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Artful Afternoon Journeys to Bollywood

The Greenbelt Community Center explores Indian culture.

Artful Afternoon brought India to Greenbelt on Sunday, Aug. 7. This month’s theme was "Hooray for Bollywood," featuring a host of activities for all ages that took Greenbelters for a ride through Indian culture.

In a literal hands-on activity, kids and adults designed and drew their own mehndi-style henna body tattoos. “We wanted to do a project where everyone could be involved,” said Barbara Dickey Davis, arts assistant at the Greenbelt Community Center.

“It’s fun to hang out and make art,” added 10-year-old Yasmin Switzer, who was at Artful Afternoon for the second time in a row.

After henna, the afternoon continued into an energetic performance of traditional Indian dance by Laurel Victoria Gray and the Silk Road Dance Company.

The event was as educational as it was artful. Gray spoke about the traditions of Bollywood films and Indian culture, augmented by movie clips from popular Bollywood films. Gray and the company then took the audience inside a Bollywood movie by teaching them a traditional Bollywood dance.

“Greenbelt is the ideal place for this since it’s known for its sense of community and family values which are the cornerstone of Bollywood films,” Gray said.

Although Artful Afternoon focused on Bollywood, it also displayed art quilts in Dominie Nash's “Stills from a Life" and hosted a studio open house and sale with the Community Center’s nine artists in residence. It was truly a multi-genre art event.

Artful Afternoon takes place monthly on first Sundays at the .

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