What were the specific goals of this creative economy project? Describe the community development challenge or opportunity that your project was designed to address:
The original goal of the festival 14 years ago was to raise local awareness of those newly arriving in our community and increase racial and ethnic tolerance through music, dance, storytelling, craft, and ethnic cuisine. The outdoor celebration allows for the cultural and artistic products of community members to be an inviting opportunity for engagement and empathy among diverse groups who may not otherwise interact.
If the goals change over time, please describe how:
The goals for the festival have evolved as some of the important successes have been evident not just in the experience of those attending the event, but also in the experience of the performers, vendors, and in the 6 month community collaboration and planning of the festival. Developing community conversations and connections around the ways the arts can be a catalyst for economic and social growth is now a main goal of the event. Another important goal of the festival is to empower new community members to see their cultural products as a worthy contribution to the local social and economic fabric of the community. New community members may have no experience in cultural norms of economic transactions, food preparation, and responsibilities as a hired contractor so making sure that experience is well supported is a large goal for the festival.
Who was involved in this project and what did they do? (be sure to include the partners from outside of the creative sector and how local voices were included):
The festival is organized by a community committee, the Greater Concord Area Task Force Against Racism and Intolerance. The committee has a lead festival organizer and many volunteers that meet annually to develop working groups for performers, craft vendors, food vendors, educational activities, and community outreach. Everyone on the committee is a volunteer and many nonprofit and social service agencies are represented including: Ascentria Care Alliance, Bhutanese Community of NH, NH Department of Health & Human Services, Creative Concord, InTown Concord, Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Latinos Unidos De New Hampshire, Lincoln Financial, Mira Coalition, New American Africans, NH State Council on the Arts, NH Department of Cultural Resources, Unitarian Universalist Church, Welcoming NH, and individual community members.