April 23, 2014

Elyria
Mostly clear
40°F
test

Interfaith festival shares skill sets

The First Community Interfaith Institute of Ohio will host its 34th annual festival — themed “Building a Loving Community” — demonstrating a sustainable method to nurture a community.

The festival, which starts Thursday and runs through Sunday, is a local effort striving to better the lives of Lorain County residents.

“The festival helps people achieve their dreams, hopes and aspirations,” said the institute’s CEO the Rev. Gerald Evans, who founded and has co-chaired the event since its inception.

The festival, which honors African American culture, brings people together to impact one another.

For programming, institute members determine the schedule — they agree to teach event-goers skills in which they specialize. These classes vary from hands-on crafts, such as clock-making and silk screening, to interpersonal communication tips and anger management workshops, which the the institute has merit to host because Evans has several cognitive behavioral licenses.

“The festival showcases what we do all year around,” said fellow co-chair Dana Burns, who explained that the institute hosts skill workshops often.

According to Evans, the event encourages connections between accomplished locals and people who are still working to achieve their goals.

“Those who are suffering can meet other people who were in the same boat but have succeeded,” said Evans.

With an emphasis on low-resourced people, the festival attracts attendees of all socioeconomic backgrounds from several states, according to Burns. The turnout is between 1,000 and 5,000 guests each year.

To encourage maximum participation, a Spanish translator will be on-site and cost of meals is dependent on the attendee’s financial situation.

Events will be at Kanisa House, 142 Cleveland St., and Lorain County Community College, 1005 N. Abbe Road.

More online

For a schedule of events, visit www.fciiohio.org.

Contact Elizabeth Kuhr at 329-7144 or ekuhr@chroniclet.com.