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Mebane artists collaborate as Festa Italiana Raleigh takes benefit online


Tom Jones   | Times-News

Thirty-seven online music, dance and film performances will replace an annual street fair this year in a benefit organized by a Mebane man.

Festa Italiana Raleigh will present Raleigh Virtuale Venti Venti at 7:05 p.m. Monday, Oct. 12, at https://www.youtube.com/user/LoreinsPacif, as well as on Facebook.

The free 2½-hour benefit will feature Mebane-based musical ensemble Mebanesville, and N.C. Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green, also of Mebane.

Altogether, more than 90 artists from 20 states, provinces and regions across the United States, Italy and Morocco will participate. Artists include:

  • Beppe Gambetta of Genoa, Italy;
  • Martyn Wyndham Read of Suffolk, England;
  • Bill Stonehouse of Raleigh;
  • Daniele Tenca of Milan, Italy;
  • Natalie Marrone’s The Dance Cure of Chapel Hill;
  • Allegro Dance Company;
  • Michela Musolino and Fabio Turchetti;
  • Cindy and Michael Salerno of Durham;
  • Mark Spano of Chapel Hill;
  • Pasqualino Bongiovanni of Calabria, Italy;
  • Aurora Cancian of Rome; and
  • Barbara Tyroler of Chapel Hill.

“Public health concerns prevent our annual street fair this year,” said Loreins “Larry” Vellani, who recruited the participants. “In its place, international friendships, and shared artistic and humanistic values allow us to bring more of the world than ever to our viewers and friends across the Triangle, the state, the nation, and our ever-shrinking globe.”

Vellani credited “the artists’ generosity of spirit and their deep love and appreciation of all things Italian—whether in the peninsula or throughout the worldwide Italian diaspora.”

Festa Italiana Raleigh celebrates Italian culture and heritage in the Triangle while supporting local charities. Its 2020 charities are Spare Some for Autism and Military Missions in Action. The festival will remain online after Oct. 12 so viewers can continue to donate. Viewers may donate at any time at https://www.festaitalianaraleigh.com/charities.

“You can spend Columbus Day evening watching the entire production,” said Fran Giannuzzi, Festa Italiana Raleigh co-chair, “or you can sample some of this, some of that, come back to what you really like, save something … for later, and continue to grow in your appreciation of our beautiful culture.”