Culturefest showcases numerous student groups during Family Weekend

Multicultural event featured numerous organizations, performances

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Culturefest showcased a number of performances from different multicultural groups on Grounds.

Charlotte McClintock | Cavalier Daily

During Family Weekend this past Saturday, numerous minority student organizations hosted their annual Culturefest in the Amphitheater. From 10:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., the event featured performances from multiple groups such as the University Salsa Club, Hooligans and APEX Dance Crew. 

The event also included booths from Black Student Alliance and Black Voices, and performances from the Native American Student Union.

With raffles, food from local international restaurants and a wide range of performances, attendees learned more about the cultural organizations on Grounds as well as participated in interactive activities, such as learning origami and calligraphy.

Jennifer Zhou, a third-year College student and committee chair of the Culturefest, said the event saw more collaboration amongst different student groups this year than it has in past years.

“We partner with UPC and the Multicultural Student Center, and we make a committee every year of people interested in helping out with the events,” Zhou said.

Culturefest featured not only tables for students to inform attendees on multicultural organizations, but also numerous performances throughout the day. 

Josie Chiao, a fourth-year College student and president of the K-Edge Dance Crew, said she and her group were excited to perform for another year at Culturefest.

“We are just really interested in spreading an appreciation and love for Korean pop culture through dance, so that’s what we are really here to do,” Chiao said.

As the event ran parallel with Family Weekend, many parents came to see the various performances on the itinerary as well as support their children. 

“It’s very nice to see that they are very active — they study really hard, but they also have fun,” said Gina Rabena, the parent of a performer during the festival.

This year in particular, the festival has seen a more diverse range of organizations. According to Demetri Workman, a third-year College student and the social-cultural chair for the Black Student Alliance, in the past the event has mostly featured Asian student groups and performances, and the BSA joined the event this year to show “solidarity with every other organization out here.” 

“It’s good for BSA to branch out and make it known that we are here and we represent a big part of the minority community here on Grounds … Just to show that culture is a very widespread thing, not just one social truth,” Workman said.

With the packed day, Zhou said she hoped for attendees to want to learn more about the diversity they have on Grounds and what it means to be multicultural.

“We hope with putting on the Culturefest ... that people learn about the diverse cultures at U.Va., and they are exposed to different things that they normally don’t see on Grounds,” Zhou said. “We hope that people take away a broader understanding of the diversity that we have here at U.Va. in general and an appreciation for cultures.”

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