By WVUA 23 Student Reporter Taylor Neuman

The Sassafras Center for Arts and Environment is a new nonprofit organization with a mission: Improving the quality of life for Tuscaloosans.

On Sunday, Sassafras teamed up with the University of Alabama’s Creative Campus and an advanced writing class to put on an event the whole community could enjoy.

The Sassafras Food Memories Festival was host to music, food and plenty of stories. Each student from the class wrote about a food reminding them of their past, and then made that dish for the festival. They read their stories out loud and shared their favorite meal with the community.

Yasmeen Sayyah said she brought a hummus recipe that bridged a culture gap.

“It’s my mom’s recipe,” she said. “My dad is Palestinian, but my mom is just from Indiana, so hummus was kind of the area that I saw their cultures colliding because she got really good at that recipe that was originally from his side of the family. So I kind of grew up eating it a lot and just wanted to make it and brought it here.”

Sassafras organizers also revealed their latest project. Their goal is building a public park in historic East Tuscaloosa. Sassafras Park will be a place where the community can come together and have more events like these.

Sassafras is getting ready for fundraising, and organizers said they hope the park will be financially self-sustaining.

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