The AmeriMasala an Enriching Multicultural Celebration
Downtown event aims to break barriers and foster unity
Saturday, July 23
In a world full of calamity amongst the people, it is safe to say that an event like the AmeriMasala is much needed. Curated by Lynn Johnson, this festival on July 23rd at Perry Square will celebrate cultures from all over to not only teach us all of their differences, but to unify within those differences as well.
"AmeriMasala believes in the 'Replacement Theory'" says Johnson. "We theorize if hate, racism, and willful ignorance was replaced with things like love, compassion, empathy, respect, and knowledge, the world would be immeasurably better."
The AmeriMasala is not just an artful event, but a tenacious movement rooted in tethering all nationalities and origins to bring people together in order to develop pride in our own humanity. With art, music, food, and fashion on display from various ethnicities, the people of Erie are in for one huge cultural lesson and fiesta to instill hope amidst the discordance of our society.
"The AmeriMasala Movement's priority is to provide an opportunity for people from various cultures from around the world to reaffirm our humanity," Lynn states. "We use the arts as a tool to create a space that supersedes our conditioned prejudices and apprehension of 'other'."
The giant extravaganza will kick off at 11am with a parade following at noon as a show of appreciation towards the world. Throughout the day, folks will be able to enjoy a close look at nations both near and far to celebrate both cultural differences and similarities.
A civically enriching event that celebrates a bevy of cultures from around the world, the AmeriMasala seeks "to inspire a community philosophy which promotes the value and nobility of all people and encourage dialogue across the lines of race, ethnicity, gender and class through accessible public presentations of cultural arts, workshops and lectures."
This year will feature Batala and Tam Tam Magic, among others.
Batala is a long-running samba reggae project founded in 1997 by Giba Gonçalves. It boasts over 30 groups from around the world, enlisting more than 1,000 percussionists — using four different kinds of drums for their performances.
The West African drumming and dance project Tam Tam Magic brings the music of Senegal to Downtown Erie. Founded by Papa Assane M'baye, they have more than 25 years experience in drum instruction and performance.
Be sure to see the UnoWE Parade, populated by vibrant performance art and authentic clothing reflecting a wide array of cultural heritage.
As Johnson told me, the AmeriMasala pushes to reaffirm our existence as people of multiple backgrounds, races, and talents. On July 23rd, make sure to make your way downtown to emerge in the festivities.
11 a.m. // Perry Square in Downtown Erie // Free // For more information, find The AmeriMasala on Facebook