Ambassadors to Share Global Art & Customs at the 2019 World Food & Music Festival Cultural Discovery Experience
For three days in September, Downtown Des Moines (DSM) will host foodies and music enthusiasts at the World Food & Music Festival. The free 2019 event will take place September 20-22 in Western Gateway Park, where entertainment and good food keep attendees busy all weekend long exploring diverse cultures from across the globe.
The Cultural Discovery Experience is one of the most authentic aspects of The Festival, boasting workshops and interactive presentations, many with activities you can take home. Create your own Japanese masks, Moroccan mosaics or Chinese lanterns. Making your own artifact will keep you engaged with the culture long past The Festival and has the ability to spark a new appreciation for the art and customs of places you may have known little about.
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As Program Director for CultureALL, I love that the World Food & Music Festival is an opportunity to showcase the diverse people we have living in DSM, as well as connect and engage the community. Outside of ambassadors, our organization promotes cultural diversity through utilizing volunteers, community partnerships and monetary contributions, as well as CultureALL in the Classroom workshops. The Iowa-based nonprofit is dedicated to leading communities to value culturally rich diversity and understand different cultures and perspectives.
In past years, the Cultural Discovery Experience at The Festival has created opportunities to meet cultural ambassadors and participate in new activities from faraway locales. This year’s event is no different. Along with the Greater Des Moines Partnership, we are thrilled to offer a lineup at the Cultural Discovery Experience that is sure to please all ages!
Friday, September 20 Lineup
Guests will enjoy a glimpse into Nigerian culture through CultureALL Ambassador Eric Idehen, learning about his journey to the U.S. and his road to success through personal photographs and other meaningful objects. 12-1:30 p.m.
Scottish Games and Recreation
From tossing stones to playing hopscotch, traditional Scottish games are a huge part of the Scottish culture. Games are often accompanied by music and dancing. Join Reid Miller to learn more. 2-3:30 p.m.
Japanese Children’s Games
For an intro to Japan’s culture, guests will have the opportunity to learn the art of origami and understand traditional Japanese clothing, or Kimono, thanks to CultureALL Ambassador Miki Takayama.
Also known as China’s Mid-Autumn Festival, the Moon Festival is China’s largest annual celebration for gathering with friends and family, giving thanks for harvest and prayer for good fortune. Learn more about its history with Phoebe Liang D’Alessandro. 6-7:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 21 Lineup
Join Sue Hudson for an introduction to life as a student in Thailand, including Thai curriculum, dance and Muay Thai kickboxing. Create a fish out of ribbon and learn about traveling to school in a tuk-tuk. 12-1:30 p.m.
Pragnya Togesh will explain Indian folk dances and Bollywood dances, along with classical dances such as Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi. 2-3:30 p.m.
Storytelling with Japanese Masks
Design your own Japanese mask and see iconic Japanese masks, including those with an Anime theme. Tanis Sotelo will also discuss the history of Japanese theatre plays and folktales.
Songs That Tell the American Story
Sing along with professional musician Frank Strong as he reflects on American life and the popular folk songs of different areas of the U.S. 6-7:30 p.m.
Sunday, September 22 Lineup
Learn about Islamic art with Sharifa Elazizi, as well as the history and traditions of mosaic tilework. 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
The Ancient Art of Mehndi
Mamta Israni will provide instruction on creating patterns for applying henna, or mehndi, as well as discuss the history of the art form. 1:30-3 p.m.
West African Drumming
Activities include song, drumming and dance from West African nations. Anthony Stevens will discuss the history of West African Drumming. 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Don’t miss out on these amazing cultural experiences with local ambassadors. Find the complete event schedule and food vendors list, as well as parking information for the World Food & Music Festival before you visit. We hope to see you there September 20-22!
Downtown Des Moines (DSM) is a growing, vibrant community that offers the energy, sophistication, housing and attractions of a burgeoning city with a brilliant future. It’s also easy to visit with plentiful and affordable street and ramp parking options.
Stacey Kimberlin is CultureALL's program director. In addition to recruiting, training and developing CultureALL Ambassadors, she engages Iowans in deep discovery about their own attitudes and assumptions in consulting and training. She formerly worked as an educator in International Baccalaureate schools at DMPS fostering inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people.