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Montevideo American-News
  • Community steps in to keep the Multicultural Celebration going

  • Thanks to generous input from the community, Montevideo’s Multicultural Celebration will return for a fifth year, and be hosted at a new location.
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  • Thanks to generous input from the community, Montevideo’s Multicultural Celebration will return for a fifth year, and be hosted at a new location. The event, which has gained popularity in the last few years, has been moved to the Montevideo Fine Arts Center, and will be held on Saturday, May 25 from noon until 4 p.m.
    “There will be an indoor and outdoor venue,” said Myra Velasquez, community liaison for Community Education. She is heading up organization of the event for Community Education.
    Velasquez said there would be food and performances outside, with events and activities inside the building as well.
    “We’re going to have performances from Dance Haven, Mexico Lindo, Groupo Azteca, Pejihutazizi Youth Drum and Dance Group, the Micronesian Commnity and Nora Guerra with Zumba,” Velasquez said.
    She said that people attending the event should be ready for a new level of participation this year.
    “They’ll be looking to get the crowd more involved,” Velasquez said.
    Not all of the activities will be performances; There will also be a number of booths and stations for crafts and learning.
    “It’s going to be a warm day. Kids are going to be able to make chinese fans,” Velasquez said.
    She also mentioned the opportunity to create petroglyph magnets, ankle belts, sombrero cookies and more.
    “We want to share as many cultures that are in the area as possible,” Velasquez said.
    She readily expresses her passion for culture, and cultural awareness.
    “We want to bring new cultural awareness to everyone, it makes it easier to respect other cultures and their differences,” Velasquez said. “We all have culture, every one of us. Culture makes up our differences, but it also lets us see what we have in common, and what we can learn from each other.
    Through this event we have an opportunity to unite with our fellow community members, build friendships and gain knowledge of other cultures. It’s our history.”
    One person’s passion for cultural awareness alone hasn’t kept the Multicultural Celebration moving forward. Velasquez said the event wouldn’t have been possible if the community wasn’t so willing to make an investment in the idea.
    “I’ve been so pleased. The community has really helped us out in bringing this event to life. This year our funds were cut and I didn't think we were going to have a multicultural celebration because we didn't have any money. We started off with zero dollars. I reached out to a few organizations in the community and they were very open and happy to help us out however they could so we could plan this event,” Velasquez said. “(Our) volunteers ... Paul Vega, Laura Mahlum, Randina Grant, Barb Knutsen, Cassandra Martinez, Claudia Swanson ... and the community — everyone has helped make this event a possibility through ideas, comments, support.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Donations were made by the Montevideo Conven-tion and Visitor's Bureau, Cultural Diversity Council, Lions International, Ryan Gilbertson, DJ Boyz, Jennie O Turkey Store, American Legion, Minn-West Bank, Klein Bank, Co-Op Credit Union, Walmart, Zumba with Nora, and Dance Haven.
    “We are extremely grateful to all of the generous donations from all of these businesses and organizations. We have to thank them for making this event a reality, we would not be able to have this event without their help and support. Muchas Gracias,” Velasquez said.
    Admission to the event is free for the first year.
    “With the support of everyone that donated we were able to make this happen. We want this event to be affordable to everyone,” Velasquez said.

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