballo, founder of Talent4Change, said. “When kids look better, they feel better.”

Receiving a bigger turn out than they expected, the OYC is going to try and continue hosting this enrichment event every year, in addition to its annual Broadway production put on by the students.

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