For the past seven years and counting, the Center for Identity, Inclusion and Social change has brought together DePaul’s various cultural student organizations to produce the Festival of Lights, a show that illuminates and celebrates the various cultural traditions of the DePaul community. True to its name, the annual festival encourages organizations to use light in their performances, whether it be through the theme, marketing or decor.
“The Festival of Lights primarily allows cultural student organizations to showcase the similarities and differences between their cultures,” says Marquece Jones-Holifield, cultural student organizations coordinator in the Center for Identity, Inclusion and Social Change. Jones-Holifield added that the festival is also a way to bring the different cultural student organizations together to learn and to teach each other about who they are, while building community and collaborations among the student organizations and others at DePaul.
In addition to showcasing culture and encouraging collaboration, cultural student organizations get an opportunity to learn and apply a popular program-planning model used in the profession of student affairs. “Staff in the Center train students on this program-planning model, and the Festival of Lights provides an opportunity for the students to apply what they’ve learned. The students plan, organize and execute a fairly large and complex event, and in doing so, take the skills they’ve learned to other activities and their future careers,” Jones-Holifield continued.
Attendees enjoy multiple performance types, including vocal, spoken word, dance and skits. There are also interactive booths addressing different topics of the various organizations’ choosing.
Any and all are invited to attend the festival, which will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017 in the Lincoln Park Student Center, room 120AB from 5 to 7:00 p.m. The program is free.