Collaboration often is difficult, so when groups actually pull it off, our attention is warranted -- especially when they represent a wide swath of cultural and ethnic identities.
With its first-ever Mosaic Cultural Celebration, the Student Diversity Council at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs intends to provide "a unique opportunity to celebrate the different cultures that make up our community."
The idea was birthed at the close of a retreat last spring, where the student groups making up the council -- the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, the Black Student Union, the Business Diversity Union, the Latino Student Union, the National Society of Black Engineers, the Student Artist Connection and Spectrum -- were challenged to turn their talk to action.
The students hope the free Saturday event, which features local ethnic arts and crafts, food, entertainment and non-profit vendors such as Amnesty International, embodies their shared vision: "to see Colorado Springs become more culturally diverse, so people of all cultures can be proud of their varied backgrounds and contribute their unique traditions and customs to our beautiful 'mosaic' of cultures."
The entertainment lineup is heavy with song and dance from around the globe. There's Cuzco Treasure's South American folk music at noon; Santiago Vargas' mariachi performance at 1; Baile Folklorico's traditional Mexican dance at 2; Kusogea Nobi Drum Ensemble's West African drumming at 3; Aztec dancers at 4:30; traditional Japanese dancers at 5:30; and local jazz/soul up-and-comer Kaati Ross at 6:30.
If you're drawn to the surreal, check out the Human Race Machine, which will reveal what you might look like if you were of a different ethnicity. And if you're especially brave, you can approach the machine with a partner and preview what your children might look like.
-- Vanessa Martinez
Mosaic Cultural Celebration
University Center Upper Plaza, UCCS campus
Saturday, Sept. 10, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Free; call 232-9764 for more.