World Music & Cuisine Festival

The World Music & Cuisine Festival will be held from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, March 28, in Billingly Student Center’s Connor Ballroom.

Presented by the university’s Institute of International Studies and the International Club, the event will feature performances by local and regional groups and food prepared by international students, faculty and staff as well as local restaurants.

“We have the international-themed semester in the fall, and plenty of programming and cultural events,” said Dr. Chad Stebbins, director of the Institute of International Studies. “But we’ve never really had that much in the spring.

“This event grew out of a conversation I had with Brian Fronzaglia and Joy Dworkin. We were brainstorming ways to reinvigorate the International Mission with the renewed interest that Dr. Marble brought.”

Stebbins said the idea was to create a “twofold event” that would showcase local and regional entertainment and let people sample food from around the world.

“We think there will be some synergy,” he said. “Some people will come for the music and find the food, others will come for the food and discover the music.”

Entertainment will begin at 5 p.m. with a performance by Kufara, an African marimba band, followed by the MSSU Drum Circle at 5:45 p.m. Mariachi Amistad, a Northwest Arkansas group which performs authentic and traditional mariachi music, will play at 6 p.m., and the Chinese Music Ensemble from Missouri State University will play at 7 p.m. The Brazilian Batterie will perform a traditional welcome piece at 7:55 p.m., with the debut performance by the MSSU steel drum ensemble at 8 p.m.

Faculty and staff members offering world cuisine will include Hong Li, fried rice; Achala Tiwari, Indian chili; Dr. Nii Abrahams and Faustina Abrahams, black-eyed pea stew, Gari foto and Jollof rice; Sherman Hou, Chinese rice pudding, five spice eggs, pan-fried bun and sesame rice cake; Elke Howe, Rote Grütze and Vanille Soße; Catherin De Coster, chocolate cake and chocolate mousse; Trish Udell, spicy Thai noodle salad; and Linda Peterson, butter tarts. Sponsoring restaurants include Flavors International Cuisine, Instant Karma, M&M Bistro, Roswitha’s Schnitzelbank and Festival Mexican Restaurant.

Food servings will be sold via tickets priced at $1 each.

“One ticket will get you a small serving, and two will get you a larger serving,” said Stebbins. “Some of the items will be priced at two tickets if it’s more elaborate or meat-based. For $6 to $8, you can get a pretty good sampling.”

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