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THIS FRIDAY NIGHT: Arts & Culture Fest! Don't Miss Out!

In times like these, it's so important for us all to come together and celebrate our diversity. Events like these can unite us when so often we seem divided. Our big event is just days away and I want to thank you for your support.

WHATGreater Syracuse Arts & Culture Fest Presented by AP Professionals!
WHO: 65 Participating Art, Cultural, and Food Organizations Entertaining YOU!
WHEN: This Friday, August 18th from 5:30 - 9 pm
WHERE: Rosamond Gifford Zoo, 1 Conservation Pl, Syracuse, NY 13204
WHY: Proceeds Benefit Believe in Syracuse. Enjoy food, Beer, Wine, Art, and Diversity!
HOW MUCH: $20 or 2 for $35 online until Wednesday. $30 at the door if not sold out. Kids get in free.

CLICK HERE AND RSVP NOW

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For more info check out our new blog posts at the links below:

Top 4 Reasons to Attend the Arts & Culture Fest!

Check out our floor plan of all the amazing vendors we'll have on Friday!

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WHO: 65 Participating Art, Cultural, and Food Organizations Entertaining YOU!
WHEN: This Friday, August 18th from 5:30 - 9 pm
WHERE: Rosamond Gifford Zoo, 1 Conservation Pl, Syracuse, NY 13204
WHY: Proceeds Benefit Believe in Syracuse. Enjoy food, Beer, Wine, Art, and Diversity!
HOW MUCH: $20 or 2 for $35 online until Wednesday. $30 at the door if not sold out. Kids get in free.

CLICK HERE AND RSVP NOW

Celebrate Syracuse! This is YOUR town!

Too often, Central New Yorkers get down on themselves and their community. Negative perceptions of Syracuse led to cynicism and apathy. Today, however, Syracuse is on the rise and we're leading the charge changing perceptions of our community.

Sometimes we take for granted how good we have it here. Traffic is minimal and it takes about 15 minutes to get just about anywhere. While it's easy to make note of our winters, we have four distinct seasons. Many other regions of the country don't get to experience all four of them. Syracuse also receives national recognition for the low cost of living and low cost of buying a home.
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Personally, I love Syracuse because it has the best of both worlds. Beautiful parks, farms, rural areas and wildlife. Syracuse is a great place to raise a family or grow old in. It's small enough to feel like home and big enough to have great art, culture, and diversity that will be on display this Friday at the Zoo.

In Greater Syracuse, we're lucky to have art and cultural resources like the Everson Museum, Syracuse Stage, Syracuse City Ballet, Auburn Public Theater, Onondaga Historical Association..... all of whom will be vendors at our event this Friday.

Diversity sums up a lot of what makes Syracuse great to me. A diversity of experiences (rural, suburban, urban, all within 15 minutes of each other), plus a diversity of people. In organizing this event what has stuck us are some of the incredible stories we've heard from some of the people who own the food businesses that will make this an international food festival.

Assad fled as a refugee from Syria and is now starting America's First Syrian Sweets & Ice Cream shop. Sara is starting Syracuse's first Pakistani Restaurant. Zell Avarez has a nationally recognized Filipino restaurant right here in Syracuse. Taste cuisine from each of them this Friday, August 18th at the Zoo. Click here and get your tickets and don't miss out on this experience.

I was on TV yesterday being interviewed on CNY Central about the event. Click here for a video of the interview!

Greater Syracuse Arts & Culture Fest this Friday, August 18th from 5:30-9pm at the Zoo!

  • Kids 12 and under get in free to enjoy the Zoo!
  • Live Music, cultural performances and more!
  • Wine, Beer Liquor available!
  • If we don't sell out, tickets will be $30 at the door
  • Tickets are currently $20 online or two for $35 at BelieveInSyracuse.org


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Are you with a group or company who would like 5, 10 or more tickets? Ask me about discounted group rates! Email john@believeinsyracuse.org

Read more

Top 4 Reasons to Attend the Arts & Culture Fest!

The Greater Syracuse Arts & Culture Festival - an International Food Festival and fundraiser for our charitable work, for our big public art mural project we are funding and our programs - is just 9 days away!

This event was just featured on Syracuse.com yesterday and the excitement is building! Kids 12 and under get in free to enjoy the Zoo!! RSVP to join us Next Friday!

1. It's an Art Festival:

23 Art Businesses Selling Bags, Jewelry, Photography, Origami, Clay items and more. Also 14 Art Nonprofits such as Syracuse Stage, Auburn Public Theater, and the Syracuse City Ballet.

2. It's an INTERNATIONAL FOOD FESTIVAL:

With the price of admission, you get enough FREE FOOD samples to serve as your dinner. Food from Indian, Jamaican, Creole, Louisianna, Italian, Pakistani, Syrian, Japanese, Mexican, Filipino, Southern Fusion, Irish, Middle Eastern and Lebanese cultures!

3. This Event Celebrates CULTURE AND DIVERSITY:

A DJ playing Arabic, Spanish, and Reggae music. An Irish Dance Troupe, Refugees from Syria and Pakistan who started their own food businesses and will be serving up amazing food. There will also be 8 History and Culture Nonprofits such as Onondaga Historical Association and the Irish American Cultural Institute.

4. This is a FUN FRIDAY NIGHT:

The zoo will have their full bar available with Beer, Wine, Spirits and other beverages for sale. If you're keeping it local, have a Syracuse Pale Ale or a Swallow Wit beer from Middle Ages! Also, we have a distillery from Rochester providing free samples of their liquor! The event will be inside and outside so it will be a great way to enjoy the summer!

