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‘Cultural treasures’ to be celebrated at Merced Multicultural Arts Center

The Alliance for California Traditional Arts in partnership with Building Healthy Communities Southwest Merced will hold a multicultural showcase of the Merced’s “cultural treasures” from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Multicultural Arts Center, 645 W. Main St.

According to a BHC press release, the event will celebrate the “people, groups, places and events that reflect cultural expressions that are valued by the community.” The event will feature performances, workshops and samples of food.

Some of the featured highlights will include:

• Foods like gumbo, Hmong tapioca desert, Mexican Pan de Muerto.

• Gospel singing, praise dancing, Polynesian dancing, Hmong dancing, black storytelling by Loretta Spence, Hmong oral traditions by Palee Moua.

• Material arts exhibits in the main gallery, including Hmong Pa’ndau and traditional costumes, quilts, crochet, cross stitch and open embroidery.

Organizers said they hope to exhibit and share the richness and knowledge that is present in Merced community.

“A healthy community is about more than doctor visits – it is also in a way about celebrating the richness and diversity of our cultural heritage and landscape. Some of the treasures being celebrated at this event are our friends and neighbors. It is important to share our customs and art with each other within the community to keep traditional arts and activities alive,” Isai Palma, administrative coordinator for Merced BHC and task force member for the event, said in the press release.

“The event, Exploring Cultural Treasures in Merced, is a gathering in the most basic way for people to come together and share the different ways of knowing culture, traditions, art, and community and how these important aspects of our lives keep us healthy. The hope is to create dialogue within cultural communities and across cultural communities in Merced and to enjoy the polycultural environment that defines Merced,” Russell Rodriguez, ACTA program manager, said in the release.

For more information about the event, email