Festival to celebrate world cultures

The Multicultural Festival showcases dance, music and other performances from around the globe.

The University of Redlands will present the 26th Annual “Living on Common Ground” Multicultural Festival from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, April 2, on the University of Redlands Quad. This event is free and open to the public.

This year’s festival will include a Serrano blessing followed by California Bird Singers. Other performers include St. Mary's Ballet Folklorico, Venice Koshin Taiko, Scimitar Dance Company, Arpana South Asian Dancers, Zydeco Mudbugs, Mariachi Sol y Luna, La Sole Flamenco, Rangashree Dances of India and Cuauhtemoc Danza Azteca. As usual, there will be a children’s corner, featuring crafts from around the world, along with bounce houses, a rock climbing wall and games.

Leela MadhavaRau, advisor to the president and associate dean for campus diversity and inclusion, said she felt the event should be shared with the University’s neighbors, whether they’re across the street or across the Inland Empire.

“I see Living on Common Ground as a celebration of all that we do on this campus to bring people together, regardless of their individual identifications. The festival provides a chance for celebration, participation, laughter, town-gown participation and exchange of information. It is little wonder that such an event has entered its third decade. It addresses a fundamental need in all of us to find common ground with one another and build community.”

The Multicultural Festival began in 1991 as the brainchild of Johnston Center senior Jana Wilcoxen. In a commemorative piece written for the 20th anniversary, she wrote, “The process of organizing the festival and the festival itself were about breaking down barriers. Not just barriers between people from different cultures, but also between students from different sides of the campus, between students and Redlands community residents, and even the barrier between performer and audience. Put another way, I wanted to break down the barriers between us and them and focus on we.”

  • WHAT: 26th annual “Living on Common Ground” Multicultural Festival
  • WHEN: 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, April 2, 2016
  • WHERE: Quad at the University of Redlands, just south of the Memorial Chapel
  • COST: All are welcome. Attendance and parking is free.