Culture Night event continues the celebration of diversity on campus


The 22nd annual Baldwin Wallace Culture Night event will be held in Strosacker Hall on Nov. 15. Although this has been a long-running event, this year will be only the third time Culture Night is overseen by the Office of Residence Life and International Student Services.

Culture Night is a public event and is open to all ages. There is no admission fee for this event, but those in attendance are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items, said Robin Gagnow, director of Residence Life and International Student Services.

“It’s an event that really helps the BW community come together,” said Gagnow. “Especially since this is so close to the holiday season, the canned goods that we collect will go to different food banks in the city of Berea.”

To make this event more personalized to the BW community the ballroom is decorated with flags representative of every international student on campus, said Gagnow.

The night begins at 5:30 p.m. with a cultural fair in the Union Lobby, where different Baldwin Wallace organizations set up displays that are representative of their cultures. The doors to the ballroom open at 6 p.m., food will be served at 6:30 p.m., and the performances will begin at 7 p.m.

“We try to get different foods from each of the different continents,” said Gagnow. “A lot of times, the food is different than what we’re used to, so that makes it kind of a fun event to attend.”

According to Gagnow, the planning committee received a grant from the Health Promotion Grant Board, which assisted in covering the majority of the cost of the evening’s cuisine.

Alongside performances by Baldwin Wallace organizations such as Voices of Praise, the Urban Dance Association, and the BW Dance Team, individual students will be involved as a part of the night’s entertainment.

Auditions for individual performers took place on Oct. 16 in Davidson Commons. Participants were asked to bring acts that represented their cultural identity, said Hall Director Jasmine Chappell, who serves on the Culture Night committee. This year, the committee plans on having six to seven individual performances lined up for the event. Chappell said that singing, dancing, and spoken word poetry are amongst the types of acts to be expected that night.

As an alumna of BW, Chappell said that this will be her first time working the event, though she attended Culture Night during her time as a student and performed with the gospel choir.

“I think Culture Night is a time where BW students, faculty, and staff can come together and just really appreciate the differences amongst one another and find that there are a lot of similarities,” said Chappell. “I like that we open it up to the community as well. I think it’s a really good community engagement.”