Over sixty different student groups and local artists performed on Sunday at the 46th annual Communiversity ArtsFest organized by the Arts Council of Princeton,which connects students from the University to the town of Princeton along Nassau Street.
"Communiversity is a wonderful partnership between the municipality, the University, and the Arts Council. The festival is a great opportunity to find out about all the various nonprofits in the area and learn about how to get involved in the work they're doing," said mayor of Princeton Liz Lempert.
Student-run organizations, including Princeton Chinese Theater and the Institute for Chocolate Studies, set up booths in front of Nassau Hall to display their work.All along Nassau Street, vendors from the town, artisans and craftsmen, food and beverage merchants and non-profit and charity organizations set up stalls to showcase their merchandise and activities.
"Arts and food are both great vehicles for bringing people together," Lempert said.
Another major attraction that drew several onlookers was the International Parade of Flags, led by the Davis International Center. Over forty international students and staff members of the University marched down Nassau Street with flags and took a group photo at Nassau Hall.
The University Band kicked off the Communiversity attractions on the Town-Gown Stage in front of the FitzRandolph Gate, while other student groups performed on four of the six stages set up across campus and town, including diSiac on Washington Road, Triangle Club on the Stanhope Stage and Valley Academy on Chambers Street. Artists and performance groups from outside the University also showcased their skill at Palmer Square and Witherspoon Street.
Several student a capella groups, including Umqombothi and Tarana, performed throughout the day near East Pyne.
Julia Marie Schorn ’17, an audience at various student performances at Communiversity, saw the event as a bonding experience for the community.
“I think [this event] important because it brings families, students, and the New Jersey community at large together and showcases the broad scope of Princeton's many student talent groups as well as benefitting local businesses,” she said, “it was also a great chance to get out of the work grind and enjoy the sunshine, and our amazing community, a little.”
Eric Fung ’18, who helped staff a booth for the Chinese Student Association during the event, said that the CSA held a calligraphy demonstration station for visitors.
“We participated because CSA's goal as a cultural group is to share Chinese culture with the rest of the community. And what a better way to do it than at Communiversity?” He said.
Oishi Goswami, a sophomore at West-Windsor Plainsboro North High School, noted that the event is a meaningful occasion for her to interact with University students.
“It’s a very sharing experience. People who you usually wouldn’t interact with, you have that chance to learn more about. When you’re in a long line waiting for food, you start talking to those around you,” she said.
She also explained that the festival offered a rich diversity of cultural foods not typically found on Nassau Street.
Running the length of Nassau Street and the boundaries of the University, Communiversity celebrations ran from Firestone Library and the Garden Theater to Chambers Street. Performances were from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m., while other stalls were set up and running from earlier in the day.