First Posted: 12/3/2014
SCRANTON — With an artistic blend of music and poetry, this year’s First Night happenings at the AFA Gallery, 514 Lackawanna Ave., will put an intimate focus on local talent and community.
According to poet Lucia Dailey, who is scheduled to perform from 6:30 to 7 p.m., 8 to 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 to 10 p.m., the goal for the venue is to provide an atmosphere with “a free feeling, like a coffee house kind of feel.”
This is the Clarks Green resident’s third time performing in the annual New Year’s Eve event, which stretches throughout the downtown district and is headquartered at The Mall at Steamtown. She said what she most enjoys about it is “the feeling of community, the participation and bringing people together in a happy celebration.”
“That’s so important,” she said, “to celebrate life too, not just focus on all the problems that are always going to be there. First Night is a time to have fun and enjoy the arts, enjoy each other, enjoy the night, enjoy the winter, enjoy the end of the year — whatever New Year’s Eve is to people. It’s nice to be part of that.”
Although she said it is difficult to describe the source of inspiration for her poetry, she sees it as a “gift,” one to be shared with others.
“It’s sort of a mysterious source,” she said. “It’s odd, but it’s hard to put into words. …You just make an effort to communicate your experience to others, and you do it in a way that’s true to the experience.”
Some of the poetry shared during the event will be original, and some from other American authors. In keeping with the event’s “America” theme, some works will focus on America’s past, some on the country’s present, and others specifically on Native Americans.
Dailey said she hopes the experience of First Night will help launch the community into a happier new year, aware of the positive affects of the coming together.
“I see these cultural events as being really important to our community,” she said, “and I’m so grateful for the people who work hard to bring it together.”