Festa Della Terra Returns for a Fourth Year

Community Partners

Through her annual Festa Della Terra, Chapel Hill realtor Natalie Marrone combines two of her loves: the arts community and giving back. 

Now in its fourth year, Festa Della Terra is an “artful food drive” that benefits PORCH and is held in Natalie’s backyard each spring. (Check out a recap video from last year’s event.) 

Natalie lives in a world brimming with wonderfully talented artists – many of them have been her Natalie Marrone Homes clients over the years. By launching Festa Della Terra during Covid, she formed a “dream space, where I could invent and co-create with friends, neighbors, and clients an inspiring space where we could convene in a meaningful way for a meaningful cause. Especially at a time when everybody was separated.” 

Festa Della Terra features an art gallery amid Natalie’s backyard trees, refreshments, and plenty of reunions among neighbors and friends of all ages. Live music will be provided by West African harpist Will Ridenour, as well as operatic performer Mitchener Howell. Attendees bring non-perishable goods for PORCH, such as peanut butter, cereal, and rice. Last year, hundreds of bags were collected – the event’s contributions fed 300 families for a full month. 

Some of the artists featured at the event sell works and give proceeds to PORCH. A silent auction also benefits PORCH.

This year, the incredible artist lineup includes:

Charlotte Hord Smith, who makes unique mixed media pieces using fabric scraps and paper; 

Susan Brubaker Knapp, host of “Quilting Arts TV”; 

Natalia Favorsky, ink, watercolor, and acrylic artist, as well as framing specialist;

Deenie and Flip Jewelry Design, twin sisters creating artisan pieces made of handmade sterling silver, 18k gold, semi-precious stones, and pearls; 

David Hinkle, a wood carver and craftsman;  

Anatoli Tarasiuk, a self-taught Ukrainian painter;

R. Scott Horner, a contemporary abstract artist whose paintings are guided by chance and accidental discovery. 

The event requires about 30 volunteers and plenty of preparation – Natalie’s 13-year-old son is in charge of marketing, as he and friends walk the neighborhood in the days before and distribute flyers. But Natalie, the daughter of Italian immigrants, is happy to give back to the community where she works, serves, and loves. “My relatives worked in the factories of New York,” she says. “We had family members with five children in a one-bedroom apartment. There was a real fight for survival. …  As an Italian, everything happens at the dinner table. I look at my kid, and I’m like, ‘My God, what would I do if you didn’t have enough food?’ That is a basic human right.” 

She selected PORCH as the beneficiary of her because it was well known and trusted within the community. “I just knew that they were a pool of volunteers that people treasured in the area,” Natalie says. “It’s been a great partnership with them. They do amazing things. And they do it quietly.” 

Festa Della Terra will take place on April 20, 2024 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Natalie’s home, located at 102 Ironwood Place in Chapel Hill. The rain date is April 21. Please bring non-perishables from this list: 

Top left: Charlotte Hord Smith, who makes unique mixed media pieces using fabric scraps and paper. 
Top right and bottom: Susan Brubaker Knapp, host of “Quilting Arts TV,” will showcase her work at Festa Della Terra.