Dunes Arts Foundation offers holiday-themed videos online for all ages

 

Performers in the Dunes Arts Foundation’s holiday videos, including “Hamilton” actor Nik Walker. (Photos provided)

Dunes Arts Foundation is offering free multicultural online videos on its website, www.dunesarts.org, to provide high-quality, family-friendly holiday entertainment during this time of social distancing. All of the videos will be available for viewing after Dec. 6, 2020.

The foundation, well known for the Dunes Summer Theatre, produced the videos to celebrate seasonal traditions of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Las Posadas.  

Elise Kermani, foundation managing director, says the videos will be available at no charge. Donations of $5 per video are encouraged to help cover expenses for the upcoming 2021 season, when DAF will celebrate its 70th anniversary.  

“We hope children and parents will be inspired and uplifted by the messages of these stories and songs,” Kermani says. “We know that, during these difficult times, children are missing the comfort of story times in schools and libraries.” 

Artistic Director Tito Sanchez-Williams, a graduate of the New School of Drama in New York City, recorded the videos with a diverse cast of guest performers, notably high-profile actor Nik Walker from Broadway’s “Hamilton” and “Ain’t Too Proud.”  

“I’ve met most of these actors through years of working in the theater,” Sanchez-Williams says. “They have generously contributed their talents to help raise funds for our future programs.” 

Viewers have the option of watching one or all of the videos:  

  • Nik Walker sings “Silent Night” on the Christmas video; it also features the classic story, “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” performed in English and Spanish. 
  • The Hanukkah video tells the origins of this eight-day traditional Jewish holiday. A traditional song associated with the festival is sung in Hebrew and English.  
  • Two Kwanzaa videos about the African-American celebration of life explain the seven principles of the holiday with delightful African stories.  
  • Las Posadas, a religious festival celebrated in Mexico, commemorates the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem. Christmas songs typical of this festival are performed in Spanish.   
  • A reading of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” is offered featuring Robert Thorson as Scrooge. 

Sanchez-Williams says, “We hope these beautiful stories will bring joy and a positive spirit to viewers.”  

Dunes Arts Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation formed in 1951 to provide high-quality performing and fine arts that inspire audiences and promote community spirit. The organization is located at 288 Shady Oak Dr., Michigan City. The mailing address is P.O. Box 384, Michigan City, Ind. 46361. For more information, visit www.dunesarts.org.

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