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Emerge in the West
May 16, 2015 @ 1:00 pm - 7:00 pmFREE
Presented by Multicultural Arts Victoria in partnership with Maribyrnong City Council Festival City Program, Emerge in the West 2015 will see Footscray’s Nicholson Street come alive on Saturday 16 May from 1pm-7pm with some of the West’s top emerging talent in music, art, fashion, dance, circus and spoken word across two stages alongside craft workshops, gastronomic experiences and special offers on the day from all the traders in the street from textile shops to iconic restaurants and hair sculpture. VU at MetroWest will also feature an Afro Chic fashion hub and the forum and book launch for “Curfew’s Children” by esteemed poet, playwright and novelist Kabu Okai-Davies. The main stage features Ethio-jazz stylings of The Lalibelas with special guest Nhatty Man, digital reggae dancehall dub with African influenced vocals by SKAAKI, up and coming hip-hop heroes from Phoenix Youth Centre’s Raw Elements, a fashion show of contemporary Afro-Australian designs coordinated by Vissolela Ndenzako, Somali Peace Band led by master musician Abdi Mohamed Abdi and Ethio-jazz crew Jazmaris with funk, soul and hip hop duo Royalty Noise. The street stage will feature an array of dance acts including South African house music inspired Zero Degrees, hip-hop dance with L2R Next Gen, spoken word by Soreti Kadir, traditional Ethiopian dance workshop by Sinit Tsegay and mind bending contortion by Teame Ersie. Two marquees on the street will offer Ethiopian Coffee and Sudanese Tea Ceremonies by Saba’s Health Foods, weaving demonstrations by PNG Bilum artist Vicki Kinnai and South Sudanese artist Mary Anwat, in addition to craft workshops by Yarraville resident Cape Verdean Mito Elias and beautiful face murals by PNG Australian artist, theatrical stylist and educator Ella Benore Rowe. Victoria University’s iconic MetroWest venue will exhibit local designers’ clothing, jewellery and accessories in Afro Chic Boutique curated by Vissolela Ndenzako as well as the book launch and forum for Curfew’s Children by esteemed poet, playwright and novelist Kabu Okai-Davies. Presented by the Afro-Australian Student Organisation (AASO), the forum will be a youth-led debate with the author exploring the issues and themes brought to light by the book along with migrant expectations, intergenerational and cultural conflicts experienced by young African migrants to Australia, and possible strategies to address these issues. Building on the growing number of emerging artists and cultural entrepreneurs involved in Emerge in the West since 2011, MAV partnered with AAMEYS (African Australian Multicultural Employment and Youth Services) and the African Think Tank to invite 25 successful small business owners of African heritage to establish the first small business association in Australia for Africans in 2014. Atakilty Woreita with MAV’s Artistic Program Manager and Founder of the Emerge Festivals Anita Larkin will lead two guided Walking Tours to the diverse traders on Nicholson Street who will be offering specials for the day. Nicholson Street offers rare textiles, unique Ethiopian pool, original African hair art, popular local Eritrean/Ethiopian restaurants and more. This annual ‘Emerge’ event is an outcome of MAV’s Community Cultural Development (CCD) program which aims to empower and create connections for artists and communities from refugee backgrounds. Produced by Multicultural Arts Victoria in partnership with local governments, Emerge Festival is presented annually in different locations around Victoria to celebrate and acknowledge the important contributions of local newly arrived refugee and emerging multicultural communities.