September 16th - 17th: Culture & Potentiality

Island of Art: RIVAA Hosts Exciting Madagascar This Weekend On Roosevelt Island

David Stone

Continuing its drive to position ours as the Island of Art, the Roosevelt Island Visual Art Association opens its doors for a lively two day cultural expo of everything Malagasy. Saturday and Sunday, September 16th and 17th, RIVAA's gallery at 527 Main Street will vibrate with Madagascar Culture & Potentiality.

Island of Art: RIVAA Hosts Exciting Madagascar This Weekend On Roosevelt Island
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

Madagascar, a unique, island nation with a rapidly growing population of about 25 million has had less than 60 years of independence to jell its identity. Nineteen ethic groups fuel each other's imaginations while arts and crafts stir entrepreneurs to spread the word far and wide.

Although Madagascar, the world's fourth largest island, appears close to Africa on maps, it actually broke off the Indian subcontinent some 88 million years ago. The long continental drift across the Indian Ocean left its plants and animals to evolve in relative isolation.

Its a biodiversity hot spot with over 90% of its wildlife found nowhere else on Earth.

Signs of human foraging on the island go back 4,000 years, but permanent settlements came much later, started first by outrigger canoeists from Borneo who were joined later by Bantu from East Africa.

Put it all together, and there simply is nowhere on earth much like Madagascar, and NY Valiha, a creative organization that's been promoting Malagasy culture for eight years, has teamed up with RIVAA to excite Roosevelt Island with this exhibit.

Culture and Potentiality

Island of Art: RIVAA Hosts Exciting Madagascar This Weekend On Roosevelt Island
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

What are you going to find at Gallery RIVAA, this weekend?

  • Colorful display of Malagasy products 
  • Thrilling introduction to tourism in the land of beautiful black sands and migrating whales 
  • Crafts 
  • Painting 
  • Photography 
  • Rum, tea, coffee, chocolate, home grown pleasure from Madagascar

This weekend, you will also learn about research into lemurs and other indigenous species native to Madagascar. Patricia Wright from Stoney Brook University contributes a film about environmental preservation. 

Although no sales will be made, Madagascar's all important entrepreneurs will show arts and crafts with hopes that you'll be inspired to hook up later.

The event is important enough that the Counselor General of Madagascar in America and Ambassador for the Permanent Mission to United Nations, Zina Andrianarivelo, is expected to attend.

Gallery RIVAA is at 527 Main Street on Roosevelt Island. Madagascar Culture & Potentiality opens its doors at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Otherwise, closing times are 5:00 on Saturday and 6:00 on Sunday.

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