WNCC to celebrate cultural diversity

Twelve-year-old Rosella Nunez will be the Latin voice at Saturday's Multicultural Festival at Western Nevada Community College.

"I'm Mexican-American and I want to represent the Mexican culture," said Rosella, of Carson City. "It's really pretty music. They can make some really wonderful sounds with the guitar."

The college's fifth annual festival will feature performers from a variety of cultures represented throughout the Carson area, including Native American, African, Indian and Greek dance groups.

"We bring together all types of dance, song, crafts and food to celebrate our diversity," said Anne Hansen, director of marketing and information at the college. "The interesting part is that the groups are all a part of our community."

Hansen said people may not be aware of the diverse cultures in Carson City.

"Perhaps our diversity would surprise us," she said. "I think it's neat that we can offer this to the community as a cultural event and as entertainment."

Nunez will perform three songs with a mariachi band and one song by Selena, the former Latin pop music star.

Like Selena, Nunez cannot speak Spanish, although she can sing in the language.

"I'm not bilingual, but I can sing in Spanish," Nunez said.

Nunez plays the part of a young girl in the college's production of "South Pacific."

The cast of "South Pacific" will also perform a number from the show as part of the festivities.

The festival, to be held in the Aspen Building, will begin at 11 a.m. and run until 2:30 p.m. Hansen said it was scheduled around lunch time so that families could come and eat lunch.

"It's a wonderful event. It's colorful, it's a family event and it's free," she said. "We have hundreds of people come every year."

Hansen said it is part of the college's effort to unite diverse cultures and promote understanding.

"It has everything to do with how tolerant our community is and how caring we are toward one another," she said. "At the college, we want all of us to appreciate what we are, what we have and what we can be."

Singer and Washoe Valley resident Toni Tennille will be mistress of ceremonies for the festival and will sign autographs.

The college will also offer a free foreign movie tonight at 7 p.m. in Room 103 of the Reynolds Building.

The movie "Emigrants" is about a Swedish farming family that comes to America in the 1850s. Refreshments will be provided.

The annual Student Art Show will also be on display during the festival.

What: Multicultural Festival

Where: Aspen Building, WNCC

When: 11 a.m. Saturday


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