Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 8
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Imagine Celebration emphasizes diversity, education through music

Performers and clubs will gather to observe diversity next Saturday, Apr. 18 at the annual Imagine Celebration.  

Organized by the Intercultural Center, this festivity brings together student organizations, jugglers, dancers and student bands. The Celebration originated in 2000 when an intern at the Center was very interested in bringing a concert to Whitman. Based on the song “Imagine” by John Lennon, the festival originally was of a shorter concert format.  

Two or three years ago, people from the community began to participate. Now, the celebration, created to promote diversity in the community and on campus, includes a variety of cultural and ethnic presentations.  

“It has become more inclusive,” said Intercultural Center Director Mukulu Mweu. “We still maintain that professional aspect with an outside group coming to perform, but we’ve included student groups and a variety of cultural dances. We’ve really made it more of a celebration in the professional feel than just a concert.”  

Feminists Advocating Change and Empowerment (FACE), Club Latino and the IHC will have booths at this year’s festival.  

Senior intern Haley Woods believes this is a great event for these clubs to “have the opportunity to show what they are really about.”  

This year, the celebration will be two hours shorter than usual due to the Tour of Walla Walla, the annual cycling race that runs through town. Usually, the Imagine Celebration is from noon to 5 p.m., but this year it ends at 3 p.m.  

“I think the shorter time will get people to stay for the duration of it…[I]t’s really hard to coordinate when you have people backing out,” Woods said. “So this way it’s a lot more streamlined and is going to go really smoothly.”  

“I think when people know that it’s five hours, they only want to show up for an hour or so,” Mweu said. “We are thinking that with this shorter time period, we’ll have more people.”  

Another change with this year’s celebration is that it is going to be more musically focused than dance-heavy.  

The Portland Taiko, a group of Japanese drummers, will perform at 2 p.m. on Saturday and offer a workshop on Friday.  

“There really is an educational component to this celebration,” Mweu said, “The workshop will allow people to learn about the instruments and interact with the drummers. The next day, people will get to participate and go on stage.”  

“The way I look at it, it is creating this environment where people get to interact in a setting other than academics and other than a night setting. Here, they will just be able to hang out and talk,” said junior Ashma Basnyat.  

Overall, the Intercultural Center promises for a fun, inclusive event.  

“With all the different cultural groups that go up and the clubs participating, just being there and seeing all these things really opens up the [idea of diversity] to all the people,” Basnyat said.  

“We invite families to join,” Mweu said, “Every year there are kids coming out and dancing. It’s open to students, faculty members and community members, so we encourage everyone to come out and celebrate.”  

The Imagine Celebration will occur from 12-3 p.m. on the Reid Side Lawn, Saturday, Apr. 18, weather permitting.

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