Culture Fest returns in full swing to the Falcon Green

Freshman+Ayla+Patel+smiles%3B+she+talks+to+Lower+School+students+about+the+Sri+Lanka+booth.

Freshman Ayla Patel smiles; she talks to Lower School students about the Sri Lanka booth.

Eva Humble and Jordan Roberts

As a way to bring the school together to celebrate diversity throughout the Kinkaid body, Culture Fest gives an opportunity to the community to share facts, food, and many more from the cultures they represent. 

This year, the event was held on Tuesday, April 4 from 6-8 p.m. and featured booths from over 30 countries represented by student-led clubs, families, and faculty. These booths presented cuisine from their prospective places, posters sharing general information, and were sometimes accompanied by a musical performance or dance.

The festivity is one of the few that brings together Kinkaid as a whole prompting lower school, middle school, as well as high school families and students to participate. This is what encouraged Ms. Leslie Lovett, a history teacher, and Mr. Emerson, the Upper School debate coach, to start it back in the 2000s. 

According to Ms. Lovett, who serves as the faculty sponsor of Culture Fest, it allows families to express “the richness they bring from their different cultures.” She loves how students in middle and high school can create a booth, and lower school kids are able to perform. 

“It gives an opportunity for families that weren’t part of the majority of the culture of Kinkaid to have a space where their diversity can be included in a way that is fun,” 

Ms. Lovett, along with four other teacher advisors help alongside turning these ideas into a festivity for all to enjoy.

“We rely on the student leaders to carry out what they are doing,” she said. “There are 5 faculty advisors who advise but don’t run the committee.”

The committee started planning in September. The hard work was amped up in the weeks leading up to the event when specific sub-committees did their designated work in order to make the event a success. 

Along with these teachers, there are three chairs — junior Kaveen Shah, senior Savannah Miller, and junior Camron Baldwin who organize the subcommittees and overall lead the council. There are subcommittees for the booths, publicity, decorations, entertainment, and the setup committee arranging the tables, chairs, etc. These subgroups each have their own chairs as well, chosen by the faculty advisors at the beginning of the year. 

Lovett describes the process of choosing the prospective chairs as “based on people’s original participation” and that “people who worked hard, did a lot, and took on greater responsibilities, moved up to chairs.” 

Baldwin, this year’s head chair, had the responsibility of making sure the committees were being productive with their time and had the resources needed to produce their different aspects of Culture Fest. 

Along with the other chairs, they work to encourage booths to set up engaging activities that represent their culture. This year Baldwin’s favorite was Viva La Raza’s Spain booth that held a tomato-throwing game. They also featured a bouncy house and face painting, and in previous years have had a petting zoo. 

Additionally, he expressed his love for the food offered by each booth, “I always make a tour of every single booth to see what food they were offering.” His favorite this year was from the Taiwan Booth presented by East Asian Heritage Club. 

Culture Fest overall gives a space where families can express their diversity and show themselves to the rest of the school. Its goal is to make sure Culture Fest allows this while including students and families from all grades to convey the richness of their culture.