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Above, from left: Maria Wilson, executive director of the Waverly Community House; Dr. Dipti Pancholy and Lackawanna County commissioner Jim Wansacz are preparing for this weekend's "Colors of Spring" concert at the Waverly Community House.

A fusion of cultures will take place at the Waverly Community House, 1115 N. Abington Road, this weekend with a special concert celebrating peace, harmony and nature's bounty.

On Saturday, May 11, "Colors of Spring: A Musical Journey," will allow people to learn the fundamentals of Indian classical music as well as experience it. The event is presented by NICE-PA and was made possible through a Lackawanna County arts and culture grant.

NICE-PA or "Nexus of Inter-Cultural Exchange of Pennsylvania" is the brainchild of Dr. Dipti Pancholy, a South Abington Township resident whose passion is building bridges between all of the ethnic groups that comprise Northeast Pennsylvania.

Pancholy explained that the planning process behind "Colors of Spring" showed her that residents of this area are eager to learn about other cultures.

"There are communities that exist within Lackawanna County that have imaginary lines in their little towns and they need to erase those imaginary boundaries," she said. "In the word 'community' is 'unity.' It is mind-boggling that an event such as this can be the fusion of so many things; it seemed like everything was pushing me to do whatever I could for it. So many people came together to help make this happen; most of them were not in the Indian community. That's what is amazing to me. You need to have people interact to see that we're all the same."

Lackawanna County commissioner Jim Wansacz explained that the county's goal in providing arts and culture grants for events such as "Colors of Spring" is to help enrich intercultural appreciation.

"The whole idea of this grant is to introduce the county to the different cultures and ethnic groups that are becoming part of Lackawanna County," he said. "There are so many ethnic groups that are becoming a part of us that we are getting the chance to experience each other's cultures, which is great. It is a great thing to be able to say, 'Here's the history of the Waverly Community House' and 'Here we are showing you a culture you might not have been aware of.'"

"Colors of Spring" will feature a seminar on the fundamentals of Indian classical music at 5 p.m. with refreshments provided by the Amber Indian Restaurant at 5:30 p.m., followed by the concert. Vocalist Sanjukta Sen will be accompanied by Shruti Sen, who has performed at the annual Moonlight Run for the Children's Advocacy Center of Northeastern Pennsylvania and Tapan Modak, who will play the tabla drum as well as other musical instruments. Students of the musicians, including Pancholy's family, will also present their musical talents.

"At first, when you invite people to this concert, they think it is a commercial project but then they realize that the goal is to bring people together in friendship and to learn and share culture," Pancholy said.

"In Lackawanna County, we support everybody," Wansacz added. "We are one community and we all have to come together. We are all the same; we care about our community."

Reservations for "Colors of Spring" are required and must be made by Tuesday, May 7. Tickets are $10; $5 for students. Reservations can be made by calling the Waverly Community House at 586-8191 ext. 2. For more information on the event as well as about NICE-PA, visit