Local organizations will come together to celebrate and share their culture with peers and community members of Eau Claire. The free event will offer a variety of activities, games, food, performances, cultural artifacts and demonstrations.
Lee Chepil, international student manager at the Center for International Education, said the event is a fundraiser for the organizations and clubs involved.
CultureFest will take place on Sunday, April 24, from noon to 4 p.m. in Davies Student Center.
Some of the organizations involved include Chippewa Valley Irish Dance, Ukrainian Swan Lake Ballet, Minnesota Taiwanese Foundation and Baha’i Faith, to name a few.
Different artifacts and food from these participating organizations will be sold at the different booths. All the money raised or profited through sales is put right back into these clubs and organizations, Chepil said.
The Korean Club will be offering Karaoke, as well as the chance to learn to write your name in a different language. Each room with a varying culture will provide activities that reflect their traditions and costumes.
“Some of the groups will be selling culturally significant food or items in their assigned room,” Chepil said.
UW-Eau Claire welcomes anyone from campus or the community to celebrate and learn more about different international cultures as well as the opportunity to join the participating organizations or clubs.
Kelly Kim, president of the Korean Student Association said, “The event will help the Korean Club get more awareness and hopefully we will gain new members.”
This community-centered event showcases the many cultures present in Eau Claire.
According to Outlist, there are many benefits to learning about other cultures, like:
Cultivating an understanding of the world through diverse exposure.
Education on a culture outside of surface level knowledge.
Enhancing your communication skills.
Learning culturally appropriate etiquette from around the world.
And obtaining valuable lessons and stories from others.
Kim said, “I hope CultureFest widens other students’ view on Korean culture; outside of the stereotypical.”
Exposure to different cultures promotes “verbal fluency, awareness and intelligence,” Outlist said.
According to the University of the People, immersion in more diverse practices is an integral step in empathetic development. Accepting differences as “beneficial and not harmful.”
Kim said she hopes students take the initiative to learn about the different cultures represented at the celebration.
At the event guests will be provided “passports,” which explain each group and their location. Visitors can get these passports stamped at each new place to track the “travels” made throughout the event.
Presentations and demonstrations will happen concurrently with the event. Featured performers include the Bizhiki Culture dance, indigenous dances and exhibitions, Swan Lake Ballet dance and a Ukrainian dance organization performance.
“This is a laid-back way to learn more about other cultures, languages and food,” Chepil said.
There will also be a cooking demonstration in Dulany Inn, and visitors can take home the recipes shared.
“CultureFest showcases and celebrates the many heritages present in the Chippewa Valley area,” Chepil said.
This free in-person event brings local organizations together to celebrate the different cultures of UW-Eau Claire and the Chippewa Valley area.
Maxwell can be reached at [email protected]