ACHF Arts Access
To schedule a diverse selection of entertainment, food vendors and informational/cultural booths. Add a few more ethnic food vendors, change the variety of artistic performance groups, and add at least two additional cultural booths to the line-up. Keep participation at 2000 or higher. We will evaluate success on audience count, informal feedback from performers, audience members, volunteers, and staff.
Our artistic goals were to promote awareness and understanding of various cultures through performances, exhibits, and demonstrations. In addition, we strived to engage the community with interactive experiences. The 2016 World Fest featured music and dance from Latin America, Poland, China, Native American, Japan, Mexico, and the United States. The festivities began with a procession of flags led by a Chinese Lion Dance. Foreign exchange students attending local high schools were the flag bearers. Our audience members were clapping and dancing, smiling and singing along with the performers. The artists wore bright colored traditional authentic costumes. The performers were excellent spokespersons for their culture, describing their costumes, culture, and stories behind the dance. After their performers, the artists became participants, sampling food and joining in on the activities while interacting with the crowd. Cultural and informational booths included learning Japanese phrases, writing your name in Chinese, Hmong crafts, Chinese relaxation techniques, authentic Native American Tip, Cilongu Foundation information, health and wellness information, Foreign Exchange Students Program with a flag display, and a selfie station with hats from around the world. In addition, the Sons of Norway of Anoka County handed out samples of lefse and provided an authentic Norwegian Stabbur for participants to view. The Spin Zone was the most popular activity at World Fest. The Spin Zone featured several toys from around the world such as ribbon sticks, crystal sticks, balance board, Chinese yo-yo, hula hoops, juggling items, and spinning plates. Adults and children tried out these games throughout the afternoon. Our Blaine Arts Council volunteered to staff the children’s craft station where participants decorated Asian fans and made a Native American necklace. A new activity this year was a booth from Macaroon. The leaders of the booth were dressed in authentic cultural clothing and had many items related to their culture. The group played drums and danced and encouraged participants to do the same. Overall, World Fest featured 78 performing artists and 5 crafters. Next year, we will be changing the entertainment line up to include cultures not highlighted in previous World Fest events. In addition, we would like to add more cultural vendors and vendors selling ethnic products. The 9th Annual Blaine World Fest in total drew in approximately 1600 people. The comments and feedback in regards to the 2016 event were very positive and numerous people in attendance commented positively on the new additions of food, cultural displays, and the variety of entertainment. Based on the feedback we received we feel that the event was very successful in providing a fun learning environment for people to interact and build relationships. There were numerous comments on how much people enjoyed the variety of entertainment, dance and cultural booths. Many audience members interacted with performers after the event asking questions about the country they were representing, the clothing that they were wearing, and when they might be able to see them perform again. One goal we set each and every year has been to reach diverse crowd, and it has been exciting to see our crowd become more diverse every years. The 2016 event was successful in achieving this goal. People from different cultures came to see entertainment from their country of origin and taste authentic ethnic cuisine. From toddlers to senior citizen age adults, there seems to be something for everyone to enjoy at the Blaine World Fest. The accessibility of this event was a big goal for us and something we have really focused on. We listened to all the requests and ideas we received from vendors, entertainers, and cultural booths, wishing to be involved in this year’s event. We promoted the event to cultural organizations in the City. We once again promoted the World Fest in local schools. We also did a great deal of advertising in the local papers and a highway billboard. Each and every year we have focused very hard on making things as accessible as possible for individuals with disabilities. We had a large number of greeters working this year whom assisted people with disabilities if needing help with access to bathroom facilities. Town Square Park which hosts the event is very accessible with flat outdoor surfaces, easy access points, no stairs to climb, and handicap accessible bathrooms. Blaine World Fest 2016 reached an attendance of 1600. We had 22 cultural and informational booths, more than in any previous years. We promoted composting at this event and reduced waste by two cubic yards. We had 50 volunteers help implement the event – more than in any past year.
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