The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford will host its annual One World Cultural Festival on Saturday, Feb. 23, to celebrate the many different cultures represented by the Pitt-Bradford student body, faculty and staff, and the surrounding community.
The event, which is open to the public, will be held at 6:30 p.m. on the first floor of the Frame-Westerberg Commons. This year’s focus is on West African culture, but the event celebrates the contributions of all cultures and countries during this annual festival of food, music, dance and costume.
Entertainment will include the Pitt-Bradford Dance Team in a high-energy performance with a West African flair, the Pitt-Bradford Diamond Steppers performing a distinctive style of rhythmic dancing and the Dance and Drum Performance Company from the African American Cultural Center in Buffalo, N.Y.
The company has developed under the direction of West African cultural artists and the influence of African American pioneers in the dance genre. Senegalese nationals have contributed to the growth of the company, and its repertoire has been compiled with attention to the influence of American choreographers Katherine Dunham and Pearl Primus, among others.
The company has performed before an estimated 200,000 people in New York, Ohio, South Carolina and Ontario.
The festival also features an international sampling buffet, activity booths and an international fashion show with students modeling clothing from Cameroon and Nigeria as well as from countries in Asia, South America and Europe and those of some Native American peoples.
A variety of booths will allow visitors to sample more international foods and take part in hands-on demonstrations. Booths open at 6:30 p.m., and the buffet opens at 7 p.m. Dinner is $5 or the donation of a dish to pass.
Three students who traveled abroad last year as Vira Heinz Scholars have created a diversity quilt in conjunction with Bradford Area High School students that will be auctioned off to benefit Kiva, a nonprofit organization that lends small amounts of money to people in poverty to improve their lives.
The students will present a video about their project and take bids through a silent auction. More information on their project is available on Facebook under the name “Women for Women.”
The Cultural Festival first began as a student celebration of Black History Month initiated by the Black Action Committee in the mid-1990s. It has grown to become one of the most highly anticipated university events of the year, bringing together students, faculty, staff and community members of all ages and backgrounds.
In addition to the festival steering committee, this year’s contributors include the Office of the President, Panthers Around the World, Behavioral and Social Sciences Division, Communication and the Arts Division, Biological and Health Sciences Division, Physical and Computational Sciences Division, Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Management and Education Division, Metz and Associates, Nontraditional Student Association, Student Activities Council, Student Government Association and Study Abroad and International Studies.
Pictured, the Dance and Drum Performance Company from the African American Cultural Center in Buffalo, N.Y., which will be performing at Pitt-Bradford Saturday night as part of the One World Cultural Festival