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BRCC to host 11th Annual International Education Festival, Nov. 13-17

Salsa dancing lessons, music, karate, lectures, workshops, discussion panels, yoga, art demos, and more

Click here for a detailed schedule of events.

Baton Rouge Community College will host its 11th Annual International Education Festival, Nov. 13-17 at its Mid City campus, 201 Community College Drive with events also scheduled at its Frazier Art Annex site, 555 Julia St. The goal of International Education Festival is to educate and engage students through cultural exchange and to raise their global consciousness. Additionally, the festival seeks to celebrate the cultural diversity already present in the campus community. All events are free and open to the public.

International Education Festival will host an unofficial kickoff on Friday, Nov. 10 from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Second Annual Bowl-A-Rama at the Frazier Art Annex. The event is for local potters and community members to come to the Frazier Art Building and help make and decorate bowls for the Baton Rouge Food Banks Empty Bowls fundraiser to be held later this year. Participants will be asked to make a bowl to donate and a bowl to keep for themselves. Basic Bowl making and decorating will be demonstrated. Attendees can also learn how to screen print canvas bags. Lunch will be served. Part two of Bowl-A-Rama will take place at the end of the festival on Friday, Nov. 17.

The official kickoff breakfast will be held on Monday, Nov. 13 at 9 a.m. on the Mid City campus in the Bienvenue Student Center. Following the kickoff, a BRCC student from Venezuela will do a cultural presentation on violin representative of his native country. Later that day, Professor Ben Lowenkron will host a screening of “Parts Unknown: Jerusalem” followed by a discussion of the television show. Sarita Rayna of Salsa Ardiente Dance Company will host a dance workshop and performance. A themed reception will follow. To close out the day of events, Professor Chris Brumfield will host a ceramics throwing demonstration at the Frazier Art Annex.

On Tuesday, Nov. 14, the day of events will begin with Sean Ardoin at BRCC’s Magnolia Theater located on its Mid City campus. Ardoin, an artist and musician, will deliver the motivational speech titled “O.Y.S. Own Your Success” that will discuss taking advantage of the opportunities afforded by students’ enrollment in the college, celebrating the diversity in their communities, and using all available tools to become successful while at school and life beyond the college setting. Following that event, there will be a hand drumming clinic presented by Dr. Charles Brooks, music professor at BRCC. Dr. Brooks will lecture and demonstrate performance techniques of several hand drums and the musical styles from which they are derived to introduce hand drumming to the audience. Later BRCC’s Jazz Ensemble will perform under the direction of BRCC music professor and professional musician, Eric Baskin. BRCC’s culinary students, under the direction of Chef French will demonstrate and prepare crepes for audience members. Closing out the day of events will be “Blowing Eight to the Bar: American Music during World War II” by Joseph Burns. A reception will follow.

On Wednesday, Nov. 14, the Daniel Karate Group led by John G. Daniel will illustrate the way in which martial arts can teach life skills and empower youth who are struggling to achieve success. Participants should dress in comfortable, athletic clothing for movement. Following that event, Russell Shartzer, a Jupiter Artist and Brand Ambassador for KHS America, will present “Surviving as an Artist in the Current Economic State of America”. Shartzer will perform orchestral excerpts, solo works, as well as some jazz. The 821 Project, a nonprofit organization that promotes global citizenship by providing intercultural and social justice education to the south Louisiana community, will present a workshop on global citizenship. Workshop leader, Jahi Mackey, will discuss the most effective ways one can show global citizenship locally. Later, a yoga lecture and class will be presented by Keeley Brooks of Modern Yoga. To close out the day, BRCC’s Environmental Science students will double celebrate International Education Festival and America Recycles Day by having short presentations during their regular class period. Presentations will include Environmental Issues, Green/Sustainability Practices, or Recycling Programs from a variety of countries around the world.  

Thursday, Nov. 16 will begin with “Giant Puppets for Public Expression” by Calliope Puppet Theatre, Inc. Karen Konnerth, internationally touring puppeteer and arts integration specialist, will present a hands-on workshop on the building of parade puppets using recycled materials. Following that event, “Musicology Lecture: Gamelan Orchestra of Java and Sumatra” by Dr. Charles Brooks will be held. A lunch reception will follow. The Afri-Color Show will be presented under the AFRI-KIDS Club. It will showcase the African fashion – the African cloths, sewing and how the African cloths are worn. The show will also feature the pluralistic nature of the African culture. To close out the day of events, a panel discussion titled “Conversations on Race” will be held. Moderated by poet/educator/activist Donney Rose, the panel will feature SK Groll, Jahi Mackey of The 821 Project, Stephanie Thomas, and Kenneth Simms. The panel will serve as a discussion in which panelists will unpack the ways that race and cultural identity determine social navigation. The dialogue will examine the ways that privilege, prejudices, and micro-aggressions impact our local and national communities, as well as considering what is necessary to increase cross-cultural understanding. A reception will follow.

Closing out International Education Festival will be a student art show and reception to be held in the Magnolia Gallery on BRCC’s Mid City campus. BRCC Ceramic students will present cultural displays on heritage, social themes, and international art in the Magnolia Gallery.