The following is a republished press release from a community organization or member and NOT written by the Ithaca Voice … to submit community announcements to The Voice, contact us at jstein@ithacavoice.com.

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July 15, ITHACA, NY – Congo Square Market invites community members to come on Friday, July 24th from 4 to 8pm. The Market will feature a free performance with DJ Ramsey, local vendors and free wellness services coordinated by the Ithaca Health Alliance. Congo Square Market is open everyFriday all summer at the park next to Southside Community Center, 305 S. Plain St, Ithaca. The theme for the July 31st Market will be #BlackLivesMatter.

Bring the whole family and support local vendors including Harvest Box Deliveries, BiciCocina Bicycle Food Cart, Unique’s Bow-tique and more! Ithaca Health Alliance (IHA) will offer “Feed Your Heart” Education Tents with free herbal tea, fruits and vegetables, and introductory consultations with their Free Clinic Provider Volunteers and represtatives from community organizations. Services will include Herbal Medicine, Occupational Therapy and Health Insurance Enrollment. Talk with representatives from Cayuga Medical Center to learn about their heart health and diabetes resources. Learn about volunteer opportunities, come for emotional support and talk with a counselor from Suicide Prevention and Crisis Services and make your own mental health first-aid kit. Meet in front of the Southside entrance to join the introductory Tai Chi class at 7pm with Anthony Fazio from Peaceful Spirit Acupuncture.

Never tried Tai Chi before? It’s the popular slow-moving health practice that originated in China about 800 years ago. Its health benefits are well-documented: improved balance, pain reduction, increased energy, etc. The Peaceful Spirit Tai Chi class will focus primarily on the health aspects of Tai Chi (Tai Ji Quan), but will also include some exploration of the philosophical characteristics of this art.

Occupational Therapy helps people who have suffered an illness, injury, or have trouble with any of the skills needed for daily living. Occupational Therapists help their patients focus on their physical, social, and psychological needs, and to concentrate on what is important to rebuild their health, independence, and self-esteem. People with any of the following conditions can benefit: arthritis, multiple sclerosis, or other chronic conditions; mental health or behavioral problems, including schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder; limitations following a stroke or heart attack; work-related injuries including repetitive stress and back injuries; and vision or cognitive problems that affect ability to perform daily tasks.

Herbal medicine can help improve the way a person’s body and systems work together over time. Western herbalists are holistic healthcare practitioners who use herbs (plants) as their primary medicine. An herbalist assesses a patient’s health history and life habits to identify areas of strengths and weaknesses, and provides a comprehensive evaluation of current health problems and symptoms. They can recommend therapies that can consist of single herbs, or formulations in the form of teas, tinctures, and other preparations. Herbal medicine can be an excellent choice for many chronic and acute conditions and as a preventive tool to maintain health.

You can start the process of applying for health insurance (Medicaid, Child Health Plus and other health insurance options). A representative from Fidelis Care will be at Congo Square Market.

Healthcare services will be at the Market again on September 4th! IHA’s Community Health Education Program is working with Congo Square Market to promote the connections between health and food as well as celebrate a vibrant future for our community and generations to come. Thanks to Cayuga Medical Center for their support of IHA’s Education Tents.

To perform, vend or volunteer, email: CongoSquareEntertainment@gmail.com

For weekly updates and performance schedule, visit ‘Congo Square Market, Ithaca‘ on Facebook.

ABOUT CONGO SQUARE MARKET

Congo Square is an actual place in New Orleans. This sacred ground was first used by the Houma People and by slaves in the region as a place to enjoy a day of freedom. Africans used it as a place to maintain their true status as free people of Africa. Indigenous peoples and Europeans often joined in the celebration. Music, abolitionist organization, food, and dance were intertwined to enjoy this one-day-a-week festival.

In Ithaca, Congo Square Market (or CSM) is a multicultural community that provides affordable Jamaican, Cuban, Ethiopian, soul food, farm produce, local goods, as well as free healthcare services and entertainment: music, visual art and speakers, and more! Congo Square Market is open every Friday 4-8pm through September 4th. The Market’s mission is to build a stronger self-reliant local community, develop Southside’s economic base, and encourage community & personal health. Collaborators include Southside Community Center, Rainbow Healing Center, Youth Farm Project, TC Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Whole Community Project, Rocky Acres Community Farm, Cayuga Medical Center, Ithaca Health Alliance/ Free Clinic and individual volunteers who all help put the market together.

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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.