Community invited to Seventh Annual Festival of Cultures at Pellissippi State

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

Pellissippi State Community College once again shines a light on the many cultures represented by its student body when the school hosts the Seventh Annual Festival of Cultures Friday, April 11.

The Festival of Cultures is 4-8:30 p.m. in the Goins Building of the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The event is free and the community is invited.

“Each year, the Festival of Cultures promotes a wide array of cultural experiences,” said Gayle Wood, director of Access and Diversity, which coordinates the celebration. “We hope each event encourages our students, faculty, and staff members and the community at large to look at the world from a new cultural perspective.”

At the Festival of Cultures, attendees will receive a Festival Passport booklet. As they browse cultural booths and exhibits, they’ll receive stickers representing various countries to place in their passports.

Festival of Cultures will include performances by Mawre & Company, a West African dance and drum group; Miyagi Ryu Okinawan Dancers, a Japanese traditional dance group; the Alexia School of Middle Eastern Dance; the Tellico Tappers; Bhangra; the East Tennessee Chinese School dance team; and Pellissippi State’s bluegrass ensemble, Hardin Valley Thunder.

An exhibit depicting rangoli floor art, a traditional Indian design, will be on display in the Goins Building Rotunda. The design is created by Pellissippi State student Donna Kaur. Various personal artifact collections of Pellissippi State students with international backgrounds also will be on display. In addition, event attendees can receive henna art tattoos from Knoxville henna artist Kajal Patel.

Children’s activities will include face painting, balloon twisting and other arts and crafts. Stilt-walker “Jake,” from One World Circle, will be on hand. He will read “Abiyoyo,” an African folk tale written by Pete Seeger.

Finally, the Festival of Cultures boasts food tastings from international cuisines representing Canada, China, Germany, Ghana, India, Iraq, Kenya, Moldova, the Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and Vietnam.

The Festival of Cultures is one of the events that make up 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 more information about Festival of Cultures, call the Access and Diversity Office at (865) 539-7160 or visit For more information about The Arts at Pellissippi State, visit To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or