When new residents from urban cities (such as New York City) move here, one of the main perks they enjoy is still having easy access to cultural activities. In addition to South Orange and Maplewood being diverse in its racial and ethnic makeup, New Jersey in general is home to a kaleidoscope of people from all over the world. The South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race is a non-profit that is committed to building communities in which people of different races and ethnicities live together, interact and form friendships. In doing so, here is a mini guide to multicultural experiences and performances in our two towns and the surrounding area for the entire family to enjoy. Click on the links below to learn about upcoming events and classes.
EgunOmode (children of the ancestors), a West African dance & drum, Yoruba folklore performing arts group – http://www.egunomode.org/
Creations Dance Academy’s Indian Dance Group – http://creations-dance.com
Red Storm Drum & Dance troupe – http://redstormdrumtroupe.com/
LaChaney’s Dance and Music Academy – http://lovedanceandmusic.com
The Ayazamana Cultural Center’s Ecuadorian Dance Group – www.tradicionesdelecuador.com
The above performers will also take part in our annual XrootsFest (cross-roots-fest), a free festival for the entire family on Saturday, June 24 from 12 to 5 pm at Flood’s Hill in South Orange. New experiences this year include multiple cooling stations with designated sections for seniors and young ones that offer shade and cold water. A “Big Edu-tainment Tent” will feature cultural ambassadors, fashions, language exchange, books, snacks, storytelling and more from five different regions of the world, including Native American culture complete with a full-sized tee pee. Have your souvenir “Passport” certified at every station in the tent to win an instant gift and participating adults will also be entered into a drawing to win a gift certificate from a local restaurant. To learn more, please go to www.twotowns.org/xrootsfest.
South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race
The South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race is a nationally recognized non-profit organization committed to building a unique, suburban community that is free of racial segregation in housing patterns and community involvement. The Coalition was founded in 1996 by a diverse group of citizens concerned about stagnating property values and a perceived decline in the quality of local public schools. Twenty years later, the Coalition has developed programs that promote the advantages of living in a racially inclusive community where all aspects of community life are integrated. To learn more about the Coalition and how you can get involved, go to www.twotowns.org and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.