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17th Annual Multicultural Festival Expands to become Cape Cod Arts & Culture Expo

Saturday, September 16 at Cape Cod Community College

Dozens of performers, exhibitors, vendors, community organizations, an eclectic mix of outstanding cuisine from around the world in an International Café await attendees at this year’s 2017 Cape Cod Arts & Culture Expo, Saturday, September 16 from 10:00am–4:00pm, on the West Barnstable campus of Cape Cod Community College. This event, produced free every year, proudly showcases the histories, lifestyles, and cultures of the people from around the world who call Cape Cod their home.

As in years past, the event will feature an International Marketplace and Exhibitor Area and performances in the Tilden Arts Center. Outdoor spaces will be utilized, weather permitting, inviting attendees to stroll the campus, play a game of corn hole, try their hand at juggling, and picnic on the patio.

On Saturday September 16, the community is strongly encouraged to be in the Tilden Arts Center at 10:00am to view the Parade of Flags into the Tilden Arts Center where select performers will greet the crowd in native language and dress, inviting all back into the festival grounds for the day’s activities.

Festival organizers are extremely grateful to major sponsor the Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank Charitable Foundation Trust and the Cape Cod Community College Educational Foundation for making this year’s event possible.

Special activities for children are an important part of the festival. Face painting plus storytelling with live animals, and an “Adventure Passport” will be available for young people to use as they visit displays and vendors from all over the world. Stickers or a stamped imprint will be provided at each table so that children can fill their Passports and take home this unique souvenir.

Exhibitors will offer unique goods for sale, and artists entertain throughout the day, with all activities at no charge. During the day, the College’s cafeteria is transformed into an International Café with full meals and “tasting” opportunities available at very reasonable prices. The café opens for coffee and light fare early in the morning, and begins serving affordable international foods at around 11:00am and continues until mid-afternoon.

In addition to the display booths and vendors, “immersion” experiences will be set up so that Festival goers can get a “feel” as well as a “view” of posters, artifacts, music, fabrics, home goods, almost anything imaginable give visitors more than a “computer screen” look at a country, a culture, or traditions.

A partial list of entertainers, cultures and exhibitors is listedhere; the Expo web page at will be updated regularly.

This year there are several “lead in” events to the day-long Festival on Saturday.

Annual Interfaith Service – Tuesday, September 12

The Interfaith Service has been with the event from the very beginning, and will again this year on Tuesday, September 12 at the Cape Cod Synagogue, 145 Winter Street in Hyannis, MA. The uplifting, inspirational service will celebrate the spiritual and artistic diversity of Cape Cod, with song, dance, and inspirational words from many backgrounds. The Cape Cod Interfaith Coalition will conduct the lively service, from 7:00–9:00pm, and will include singers, poets and musicians representing a variety of spiritual traditions.

The Cape Cod Interfaith Coalition has been presenting ecumenical gatherings for many years and stresses that people from any spiritual tradition are welcome and should feel comfortable at this and all its events. “We honor, respect and celebrate all religious traditions,” said James Kershner, a Buddhist representative on the Coalition’s Leadership Council. More information is available from Kershner at 508.776.3606.

An Evening of Global Dance – Wednesday, September 13

Khadija and Troupe Mirage, and Tara Murphy (Cape Cod African Dance and Drumming) and Issa Coulibaly of Mali, West Africa will lead participants in a cathartic evening of dance and music celebrating Middle Eastern and African Dance traditions! Men, women and children of all ages are invited to come prepared to move, clap and enjoy the energy of these great movement styles. The evening of dance will be held in the Studio Theatre of the Tilden Arts Center at the West Barnstable Campus. Bring a bottle of water and share the joy of movement!

“I Am Cape Cod” – Thursday, September 14

Join author John Whelan and photographer Kim Roderiques for an evening of stories and explorations of more than 100 individuals who appear in the book, “I AM CAPE COD.” The subjects collectively represent a cross-section of Cape Codders who give the Cape its particular character and spirit. Select guests featured in the books will share a personal and moving story about what living on the Cape means to them. John Whelan of Chatham has a semimonthly radio program on WOMR-FM in Provincetown and is a regular contributor to The Cape Cod Chronicle and has published two books for children. The program will be held in the Studio Theatre of the Tilden Arts Center beginning at 7:00pm.

Singer Songwriter Spotlight and Jam Session – Friday,  September 15

Cape Cod is home to MANY talented artists, and the tradition of the poet songster runs deep. Singer songwriters from across the region will gather on Friday evening to share their songs and stories. You can join in the experience – bring an instrument (acoustic, please) for a community “jam” session at the end of the evening! The singer/songwriter experience will take place in the Studio Theatre of the Tilden Arts Center at the West Barnstable Campus from 7:00–9:00pm.

A Selection of Partipating Artist & Exhibitors for Saturday, September 16

ShinDaiko Drums – Japan – the Expo is very excited to bring these outstanding performers back to the Cape to perform AND to offer a “hands on” drumming workshop!

Khadija and Troupe Mirage – Egypt – rhythmically blending movement and story together in this ancient style of color and grace

Cultural Adventures – learn more about the joys and wonders of international travel! Connie Champlin is an author, an educator, a librarian and, most importantly, a world traveler! And it is her love of travel and exploration that she wishes to share with you.

Haley School of Irish Dance – Ireland – are annual favorites in this beautifully choreographed “step-dancing” style

The Association to Preserve Cape Cod – Explore the ways that Cape Cod has changed over the years and look forward to how it may look in 5 years or 10! Learn more about what you can do to impact those changes for good!

Cape Sands Ballroom – join in and learn a popular line dance!

Trevor the Juggler – juggling work and school and fun? See how the pros juggle all this and more as Trevor delights audiences young and old with his roving performance.

Green Briar Nature Center – our youngest visitors are treated to a charming story time with a live animal meet and greet! You might just catch a glimpse of “Peter Rabbit” or one of his adorable friends!

Whydah Pirate Museum – try your hand at finding some hidden treasure and learn more about the history of pirates off Cape Cod! The Whydah Pirate Museum combines artifacts, early maps of the Atlantic and Caribbean and imagery of the 18th century in a rich tapestry that echoes a historically accurate portrait of real pirates in the Caribbean.

New Classics Theatre Company – showcases the great traditions of comedy and Improv and gives YOU a chance to be in the spotlight!

Capoeira – Brazil – “Capoeirista” Bernie Macedo brings this combination of dance, aerobatics, and music, developed in Brazil by those of West African descent, sometime in the 16th century. Some see it as a game or competition; others see it as a Brazilian Martial Art. It is dramatic and powerful to watch. In 2014, UNESCO granted it special protected status as an “intangible cultural heritage” of Brazil.

Ron Williams – Afro-American Musical Review – Ron brings his guitar and his voice throughout the Festival and collects a crowd wherever he goes. Often he’s seen in the International Marketplace and loves the energy surrounded by the “goods and people of the world.”

Vernon Parris – famous for his steel drums at the popular Coonamessett Farm Jamaican Barbeque, Vernon will delight audiences with his music and stories. If you’re lucky, you’ll get your own chance to try this tropical drumming experience in a small group workshop!

The GroovaLottos – The GROOVALOTTOS are a powerhouse soul-funk-blues trio, comprised of award-winning and seasoned studio session and touring musicians, singers, and producers. Incredible music and wild senses of humor make them one of the most entertaining bands in the land.

And more to be announced as we approach the event date!