Cultural Diversity and Inclusion in the Arts in New York State’s Southern Tier
I like to dream and am continuing to add on to the dreams to remember series started by Akua. Coming out of a 9 day indian festival celebrated by dancing at a very gracious friend’s house, I have post festival blues. I love folk dances. They provide an opportunity to dance with your children, parents, family and friends and bond. I do get the opportunity for indian dances a couple of times a year. However, I miss the diverse ethnic group dances from when I lived in Northern Virginia. There was the Greek orthodox church which opened its doors to a celebration of folk dance and food. There were volunteers to teach the repetitive steps which is very symbolic of folk dances. Then there were the Irish, German, Czech, African, Chinese and ofcourse Indian festivals that we could attend, all of which emphasized on folk dances. These festivals were spread all through out the year and offered ample opportunity for local residents to experience folk dances from another part of the world. Not just watch it but to be involved in it.
STICA, the Southern Tier Indian Cultural Association does offer such opportunity in August in Corning every year but wouldn’t it be wonderful, to have one such multinational dance festival in the Southern Finger Lakes. For start it could be one day of folk dances from around the world. A place where you can take your children and parents and dance away merrily. When it expands and becomes popular it could be a monthly event. Maybe the arts could sponsor one. :-).