A number of special programs celebrating our community’s diverse cultures fill Tibbits this month coinciding with an exhibit in the theatre’s galleries.
On Saturday, April 8, Tibbits will host three Islamic scholars for a 2pm presentation, “Conversations about Islam.” The event is free and open to the public and gives non-Muslims a chance to ask candid questions about Islam and the Quran.
Aira of Coldwater sponsors the educational lecture; President, Salwa Alsuraimi says, “The event gives area residents a chance to ask anything and everything about the teachings of the Quran and receive answers directly from a group of well-respected scholars who have devoted their lives to its study.”
Alsuraimi continues encouraging cultural conversations on April 13, through a public presentation on Yemeni-American culture. Alsuraimi has given a dozen presentations over the pat few months to City employees, the Branch Intermediate School District, Dr. Christopher’s staff and the response has been extremely positive. The event starts at noon and is free and open to the public. Business people, health care workers and educators who want to improve their ability to interact and engage with Yemeni-Americans are strongly encouraged to attend.
A reception and special tours of the Yemeni-American exhibit will take place on Wednesday, April 5, at 7pm. The event is sponsored by the Branch County Democrats. The general public is invited to partake in refreshments and tours free of charge that night.
Tibbits presents, “We are Coldwater: A Multi-Cultural Event,” on April 21. Starting at 6pm, the auditorium will come alive with sights and sounds from around the world. An energetic performance of acclaimed percussion group, Biakuye is followed by accomplished Arab musician Victor Ghannam and several other performances. Samples of colorful cuisine from our Yemeni, Polish, Hispanic, and Chinese community members will be served in the downstairs galleries.
The month of activities culminates with a children’s program, “Creative Kiddos: A Multi-Cultural Celebration,” on Saturday, April 22 from 11am to 2pm. Kids grade K-5 participate in a hands-on exploration of cultural art forms from around the world through a series of interactive stations featuring costumes, music, dance, craft-making and much more.
Pre-registration for the April 21 and April 22 events is encouraged but not required. Tickets can be purchased by phone at 517-278-6029, online at www.Tibbits.org, or at the door starting one hour before event times. The Friday night event is $10 for individuals and just $15 for couples and families. The Saturday event is $5 per family.
These programs are funded in part by a Michigan Humanities Council Heritage Grant. The state-wide grant program supports projects that help the people of Michigan understand cultural differences by sharing local stories of race, cultural history and personal identity. Funding for the April 21 event also comes from the Branch County Community Foundation and Altrusa International of Branch County.