Bloomington Multicultural Expo 2011 on Sept. 18 showcases IU and city's vast diversity
The Indiana University and Bloomington communities will come together at Bryan Park (1001 S. Henderson St.) on Sunday, Sept. 18, from noon to 5 p.m. for Bloomington Multicultural Expo 2011.
Included in the festivities will be five dynamic cultural villages, including the Soul Food Festival Village, Festival Latino Village, Moon Festival Village, Native American Village and International Festival Village.
Each village -- with assistance from IU's Mathers Museum of World Cultures/Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology -- will provide fun and educational children's activities that will enable them to explore the wonders of diversity.
Several villages also will offer international and ethnic cuisine, where festival-goers can purchase and taste a variety of dishes. A varied line-up of musicians and dancers also will perform the music of Vietnam, Chile, Spain, India and Latin America, as well as music by African Americans and Native Americans. More than 40 cultural organizations will participate.
Although there will be vendors with artifacts and food items for sale, most activities are family-friendly, free and the entire event is open to the public.
"We see this event as a way to highlight the multicultural initiatives and the diversity we have in our community, not just on campus but in the city of Bloomington as well," said Sandy Britton, director of the Leo R. Dowling International Center. "We have all of these branches (of ethnic and cultural groups) and this event brings them all together. To me, that's the beauty of it, that we're working together."
Britton said that many of IU's students enjoy volunteering in the community and this event provides an opportunity to do so. In the case of international students, events such as the Bloomington Multicultural Expo are seen "as a way to work with a diverse group that brings a sense of belonging and camaraderie . . . The good thing about festivals and fairs is that we all come together. It's not only a way to learn about other cultures, but also to become involved."
Bloomington Multicultural Expo 2011 is sponsored by City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation, Leo R. Dowling International Center, City of Bloomington Community and Family Resources, Indiana University Commission on Multicultural Understanding, IU Residential Programs and Services, IU La Casa, IU Asian Cultural Center, Mathers Museum of World Cultures/Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology, Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington and Monroe County Community School Corp.
For more information, see www.bloomington.in.gov/bme.