On Sunday afternoon, a crowd of around 40,000 took to Nassau Street for the Arts Council of Princeton’s 49th annual Communiversity ArtsFest, which brought together members of the University and the town of Princeton, as well as surrounding communities. From 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., over 200 art vendors, musicians, and merchants displayed their wares and performed in the largest cultural event in Central New Jersey.
Booths represented a variety of organizations, ranging from local restaurants to churches to artisan jewelry stands. Tents lined both sides of the street, overflowing into Palmer Square and into campus through FitzRandolph Gate.
The event featured live entertainment on six stages. University student groups, such as Princeton University Rock Ensemble, Fuzzy Dice Improv Comedy, Sympoh, Mariachi Band, Raks Odalisque, and Bhangra, performed. In total, nearly 40 other student organizations participated in Communiversity.
Students and community members alike appreciated the festivities.
Kisara Moore ’22 staffed a booth for the Princeton Inter-Communal Arts Students Service Organization (Picasso), an organization which aims to link the University and the local community through the arts by collaborating with the Arts Council of Princeton.
“It’s really nice to see everyone in the town getting together. It’s very vibrant,” Moore said. “I honestly didn’t expect so many people. I come from a relatively big city, Austin, so you don’t have as much of this small town culture. It’s really nice to get a taste of that — small town vibes are cool. I’m really glad I came.”
The Lewis School of Princeton, a school which serves students with learning difficulties, brought student music performers to Communiversity.
“The community becomes aware of what our students do and the talents that they bring to the community,” said Kate Devoto, a middle school teacher of 16 years.
Hua Qu, the wife of University graduate student Xiyue Wang, staffed a booth to increase awareness of her husband’s years-long imprisonment in Evin Prison outside of Tehran, Iran. According to Qu, the timing of the event fell at a “crucial moment,” as it coincided with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s trip to New York and Washington, D.C., this week.
Tom Pyle ’76 represented the Princeton Battlefield Society, which aims to preserve the Revolutionary War battlefield and educated the public throughout the day.
Assistant Manager of the Princeton Varsity Club (PVC) Fiona McKenna ’17 staffed the PVC table. She saw the event as a benefit to the whole community.
“It’s great for the culture of the town and the neighboring town,” she said “I hope they do it every year.”