Chandler 2022 Multicultural Festival and Celebration of Unity

An upcoming festival in Chandler showcases the many cultural groups that have contributed to the city’s history.

The 27th annual Chandler Multicultural Festival will take place on Saturday January 15th. There will be shows, activities, and food and merchandise vendors. The event is in person this year after going virtual last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Community Resources Coordinator Rori Minor says the festival aims to bring together people from diverse cultural backgrounds to celebrate diversity in Chandler and the East Valley.

“This is the objective of the event, is to bring out different cultures and to make people feel concerned and excited about their culture being presented at the event”, a declared Minor.

Chandler showcases different cultures throughout the year with events such as the Asian Moon Festival in October and Contigo’s Hispanic Heritage Month events in September.

“We hope that in 2022 they will be even bigger and better by showcasing different aspects of our community and their cultural heritage,” Minor said.

Chandler’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion division works with local organizations to present the multicultural festival. Some of the groups will have booths at the event to share information about what they are doing.

“They are really the cornerstone of this event. They are the ones who put us in touch with the suppliers we need. They’re the ones who sit on committees to help plan things and make sure we’re culturally sensitive, ”Minor says.

What to expect at the Chandler Multicultural Festival

The popular Asian village returns, and Minor says more European cultures will be featured this year.

Festival-goers can enjoy performances such as Bollywood and traditional Indian music, Mexican folk, Japanese K-pop, Aztec, Korean traditional dance, and classical and modern Cambodian dance styles.

Participants of the Miss Indian Arizona pageant will perform Native American dances and educate visitors about their culture and badges.

New this year is a spoken word performance by local poet Afroetic.

Food trucks and vendors will offer Korean, Japanese, Filipino, Italian, Vietnamese, French, Mexican, American and Thai cuisine.

Merchandise vendors will sell items such as Turkish sweets, Greek pastries, Chinese herbal teas, cultural T-shirts, soaps and jewelry. Artist Diné Darrin Denny will be doing live demos and selling his work.

For the kids there will be inflatable obstacle courses, face painting, games, coloring and STEAM activities.

The winners of the Creative Expressions Competition will be announced during the festival. The competition, which features art and writing categories, allows Chandler’s students to showcase their talents and have a voice.

This year, students created art or wrote about “finding commonalities and connections in our diverse community”. The work of the winners and finalists will be exhibited at the festival. Minor won the essay competition as a high school freshman.

Chandler’s celebration of unity

The festival has a long history in Chandler. The Friends of Chandler Public Library started the event in 1995. It is part of a series of events in January called the Celebration of Unity, which takes place around Martin Luther King Jr. Day and features highlight the values ​​and ideals of the civil rights icon.

As part of the celebration of King’s Legacy this year, Arizona-based artist Tiesha Harrison will lead an interactive art game during the festival. Harrison is an abstract expressionist artist who often combines painting with immersive community experiences.

As part of the activity, participants will toss a Velcro ball at a board spelling out the word “community”. Depending on the letter they hit, they will answer questions from the community / unit or MLK or participate in activities such as drawing an MLK sketch or their interpretation of a community.

Participants’ responses, written or drawn on fabric or paper, will be added to a multimedia portrait collage of MLK created by Harrison prior to the event.

The activity aims to bring people together to learn more about MLK and to think more deeply about the ideals of community, impact, unity and love.

“We’re really trying to capture the essence of what Martin Luther King Jr. was trying to accomplish and why we’re celebrating this holiday weekend with this art exhibit,” Minor said.

“It helped us to feel connected”

Minor, originally from Chandler, grew up attending the festival. She says seeing the many cultures present at the festival has allowed her to communicate better with other people from different backgrounds.

“I might not know everything about someone’s culture, but at least I got to witness it. It has helped us feel connected and build community in our own way, ”Minor says. “I think this has been and continues to be one of those building blocks for the community to better understand and bond with one another.”

She has seen the festival expand to feature a wider variety of cultures.

“I think it’s improving year by year. The community has more cultures to include, and it is growing because more people attend and are in awe of it. They want to bring their family or participate as a business owner, ”says Minor.

Chandler Multicultural Festival

When: 11 am-6pm Saturday January 15th.

Or: Dr AJ Chandler Park, 3 S. Arizona Ave, Chandler.

Admission: To free.

Details: https://www.chandleraz.gov.

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