World Food & Music Festival

Cultural Discovery Experience

Don’t miss a great mix of local ambassadors with fun activities for all at the Wells Fargo Cultural Discovery Experience. Take a trip around the world with us! Join in workshops, interactive presentations and hands-on activities designed to expose visitors to authentic cultural experiences. Learn about Taiko Japanese Drumming, create Zen Calligraphy Characters, participate in World Trivia with foreign exchange students and meet cultural ambassadors wearing traditional attire from other countries. Full schedule coming in late August.


Friday, Sept. 16

Noon – 1:30 p.m. The Ancient Art of Shodo
CultureALL Ambassador: Eric McCabe
Daishin Eric McCabe is a Zen Buddhist priest that studied Japanese writing, Shodo.  He shares with the children how to use an ancient form of communication to write their own names and words in Japanese. Students have the opportunity to “dance with the brush” and to create their own work of art.  They will be using a Japanese brush with water-soluble sumi ink.  In the process of writing they will learn a brief history of Asian writing, the relationship between writing and caring about what they do and ways to create calm within themselves.
2 – 3:30 p.m. Greetings from the Islands Hawaii and Samoa

CultureALL Ambassador: Tavita Taueetia
Aloha or Talofa in Samoan, hear the sound of the conch shell, the call of the islands. Meet Tavita Taueetia from the islands of Hawaii, a true Hawaiian/Samoan. The students will learn how to say greetings in different islands of the South Pacific. They will experience live music and drumming from the islands. Tavita will share the history of the fire dance and show them an example. The students will learn the hukilau from Hawaii or the haka from New Zealand. He will show the students how to open a fresh coconut and how to take the meat out of it.
4 – 5:30 p.m. Kenyan Traditions – First Born Child
CultureALL Ambassador: Josie Shaw

Josie Shaw, from the small Kenyan town of Kapsabet, shares with the class about how children are appreciated and celebrated in her Luhya culture of Western Kenya. Because of the appreciation, when a new couple gets their first child there is a specific song that they sing to celebrate first born child. The first born child, whether it is a boy or girl goes through life milestones, this special song is again sung to honor this child and current celebration of life. Josie will play, sing and dance to the song titled Mwana Wa Mberi (first born child). A student is chosen to represent the first born child and is dressed in native garments, seated in a place of honor and then becomes the center of the traditional song and dance. The rest of the students will be incorporated into the traditional ceremonial dance to honor the milestones of the first born child. Question and answer time is always welcome.
6 – 7:30 p.m. Soten Taiko Drummers

Soten Taiko is Central Iowa’s only taiko group, formed in 2011 by Kiyo Matsuyama and Tanis Sotelo as a new club within the Japan America Society of Iowa.  Beginning with only two performers and three drums, they now have eight core performing members, four beginning members and 14 drums.  They perform a range of traditional and modern pieces, showcasing the range of taiko styles. Come learn about the tradition of taiko drumming.

Saturday, Sept. 17

Noon – 2 p.m. 
IRIS World Trivia
Come join the staff and students from Iowa Resource for International Service (IRIS) for international trivia. Come learn about other cultures through this fun, interactive trivia game.
2:30 – 4 p.m. Experience the Classical, Folk and Bollywood Dances of India

CultureALL Ambassador: Pragnya Yogesh

Get a feel of various dances performed in India by learning the basics and foot works of classical dances like Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, as well as Folk dances like garba, Dhandiya Raas and the Bollywood dances.
4:30 – 6 p.m. 
 Artesanias – Mexican Handcrafts, Flowers and More

CultureALL Ambassador: Ana Rodreguez
Through the use of colorful Mexican handcrafts (artesanias), Ana will take the students on a fascinating tour across Mexico.  Artesanias are an important part of Mexico’s national identity; they are made for utilitarian or folk art purposes using indigenous and European techniques. Handcrafts with vibrant designs will help students learn important elements of Mexican culture such as food, art and family traditions, among others. Students will experience the importance of the art while learning how to make a Mexican flower.
6:30 – 8 p.m. West African Drumming

CultureALL Ambassador: Anthony Stevens

Anthony Stevens is chair of the psychology department at DMACC Urban Campus, a percussionist with The Bone People in addition to lecturing and performing in Iowa colleges, high schools and elementary schools frequently. In this workshop, Anthony will present the history of West African drumming and the celebration of a Senegalese village. The celebration includes song, drumming and dance from Senegal and other West African nations. The connection to present day African American culture is also made.

Sunday, Sept. 18

Noon – 1:30 p.m. 
 A Cup of Bosnian Hospitality

CultureALL Ambassador: Zeljka Kvravica

“Stop by for a cup of coffee and I’ll tell you everything,” says one friend to another, where coffee is the centerpiece of Bosnian culture. Zeljka Krvavica of Sarajevo invites students to sit with her on the living room floor and join her in preparing coffee, serving guests and sharing stories.
2 – 4 p.m. 
 Scottish Games 

CultureALL Ambassador: Reid Miller
Along with whisky, bagpipes and kilts, the people of Scotland cherish their sports. They are famous for the Highland Games, featuring strenuous competitions that display strength and endurance. Tossing the caber, for example, is the most spectacular and well-known event in which an athlete runs, carrying a tree trunk and heaves it end-over-end in a perfect, elegant throw. Such recreational sports provide insight into Scottish culture, showing how they value individualism and competition while at the same time leveling hierarchies and avoiding conflict. Favorite Irish sayings include “Pride will have a fall,” “Better bend than break” and “Play with your peers.” CultureALL Ambassador Reid Miller recreates for you the less strenuous Scottish games, accompanied by music, dance and rhyme, and reinforces how humble winning and gracious losing turn individual competition into cooperation and fair play.