The Multicultural Festival is an inspiring event that celebrates the multifaceted diversity of our community and the world beyond. Students, parents, and teachers, work together to plan three days of conversations, workshops, and experiences, exploring culture from multiple perspectives. Launched in 2002, the Multicultural Festival has continued to evolve and explore how each of us and all of us are part of humankind and how we continue to shape the future we inhabit.
Funga Alafia, Ashay Ashay!
Funga Alafia, Ashay Ashay!
"With my head, I welcome you.
With my mouth, I welcome you.
With my heart, I welcome you."
The entire Gym reverberated with love and unity as over 200 voices sang these words to call our Festival to begin. From the community ribbon sculpture, to the harmonies found in each bite of food and every song sung, the night was a joyous celebration of shared humanity, setting the tone for an incredible three days of reflection and collaboration.
“There is ugliness and brutality all around us; that is true. But what is also true is the beauty of this world. And for us that means: Building Community with YOU! Laughing, crying and even healing like our lives depend on it.” —Ms. Effinger-Crichlow, Parent Ambassador
Ms. Rotter and Mr. Crichlow led us all in a vibrant and soulful community sing-a-long. Each song spread messages of love, hope, and unity, transcending all borders and boundaries. There was no greater joy than hearing families sing "To Everyone in All The World" in the 15 different languages spoken in our community, and then the roaring cheers and clapping, as everyone excitedly joined in for the chorus. A special treat was a performance of "Sahayta" by our select chorus, Studio Voices NYC, who also helped us lead all of the songs.
Throughout the week, Guest Chef parents led students in cooking dishes to share their family's culture and favorite recipes. Wednesday evening culminated with an international tasting of these culinary delights - both savory and sweet - and continued on Thursday and Friday with special lunches. From aloo parantha, to pastelitos, to jerk tofu, to Swedish meatballs, we savored the flavors and textures in every bite.
On Thursday, we reflected, created, and collaborated through guided movement, visualization, music, art, and writing.
Students played the Steel Pans, exploring rhythms, beats, and experiencing the power of playing percussion as a group.
Children braided and twisted fabrics and trimmings with wire, creating a beautiful collage of many fibers and textures.
A writing class, where each individual reflected on human connection and then wrote a poem as a group
During all of January, our students participated in a National Justice Project, Freedom Dreaming, to imagine what it would be like to live in a just and equitable world. In school, they journaled daily, and then created a culminating final piece, reflecting their individual Freedom Dream. The inspiring works, ranging from 3D sculptures, to original songs, poetry, books, and speeches, were exhibited in a gallery in our Library.
Click to view the incredible Freedom Dreaming Gallery
To culminate our journey, Ms. Effinger-Crichlow led students in reflecting on their varied experiences in the Festival by choosing one word that captures their vision of a beautiful world. She talked about how this is unique to every person, as we all have different sources of joy, beauty, laughter, and satisfaction, which is what makes our world so diverse and interesting. Each student chose how they would represent their word and added it to a collage of our collective visions.
The close of the Festival featured international children's short films selected by a group of students.