UAA Multicultural Fair: A world of culture for students to enjoy

The UAA Multicultural Fair is returning for its second year for students to enjoy. The fair is part of the annual Winterfest activities, a week of winter-related activities at UAA. The event features many different kinds of food, entertainment and activities for students, all from different cultures around the world.

This year, the fair will feature local performers, as well as performers from around the country, according to Eli Griffin, the traditions assistant for UAA Student Activities and Commuter Programs.

A chalk illustration welcomes students entering the 2019 UAA Multicultural Fair. Photo by Levi Brown.

“We are hoping to have a lot of student participation, as we want both students and the community to enjoy the different cultures that make up UAA,” Griffin said.

Students are encouraged to participate in the fair through singing, dancing, martial arts, poetry and other types of expression. Performers can sign up through an online registration form or pick up a paper copy at the Student Union.

Classical Blast, a musical group that mixes classical music with contemporary, is set to perform at the fair.

“They blur musical lines, melding classical music into classic rock hits or rocking music by Beethoven, Bach and composers from other centuries, sometimes adding original lyrics,” according to their website.

The group formed in 2012 in Illinois and has opened for artists including Joan Jett, the Eagles and the Electric Light Orchestra. The group consists of six members with diverse musical backgrounds.

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Anthony Moore, a comedian active in the New York Comedy scene, will also perform at the fair. Moore has been featured on Kevin Hart’s Comedy Central show, “Hart of the City.” He is now a regular performer at the Comedy Cellar, a Manhattan club that features many well-known performers, including Louis C.K, Dave Chappelle, John Stewart and Aziz Ansari.

The fair will also host Agave Azul, a local mariachi band made up of UAA students, as well as a local Alaska Native Yup’ik fan dancing group.

Food from a variety of different cultures is served during last year’s Multicultural Fair. Photo by Levi Brown.

In addition to live performances, the Multicultural Fair also includes a variety of foods from different cultures. The UAA Latino Student Union plans to serve a traditional Latino dish, still to be determined.

Sankofa Dance Theatre, an Alaska dance organization that focuses on the celebration of diversity in Anchorage,performs a dance routine at UAA’s Multicultural Fair in 2019. Photo by Levi Brown.

The first Multicultural fair was held last March in the Student Union. The series of events featured cuisine from around the world, including sinigang na baboy, a Filipino soup with a sour yet sweet taste served over rice. There was also Celtic folk singing and dancing, mariachi performances and drumming from Sankofa Dance Theatre, an Alaska dance organization that focuses on the celebration of diversity in Anchorage.

Isabel Azpilcueta, the manager for the Daily Den, worked with Student Activities and Commuter Programs to plan last year’s fair, and reflected on the variety of food that was presented.

“Last year, we served pozole, which is a very traditional Mexican soup dating back to pre-Conquistador times. It is most often seen as a comfort food, especially to cure hangovers the morning after a wild night. While it has simple ingredients, it can take a long time to make and requires quite a lot of effort,” Azpilcueta said.

She says that the fair is an important event for the UAA community.

“[The Multicultural Fair] serves the purpose of helping students from different backgrounds connect with their own cultures and those different to theirs. Celebrating diversity is such an important thing. It brings people together, and we really need more of that in our world,” Azpilcueta said.

This year’s UAA Multicultural Fair takes place on Feb. 27 from 6-8 p.m in the Student Union Cafeteria. To register for a booth, fill out the online registration form. The form can also be printed at the Student Union, room 218. There is no limit to the number of booths that can register. The registration deadline is Feb. 21 at noon.

For more information about the fair or questions about participating, contact Student Activities and Commuter Programs through its page on the UAA website, Facebook, email at [email protected] or by phone at (907) 786-1052.