Community invited to Pellissippi State’s Sixth Annual Festival of Cultures

Photo of flower design on the campus floor made out of colored rice.
Rice art from the 2012 Festival of Cultures

There’s only one place where you can sample food from 16 countries and enjoy performances ranging from Brazilian dance and Irish step to Latin music and West African drum.

That place is the Goins Building College Center at the Hardin Valley Campus of Pellissippi State Community College. Members of the community are invited to enjoy the Sixth Annual International Festival of Cultures, a free event celebrating food, music and culture from around the globe.

Slated for Friday, April 12, the event also offers booths and exhibits that showcase international art, clothes, and artifacts by Pellissippi State’s international students. Hours are 4-9:30 p.m., and plenty of free parking is available.

A special feature this year is a display of the work of Russian artist Alex Cherepov in the Goins Building Rotunda. Born in Moscow, Cherepov moved to the U.S. in 1998. His work includes oil paintings, illustrations and animations. There will also be Rangoli floor art on exhibit, as well as Mehndi henna designs by Kajal Patel.

The food samplings, which vary at each year’s festival, include cuisine from the following countries: China, Costa Rica, Denmark, Dominica, France, Greece, India, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Korea, Madagascar, Mexico, Poland, Russia and Thailand.

Featured as a special performer is Andrea Moreira, director and choreographer of Dance Brasil Entertainment. Born in Brazil, Moreira began as a professional ballerina before moving to Atlanta in 1993.

She has performed at the 75th anniversary of Atlanta’s Fox Theatre, the Atlanta 1996 Paralympic Games’ closing ceremony parade, Atlanta Symphony Hall, Delta Airlines’ Carnaval and other events. Moreira was also featured in “Mas Que Nada,” a music video by the Black Eyed Peas and Sérgio Mendes.

Photo of 4 Indian females in blue and red ornamental dresses, dancing on stage.
Indian cultural dance group from 2012 Festival of Cultures

Additional performers include the following: Freddy Vargas and Son Caribe, a local Latin band; Hardin Valley Thunder, Pellissippi State’s bluegrass band; Knoxville Irish Step Dancers, a local dance troupe; an Indian cultural dance group performing the traditional bharatanayam dance; Vine Middle School’s West African Drum and Dance team; and the Tennessee Children’s Dance Ensemble, which will perform Hungarian, Chinese, and Japanese fan dances.

The schedule of events is as follows:

  • 4-4:45 p.m.—Hardin Valley Thunder
  • 5-5:45 p.m.—Vine Middle School’s West African Drum and Dance team
  • 5:15-6:30 p.m.—Tennessee Children’s Dance Ensemble, bharatanayam Indian dance and Knoxville Irish Step Dancers
  • 6:30 p.m.—Start of international cuisine
  • 7:30 p.m.—Andrea Moreira’s Dance Brasil Entertainment
  • 8:30 p.m.—Freddy Vargas and Son Caribe

The Festival of Cultures is one component of Pellissippi State’s arts series, “The Arts at Pellissippi State.” The series brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts.

For additional information about the Sixth Annual International Festival of Cultures or The Arts at Pellissippi State, call (865) 694-6400 or visit

To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or Requests should be made at least two weeks in advance.