As a consultant for OSU Multicultural Center's strategic planning committee, I was asked to help articulate and implement the center's new intercultural mission. At a student services planning meeting, I learned that the university was looking for a large scale community event for opening night of autumn term's Welcome Week to introduce 6000 new students to OSU's diversity. I "nabbed" the coveted spot and returned to the center with a proposition.
The Multicultural Center's collective of cultural units had not yet co-hosted a full community event, so I recommended offering an intercultural festival featuring drums. Drumming is found in all cultures, and is an exciting way to bring people together in rhythm and dance. The center's staff had lots of ideas and "Drums & Dough" was born. I headed the planning team.
The event included cultural drumming performances and cultural breads, "edutaining" and introducing several thousand students to the diversity of their new home. It has become a signature Welcome Week event for the university.
My time with OSU Multicultural Center's strategic planning process was a great chance to enjoy having the resources at hand to put community arts into action and create a positive intercultural legacy at the university.