Diverse crowd celebrates third annual Culture Fest


Rose Kelly
Communty Education and Customized Training Coordinator
rkelly@cgcc.edu, (541) 506-6063

May 30, 2017

Culture Fest marked its third season May 17-18 at Columbia Gorge Community College’s Hood River – Indian Creek campus, drawing visitors from across the region.

Thursday’s festivities included the art show We Are All One/Sumos Uno, exploring how people’s common experiences foster unity. The show continues at the Indian Creek Campus until June 13.

Also Thursday was an Oregon Humanities Conversation, Where are you from? Exploring What Makes Us Oregonions. Kerani Mitchell led this activity, which attracted what she described as “The most diverse group of individuals of any of the Conversations” she has led. These lively discussions are designed to enrich Oregon’s cultural life.

Friday, May 18, started with a community meditation facilitated by Venerable Thich Minh Tinh from Trout Lake Abbey and Kelly Ryan, Pastor at Bethel UCC White Salmon. It was a quiet time that fostered peace and wellbeing, offering a contemplative contrast with bustling activities elsewhere at Culture Fest.

The college commons was filled with community partner booths providing activities and information. Also featured was a Disability History Exhibit, with 23 panels chronicling the experiences, challenges, strengths and culture of individuals with disabilities.

Culture Fest ’17 also featured basket weaving with Jefferson Greene, a piñata contest, lively music of Los Amigos de la Sierra, Mid-Valley Elementary Folklorico Dancers, and Jamba Marimba, a group that plays ten different xylophones, including a huge bass played from atop a step stool. The evening concluded with Jefferson Greene, Cultural Artist from the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, drumming and directing the entire crowd in a circle dance.

Culture Fest returns next year with lively entertainment, delicious food and opportunities for community connections. To learn more about plans for 2018, call Kelly Sullivan at the Columbia Gorge Community College, (541) 506-6022.