For a limited time, tickets are just a $20 donation for one or $35 for two. If we don't sell out, tickets will be $30 at the door. What are you waiting for? Get your tickets today at www.BelieveInSyracuse.org/festival

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Group Ticket Pack Discount:

Are you with a Family, a Business, a social group, or any organization that might like to come to the event together? Maybe you want to bring your family closer together, do some team building or get tickets for employee appreciation? Click here for special discounts for groups!

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-- 

John DeSantis
Believe in Syracuse

Our Big Announcement on TV and Discounted $20 Tickets for Arts & Culture Fest!

TWO WEEKS FROM TODAY!

Friday, August 18th from 5:30 - 9pm we're hosting an International Food Festival and a celebration of the Art, Culture, Music, and Diversity that make Syracuse Beautiful. Proceeds from the event support our charitable work in the community! 

With 14 international food vendors providing you with free food samples, the price of admission covers your dinner for the night. 

Beer, Wine and other drinks will be available for purchase. Kids get in free to enjoy the Zoo and tickets are only $20 for a limited time.
Click here to get discounted tickets before they are gone!

I held a press conference Wednesday at the Zoo to unveil the list of 65 vendors and other participating organizations! All three local TV news networks came out to cover the big announcement! Check out the full list of all who are participating in this unique and diverse event:

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This vendor list includes:

  • 23 Art Businesses Selling Bags, Jewelry, Photography, Origami, Clay items and more.

  • 14 food vendors with cuisine from Latin America, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and North America

  • 3 Live Entertainment Acts such as DJ Rock, Legacy Music and the Francis Academy of Irish Dance

  • 14 Art Nonprofits such as Syracuse Stage, Auburn Public Theater, and the Syracuse City Ballet

  • 8 History and Culture Nonprofits such as Onondaga Historical Association and the Irish American Cultural Institute.

  • 3 Additional Event Sponsors such as Presenting Sponsor AP Professionals of Syracuse

For more info visit believeinsyracuse.org/festival or buy your tickets now at believeinsyracuse.org/syracuse_arts_and_culture_fest

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Graphic Design Fellow Molly Sweeney on her Summer Internship

"The projects I was asked to contribute to over the course of the summer were fun to be a part of. I got to help out with a range of projects from logo design, print media, copywriting, social media marketing, and web development. All of this while building my portfolio. I really couldn't have asked for a better organization to learn from and give my time to."

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Click "Read More" at the bottom of the post to read her article and see her work!

Believe in Syracuse is looking for Fall Fellows! Gain experience in the Non-Profit Sector, earn college credit, and be a leader of your community!

We are looking for interns interested in one or more of the following:
-Social Work
-Graphic Design
-Website Development
-Community Outreach
-Social Media Management
-Fundraising
-Event Planning

Click HERE to apply!

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Read more

Oompa Loompyas' Alvarez Talks Business, Heritage, and Culture

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20217287_10104018033136236_1801513875_n.jpgWhether you've eaten at Oompa Loompyas, seen them at a festival, or just heard of them, you know their restaurant has a good reputation in Syracuse. We sat down Oompa Loompyas' Founder and Owner, Zell Alvarez to ask her some questions about her award winning lumpias and how she got her start in Syracuse.

Read our interview with her below!

Sample her award winning Lumpias at the Greater Syracuse Arts and Culture Festival on August 18th! 

 

Read more

Arts & Culture Fest - Refugees, Diversity, Food and more! 1 Month from today!

What does Assad Almajid, a refugee from Syria have in common with Azella who is the first in her family of Filipino immigrants to be born in this country? They both have started food businesses in Syracuse that will be vendors at the Greater Syracuse Arts & Culture Festival one month from today!

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Included in your ticket are 15 free food samples - Louisiana, Southern Fusion, Irish, Syrian, Jamaican, Italian, Puerto Rican, Japanese, Middle Eastern, Filipino, Mexican, Indian and Pakistani Food!

In times like these, events like this one can truly bring people together and break down barriers between what divides us. We hear so often lately how divided we are as a country but our message is one of unity and togetherness. Food is something we all have in common and brings people together more than anything. Join us to celebrate the Art and Diversity that makes Syracuse beautiful. Click here and buy your ticket.

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In addition to 15 food vendors, we have 30+ Art vendors - organizations such as Syracuse Stage and Onondaga Historical Association to individual Arts & Crafts makers who will be selling their work. We're expecting to sell out of tickets so you'll want to get yours now. Click here and RSVP.

Are you involved in a company or organization that would like to have a featured vendor spot at the event and reach thousands of CNY residents, gaining positive PR, awareness and new customers? Click here and become a sponsor.
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Syracuse's First Pakistani Restaurant Launches at Arts & Culture Fest!

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 Sarah Robin is excited to announce that Punjabi Girl Catering, Syracuse's first Pakistani restaurant, will be opening soon! We interviewed her to find out where she draws her influences, how she got her start, and why she believes in Syracuse!

Sample her delicious food at the Greater Syracuse Arts and Cultural Fest on August 18th or order today!  

 

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America's 1st Syrian Ice Cream Maker Launches in Syracuse

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John DeSantis, left, and Assad Almajid, right

Assad Almajid is launching the first ever Syrian ice cream restaurant in the United States right here in Syracuse! It’s called Sinbad’s Sweets and Ice Cream, LLC. After debuting at the Greater Syracuse Arts and Culture Festival, Assad will be starting his business in o