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West Hempstead’s own revival festival

Creative Corner to celebrate Woodstock’s 50th anniversary


To mark Woodstock music festival’s 50th anniversary, the art and music school Creative Corner, at 482 Hempstead Ave. in West Hempstead, will host a “revival festival” on Sunday. The event, “West Hemp-stock,” will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Arts and crafts activities will be held throughout the day. There will also be live music in the school’s parking lot, and local artists selling handmade goods. “We’re hoping to have celebration of peace, music, and art and community,” said Nichole Baldino, Creative Corner’s manager. She added that she wanted the celebration to evoke the spirit of the original Woodstock.

The event, organized by Nichole and her father, Harry Baldino, senior art director and owner of Creative Corner, will be free of charge and open to the public. Last week, Creative Corner encouraged prospective attendees on Facebook to come “in your best tie-dye, ready to celebrate a culture of music and art with the community.”

Opened by the elder Baldino in 2014, Creative Corner offers art and music lessons, private parties, and services for children with special needs. It has Open Mic Night, too, at which residents showcase their musical talents on Monday evenings.

Today Woodstock is mostly remembered for its connection to the “counterculture” movement of the 1960s, which opposed the Vietnam War and the political and cultural establishment of the time. But the festival was also a critical event in the history of music.

“I loved the music,” said Peggy Libby, a lifelong West Hempstead resident. “It was the music of my era.” She added that she wished she had attended the festival in 1969.

John McKay, who has lived in West Hempstead for nearly 30 years, said he was looking forward to listening to music from the Woodstock era, and hoped to spend time with friends made at Creative Corner. “I think art and music is incredibly important,” he said. “It fills a need for people to express themselves.”

“I love supporting local people and artists, so it’s nice that that’s their intention, too,” said Alison Heikkila, an artist who works at Creative Corner. A lifelong West Hempstead resident, Heikkila, 41, is also an assistant teacher at a nursery school in Rockville Centre. At the event, she will be selling heat packs that she designed and made herself.

Heikkila, who has an art degree from Hofstra University, once owned and operated a scrapbooking store in West Hempstead. Like McKay, she stressed that she views the event, and Creative Corner, through the lens of community.

“I hope it brings some community members together,” she said of the festival. “When I had my store, that was one of my big things. I wanted to have a store in my town to bring the community together. With this event, I want to see what local artisans are creating, because you never know what your neighbor is making.”