North East Community Center
 
Millerton hosts two-day lespeshtival concert
Reprinted with permission from The Millerton News, copyright The Lakeville Journal Company, LLC, 2011.

MILLERTON — A few hundred musicphiles convened at the Kaplan Farm on Route 22 on Saturday, Oct. 22, and Sunday, Oct. 23, for a two-day, one-night — all night — concert to benefit the North East Community Center (NECC).

The music festival, called "lespeshtival" after the band "lespecial" that founded the event, featured over two dozen acts, including a nine-piece youth band that was originally formed during the NECC summer camp.

The youth band, playing under the name the Millertonnites, have become a pet-project of Jonathan Grusauskas, a member of lespecial and owner of the Music Cellar in Millerton, who taught music classes during the NECC summer camp.

Grusauskas said the festival brings together his two worlds: performing in a band and teaching music. The event shows his students what they can do.

Besides the nonstop music, the venue also showcased other types of art. Among the artisans working on the festival grounds were a wood carver, iron welder, fire spinners, stilt walkers and video artists.

"Millerton is becoming a cultural hotspot, and this fits right in," Grusauskas said.

NECC Executive Director Jenny Hansell said the event was fantastic, well-organized and had a great vibe.

"We're glad [Grusauskas] wanted to make us a part of this," she said.

She also agreed that the festival blends well with the town's artistic community, referencing the Fall for Art event that was happening at the same time elsewhere in the village. She said that lespeshtival brought a crowd that was younger and different from the Fall for Art crowd, but just as creative and talented.

Grusauskas said he hopes to continue the festival and grow it over the next few years.