Browsing: Culture

At the Foundation of Light center in Ithaca on Saturday, dozens of people assembled to celebrate a Passover Seder. A Klezmer string duo played in the background as wine, matzo, and other traditional foods were set up on tables. However, unlike a traditional seder, those in attendance identified themselves as secular Jews, atheists, Christians and more. Kol Haverim, a community celebrating secular humanistic Judaism in Ithaca, NY, attracts a wide range of people – some Jewish, some not – who are interested in celebrating the cultural aspects of Judaism, rather than the religious. The community is a way to identify…

The silence in the air is broken up by the sound of breaths, eight students sit cross-legged, practicing meditation Sunday morning. Michael Faber who guides the session, has been practicing meditation for 34 years. He’s a lay monk at the Ithaca Zen Center and the Jewish Chaplain at Ithaca College. “Every moment of your waking and even your sleeping life, your awareness is 100 percent absorbed in what I call the everyday thinking mind,” Faber said, “Meditation is learning to quiet or calm that mind… in order to create space on the inside so that more insightful awareness can flow in.” For…

Last Thursday, Joe Regenstein, a food science professor at Cornell, received a notice that Feed My Starving Children, a national non-profit Christian group that ships MannaPac Rice meals to more than 70 countries worldwide has become Halal certified for Muslim countries –– which constitute nearly 30 percent of FMSC recipients –– an initiative he and FMSC began over a year ago. Sheri Johnson, a law professor at Cornell University, began the Ithaca chapter in 2008. She and Pastor Robert Foote, Cornell’s Chaplain and Trinity Lutheran Church’s pastor, asked Regenstein to be part of a group to Halal certify the meals. “I was…

Within the 30-square-foot diameter of Michelle Menter’s yurt, visitors can see the roof ripple in the wind, hear rain patter against the treated canvas and stargaze out the domed skylight if they rent the eco-friendly dwelling. In 2008, Menter, owner of Climbing Vine Cottage in Newfield, converted the two bedroom yurt from a house for preschoolers to be rented for $115-$195 per night and $750-$1,290 per week catering to couples, families and international travelers year-round. This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the American yurt, but these one story, round-tented structures with lattice wood walls covered in fabric were used…

Feathers will be flying and toes will be tapping as nouveau cabaret takes the Community for the School of Music and Arts by storm on April 6, with an act that ranges from singing to dancing and everything in between. The Whiskey Tango Sideshow will be presenting their latest show, “Pin-up Girls for a Calendar Year.” The Trumansburg-based troupe is redefining ‘burlesque’ with a show that features traditional burlesque in addition to elements such as aerial acrobatics, sideshow, and song with a healthy dose of flirtatious feathers, gender bending and tantalizing glimpses of skin. The troupe was the brainchild of Janna “Deadly”…

If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. But sometimes anywhere is just as nice. Ruben Arce, producer and host of the only stand-up open mic in Ithaca, went to New York City to check out performers in one of the most famous comedy cities in the country, and came away with a sense of validation of his hometown comedy scene. “It wasn’t the kind of interesting experience I thought it would be,” Arce said. “I thought that I was going to see comedy at its best, what I am progressing toward. And actually, what it wound up…

It started in 1974. Aaron Pichel was a kid in DeWitt Jr. High School when he and Tim Gray gathered a dozen of their peers, to start the Comic Book Club. “I was the founding president at the age of 12,” he laughs. A year later in February 1975, that group became the nonprofit, Comic Book Club of Ithaca — now the oldest continuously running comic book fan club in America. Once the founders realized the amount of creative talent that was accessible in the community, they started planning their first Ithacon, said CBCI member Alec Frazier. “Someone once said we…

The Community Justice Center isn’t exactly an exciting place on the inside. Formerly the old county library building, the center now focuses on storing old county files and serves as a probation center. However, driving down Cayuga Street it reveals a colorful piece of art on its exterior. The large mural that covers the entire outer wall of the center was completed last April, and is just one of many forms of public art that Ithaca has begun to showcase to the community. Local artists are teaming up with businesses and initiatives throughout the city to promote public art and…

Dozens of people crammed into the long thin room, craning their necks to see the pictures filling nearly every free space on the wall. Standing on a ladder, Hannah Freiser, director of Light Work studio in Syracuse and juror of tonight’s photography show, asks how many artists are in the room. Hands fill the air. The State of the Art Gallery located on the Commons in Ithaca, featured its 24th Annual Juried Photography competition last Friday, March 1st, during Ithaca’s Gallery Night. The show drew in hundreds of people over the course of the night to see over 80 photographs hanging on…

Steam rose from inside a pig-pen on Saturday as Karma Glos, co-owner of Kingbird Farm in Berkshire, identified half a dozen of the squealing pigs by name. “Annie, Becky, Emily, Brenda and this is Aloysius,” she said, rubbing the head of a boar that was pushing it’s snout against the fence. These pigs are not pets; once they’re past their breeding prime they’ll be slaughtered and sold in the area. But unlike conventional farms that sell only the commonly eaten parts and scrap the rest, Kingbird, a small-scale organic farm that raises heritage beef, pork, chickens and ducks, uses every part of…

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