Indiana University

Skip to:

  1. Search
  2. Breadcrumb Navigation
  3. Content
  4. Browse by Topic
  5. Services & Resources
  6. Additional Resources
  7. Multimedia News

Media Contacts

Lillian Casillas
La Casa

Debra Vance
Ivy Tech

George Vlahakis
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Monday, September 19, 2005

Latino, Multicultural festivals to enhance Lotus weekend events

Sept. 19, 2005

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Two festivals on Sept. 24-25 will celebrate the increasing cultural and ethnic diversity of Indiana University and Bloomington and will enrich the expansive offerings of the Lotus World Music and Arts Festival being held the same weekend.

Festival Latino, an outdoor concert event on the afternoon of Sept. 24 in IU Bloomington's Dunn Meadow, is held annually in celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month. The Bloomington Multicultural Festival will be held on the Courthouse Square the following afternoon (Sept. 25). Both events, which are free and open to the public, celebrate the diversity and intercultural interaction within the IU and Bloomington communities.

"The Bloomington Multicultural Festival and Festival Latino each enable our community with an opportunity to shine a light on the cultural mosaic that makes Bloomington and Monroe County so unique," said Lillian Casillas, co-chair of the festival planning committee and director of La Casa Latino Cultural Center. "With the participation of so many different and exciting cultural organizations and performers, we're confident that each festival will fulfill its mission to promote appreciation and respect for the value and strength of a diverse community."

"People representing diverse backgrounds and ages from the IU and Bloomington community will be attending," added Alonso Mejia, chair of the Festival Latino planning committee. "Visitors will have opportunity to learn different aspects of the Latino experience through interactive booths, music and other cultural activities."

"Diversity is a critical, wonderful part of our community," said Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan. "The Multicultural Festival allows Bloomington to showcase its unique community and culture in a fun and educational manner."

In addition to IU, Ivy Tech Community College is a co-sponsor of the Bloomington Multicultural Festival. "The college is looking forward to an exciting and fun event. The Bloomington community is so rich with diversity. Last year, the Bloomington Multicultural Festival had over 40 organizations and groups and 14 local performers came out to share their culture with the citizens of Bloomington," recalled Debra Vance, also a festival planning committee co-chair and director of outreach at the Bloomington campus of Ivy Tech.

This year Festival Latino will include dance performances from many groups in the Bloomington area including the Latin Dance Club, which performs a native folkloric dance; and Cumbia Piez Descalzos Group, which will perform to Colombian folk music. Ballet Folklorico International will combine the grace of ballet with the native beats of a Mexican style of music. Tango & Beyond will present one of Argentina's many treasures -- the tango. The Sequel Dance Company will perform to modern Latin beats, including Spanish hip hop and reggaeton.

Band performers include a wide range of styles heard across Latin America. From Indianapolis, Stacie Sandoval and Orquestra Bravo will be playing hot beats representing a myriad of Latin sounds. To incorporate the more modern sound, Dejavu Group from Ohio will play rock, modern Latin pop and Spanish jazz. From Chicago, Orchestra Rumba will perform salsa and merengue music.

At the Bloomington Multicultural Festival, a wide variety of performers from the community will include the Scottish Southern Indiana Pipe Band, the steel pan ensemble Global Groove, the Chordeens-Accordian Queens, the IU Samulnori Korean drum ensemble, gospel performers Cry of the Children, and Windfall Dancers. Others will perform music from China, Egypt, Hawaii, Nicaragua, Syria and Zimbabwe.

Latinos Unidos of Indiana University also will host its annual Sportsfest at Festival Latino, and will include several challenges and friendly competitive games. Authentic food will be available for purchase from Legacy of the Incas, El Norteno and Reyes Catering.

Other organizations will provide children's activities and information about community resources to the general public at both festivals.

Festival Latino also is being sponsored by the IU Student Association, the Office of the Chancellor, La Casa Latino Cultural Center, the Latino Enhancement Cooperative and the City of Bloomington and its Family Resources Department. Sponsors of the Bloomington Multicultural Festival also include the Monroe County Community School Corp. and Monroe County government.

For information about the Bloomington Multicultural Festival and booth applications there, visit its Web site at or contact Lee Bowlen at 812-349-3532 or Sue Owens at 812-349-3468.