UI students showcase their talents in a multicultural competition

Students from CAB and OASIS collaborated on Saturday to host their multicultural showcase, which provided students with an opportunity to represent and celebrate their identities through various art forms.


Wyatt Dlouhy

Dance group MPR performs during the Multicultural Showcase at the Iowa Memorial Union on Saturday, November 2, 2019. The event showcased performances from different cultural groups on campus. MPR won the first place prize with their dance routine.

Lauren White, News Reporter

In a series of performances ranging from traditional South Asian dances to multicultural acapella, cultures from all of over the world were connected through a student-led showcase on Saturday filled with the sounds of different languages and music.

In collaboration between the Campus Activities Board and the University of Iowa Organization for the Active Support of International Students, students hosted a multicultural showcase to celebrate different forms of art across diverse cultures.

Mishma Nixon, a UI sophomore and cultural director of the Campus Activities Board, emphasized that the theme of the showcase was diversity and entertainment. The event was intended to not only highlight diverse cultural identities on campus, but also diverse forms of art — shown through sixteen different performances by both individuals and groups.

“The goal of the showcase is to celebrate different aspects of performing arts and culture and offer a fun and representative event,” Nixon said.

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The event is open for participation to anyone in the community, Nixon said, but this year was uniquely composed entirely of students. Nixon said that events such as the multicultural showcase draw a huge crowd of both students and local community members alike.

Over 400 people turned out to the 2nd Floor Ballroom in the IMU to watch the event, which also included a competition for a cash prize. The first-place performance received $500 dollars, second place received $300, third received $150, and the final award was a people’s choice totaling $100.

The MPR Dance Crew won the first-place prize, Iowa Agni won second, Iowa Dhamaka won third, and the people’s choice went to the Hawkapellas.

Brianne Babcock, UI sophomore and member of the Campus Activities Board cultural committee, said that the organization plans these sorts of events year-round. The planning of this event involved extra coordination, she said, considering it was the result of collaboration between two student organizations.

“It’s a lot of communicating with other groups to make sure we have the things like sound, stage, refreshments, decorations, and fliers accounted for,” Babcock said. “Splitting the work between the groups hosting an event like this also makes the work easier.”

The cultural committee is passionate about giving representation to cultures across campus and providing students with an opportunity to showcase their identities, Babcock said.

“Showcases that support diversity are important because it allows groups to represent their culture through different forms of art and exposes people to different cultures,” Babcock said. “It’s all about representation, inclusion, and celebrating diversity on campus.”

Ciara Gallen, a UI student who introduced the night’s performances on behalf of the Campus Activities Board, said that the Organization for the Active Support of International Students always prioritizes the well-being of students and their goal to make the university more educated about cultures that exist on campus.

“The organization is a great resource and a great group to have on campus, because their goal is to better the interest and concerns of international students,” Gallen said.

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