Thursday night’s Multicultural Showcase was a captivating evening filled with a vibrant mix of song and dance in a wide variety of genres and languages.
While normally an event hosted by CAB, this year’s annual multicultural showcase was all about collaboration between Campus Activities Board and the Organization for the Active Support of International Students.
University of Iowa sophomore Nicole Hobson, the cultural committee director of CAB, said collaborating with OASIS helped to “offer new voices and diversity to the showcase.”
UI senior J.J. Meyer, the president of OASIS, agreed.
“My favorite part of preparing for the showcase was working with Campus Activities Board. They are very on top of things and were very easy to work with,” Meyer said. “They helped us, as a smaller organization, to feel very involved in the process. It was a true collaboration.”
Evidence of this effective collaboration was apparent that evening, as both Hobson and Meyer announced the winners of the showcase, each thanking the other and congratulating all groups on beautiful performances.
“The purpose of the showcase is to make and showcase all of the different cultures through performance media … to celebrate and inform the university about the many different cultures here at the university,” Hobson said.
With performances by 17 different student groups on campus, diversity was central to the evening.
“The goal is to make a showcase that is focused on involvement and diversity, with a main message of inclusivity,” Meyer said.
Hawkapellas opened the showcase with a soothing performance of Fleet Foxes’ “White Winter Hymnal.” MPR came to the stage to perform a fast-paced hip-hop performance, and Voices of Soul’s lively chorus brought audience members to clap along as they sang. The Guitar Club performed a traditional Brazilian song, and Iowa Andhi’s traditional Indian dance was a particular crowd favorite.
At the end of the night, it was Irish Dance’s vibrant performance that took home the $400 grand prize.
The night was filled with a sense of celebration of cultures, as cheers in different languages for each performance echoed throughout the IMU ballroom, and performers shared tight embraces at the end.
For Hobson, this was the greatest part of creating the showcase.
“Being on the cultural committee has taught me a lot about respecting and acknowledging differences and celebrating diversity. My favorite part of the showcase is creating an informative performance that is celebratory of diversity without being overtly informative,” she said. “[It] makes it a fun and informative evening for the representing groups, as well as those who are there to spend an evening learning more about other cultures.”
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