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Media Hosts Festival As ‘First Fair Trade Town’

The Bulletin (Philadelphia, PA)

 Media, 12 miles west of Philadelphia in Delaware County, is “an artful blend of new and traditional, eclectic and sophisticated, international and plain old down-home goodness.” Street festivals, live music, performance theater and poetry readings regularly entertain both the young and old in this inviting borough, which train riders can reach easily on SEPTA’s R3 Media/Elwyn regional rail line.

Currently the only U.S. “Fair Trade Town” - along with 300 towns in Europe and 150 in Britain - Media promotes third-party certification and monitoring of food and other items to assure farmers and workers a fair price for their products. Traditional farming and handcrafted methods, which are protected by this policy, often result in high-quality products - while maintaining biodiversity, providing shelter for migratory birds and protecting the earth’s future.
October is Fair Trade Month, which some of Media’s Second Saturday events will celebrate. On Saturday, from 6 to 9 p.m., 49 locations in Media will present the work of 25 artists including pet portraits, oriental rugs, jewelry, wood burnings, paintings, comics and watercolors. Twenty musicians will play blues, folk, children’s music, ethnic, bouzouki, violin, rock, hammered dulcimer and piano. Other highlights of this month’s festivities include a Fair Trade Poster Contest kickoff, stone-cutting demonstrations, Reiki relaxation, Adopt-a-Native-Elder Benefit and open-microphone events.

From 6 to 6:45 p.m., the Delaware County Institute of Science (11 Veterans Square; 610 566-5126) will present “Connect with Fair Trade” during a lecture and question-and-answer session with Juanita Baltodano, president of a small farmer cooperative in Costa Rica. Because of Fair Trade, Baltodano and her cooperative have been able to build a school, repair bridges in their community and start a health care fund. Local farmers will also discuss the “Buy Fair, Buy Local” campaign. Selene Whole Foods Co-op (305 W. State Street?610 566-1137) will have a sampling of Fair Trade products from Chile from the Interrupcion Organization. The products include Patagonian jams, organic olive oil, dulce de leche and authentic chimi churri sauce.?Learn more at www.interrupcion.net and http://selenecoop.org/.

In addition, La Belle Epoque Cafe (38 W. State Street; 610 566-6808) will have a wine tasting of Fair Trade Chilean wines (www.melaniawines.com) with vintner Chris Hlubb. Working regularly with more than 100 artisan groups in more than 30 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, Ten Thousand Villages (101-103 W. State Street; 610 892-5020) - one of the world’s oldest and largest fair trade organizations enabling artisans to earn a fair wage and providing the opportunity for a better quality of life - will host a Pakistani rug artisan as part of their special rug event. Featuring pottery, crafts and “cool objects from earth,” Earth & State (23 W. State St. 610 566-9270) will have “Reverse Trick or Treating,” a Fair Trade chocolate event.?

At 7 p.m., Tango 411 Studio (119 Gayley Street; 610 864-2323) will demonstrate the Argentine tango - the dance of passion - at the Media Fire Company (Front and Jackson Streets; 610 565-3737). During this free event, audience members will be invited to participate. To learn about the studio’s classes and other special events, visit http://www.tango411.com/.

From 6 to 9 p.m., a reception will be held for the Media ICONS Photography Exhibit (112 S. Jackson Street; 610 566-5210), which will run until Oct. 19. Juried by Katherine Ware, the curator of photographs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, this exhibit will display works from Media’s recent competition; professional and amateur photographers from around the greater Media and Philadelphia area submitted photography highlighting the borough’s “icons.”

Through Oct. 14,Media Theatre for the Performing Arts(104 East State Street; 610 891-0100) will present “Miss Saigon.” In this classic love story, Alain Boublil and Claude-Michael Schönberg (the creators of “Les Misérables”), along with Richard Maltby Jr., bring Puccini’s “Madame Butterfly” to the modern world in a moving testament to the human spirit and a scathing indictment of the tragedies of war. In the turmoil of the Vietnam War, an American soldier and a Vietnamese girl fall in love - only to be separated during the fall of Saigon. Their struggles to find each other over the ensuing years ends in tragedy for her and a fighting chance for the child he never knew. For more details, visit http://www.mediatheatre.org/.

Through Nov. 17, Hedgerow Theatre (64 Rose Valley Road; 610 565-4211) is staging “Bernard Slade: An Act of the Imagination.” When successful mystery writer Arthur Putnam’s latest book turns out to be a steamy romance novel, his family and editor begin to suspect the fiction is autobiographical. Blackmail, conspiracy and suspense mix in this edge-of-your-seat thriller, which mystery fans will especially enjoy. Learn more at www.hedgerowtheatre.org.

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