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BY TERESA METTELA

Central Astoria Local Development Coalition, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and enhancing the neighborhood of Astoria, is hosting its first ever virtual International Cultural Festival on June 28.

The event will consist of nine international cultural dance and music performances representing Egypt, Ireland, Greece, Japan, Spain, Italy, the Caribbean and India. Joining the virtual festival are Councilman Costa Constantinides and Central Astoria Local Development Coalition President George L. Stamatiades, among others. 

With Astoria being home to more than 100 different ethnic groups, Marie Torniali, executive director of Central Astoria LDC, believes “the multiethnic and social/economic diversity of Astoria’s population is a community asset.”

Torniali is passionate about enriching the cultural experience and social capital of Astoria’s population. She said that the purpose of the festival is to not only foster interest in various art forms, but also spark enthusiasm regarding cross cultural awareness, which is a primary mission of Central Astoria LDC since its inception.

Although this is the first time the festival has gone virtual, in the years past it has enjoyed tremendous success in the Astoria community, Torniali said. 

Those interested can tune in on June 28 from 3 to 4 p.m. through Central Astoria LDC’s Facebook page.

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