by SAMANTHA MALHER
The Islander Cultural Alliance (ICA) at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi held its annual Culture Fest on Saturday, Nov. 14. The event took place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Anchor Ballrooms in the University Center.
Culture Fest is one of ICA’s two largest events of the fiscal school year. Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi ICA holds Culture Fest each year to teach Islander students about other cultures through performances, food and activities. Many featured performances and clubs are from the Corpus Christi area.
“Culture Fest is the biggest event of the fall for ICA. It is an event that showcases and celebrates various cultures in one,” said Tia Mullens, who is a junior pursing a degree in marketing. “People get a chance to see different cultural performances, try different cultural food dishes, and a chance to participate in different activities.”
ICA’s Culture Fest included performances by Ballet Folklorico Viva Mexico, the Corpus Christi Concert Ballet, the Pacific Islanders, the Hourglass Belly Dancers, and Corpus Christi Brazilian Capoeria. In addition, the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi African Student Association (ASO) were also featured performers.
Culture Fest participants had the opportunity to create husk dolls and maracas, decorate Day of the Dead balloons, and play a “Where in the World?” game. In addition attendees could use translators to see what their name would be in another culture. A lunch that included traditional dishes from the multiple featured cultural groups was served. “The most important part of Culture Fest would have to be how guests were able to learn and appreciate the display of various cultures coming together in one place,” said Roslyn Evans, a junior health science major with a minor in business management.
Free t-shirts were offered to the first 100 attendees of Culture Fest. The event was free and open to the public.
The Islander Cultural Alliance is an on-campus organization that strives to raise cultural awareness through multicultural and diversity programs and events for the Corpus Christi community.
One of ICA’s main goals is to include those who might be excluded or underrepresented such as minority groups. ICA programming and activities teach not only Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi students but the surrounding Corpus Christi community as well.
“Learning about and gaining appreciation for other cultures helps one to be more open-minded and inclusive toward people who don’t come from the same background as you,” said Evans, who is the Coordinator of Recruitment and Retention for ICA.
The Islander Cultural Alliance members hope that at the end of Culture Fest attendees will be more socially aware. This could mean anything from simply having brief knowledge about a specific culture and their traditions or even discovering that they like a certain cultural meal.
“The most important part of Culture Fest in my opinion was showcasing different cultural performances,” said Mullens, who is the Marketing/Public Relations Coordinator for ICA. “I say this because it showcased how different each culture is and people were able to enjoy or appreciate a tradition from different cultures.”