BYU Kennedy Center brings the world to campus with summer music festival

The Kennedy Center welcomed five international performing groups to campus last year, including the Korean folk percussionists Hanbit Poogmul. (David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies)

The David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies is “bringing the world to campus” for the second year in a row by hosting a summer music festival.

Students will have the opportunity to enjoy culturally rich performances from across the globe. This year the festival will feature groups from Belarus, Ecuador and Romania, appearing courtesy of the Springville Folk Festival.

When the Kennedy Center decided students should have an opportunity to hear international music and began searching for performers to bring on campus. Lynn Elliot, director of The Kennedy Center’s International Study Programs and third-time general director of the Springville World Folkfest, facilitated a partnership between the Kennedy Center and the Springville Folkfest which culminated in the summer music festival.

“Springville groups were available during the day and looking for outreach community service opportunities, so everything just fell into place,” Elliott said.

All performances will be at noon on the Herald R. Clark Building east lawn.

The first act, performing August 2, is Zorachka. According to the Shanghai Baoshan International Folk Festival website, where the group previously performed, Zorachka is a Belarusian performing group formed in 1963. The ensemble consists of three sections, vocal, choreographic and orchestral, and is a repeated winner of various international contests.

According to their blog, Cuniburo Cultural is a cultural organization formed by ÑANPI Proyecto Musical and ALLAPMANTA Compañia de Danza and will be performing August 3. The group is dedicated to sharing the cultural history and identity of their native Ecuador through music and dance.

The final performance will be given on August 4 by Somesul Napoca. According to their website, the group was created in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania in 1973 and will be sharing dances and performances from the native folklore of Romania.

Kelly Blazian, the events coordinator for the Kennedy Center, sees the summer festival as a great way to bring awareness to the Kennedy Center and the value of international exposure.

“During fall and winter the Kennedy Center has a lot of events going on all the time, multiple ones a week,” Blazian said. “But during summer and spring term we don’t have classes or those regular events, so the summer music festival is a good way to get people back to the Kennedy Center to have great experiences.”

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