Esther M. Chavez, Media Relations Director
Inaugural Mosaic Festival in Silicon Valley hits record wins – eyes year 2
October 14, 2021 (Silicon Valley, Calif.) – The first free festival that brought together over 50 partners from culturally-distinct communities within and around San Jose is set for Year 2. Mosaic America, the Silicon Valley nonprofit organizer of the Mosaic Festival, in partnership with the School of Arts and Culture, welcomed approximately 1500 people into East San Jose on October 2nd with a day of performances, art, food, and movement. The organization launched a safe outdoor event that brought music, exhibits, and a strong sense of belonging to the Silicon Valley community.
“The Mosaic Festival is one of the best festivals I’ve ever been to. I’ve never seen so many traditions showcasing the cultures of Bay Area in one place. It was really beautiful to see,” said Bay Area resident, Darlene Ruth Sison-Neidermeier.
“This festival was different from any other in that not only did it present the popular and unseen cultures of Silicon Valley via art, food, and crafts, it also made these participatory. There were long-term institutions, ancient cultures, and current socio-cultural pivots, all in one place,” said Priya Das, Mosaic America’s co-founder and Vice President for Programming.
The program included Bloco do Sol, Blood Moon Orchestra, Buu Kim Tu, Calpulli Tonalehqueh, the Confederation of Ohlone Peoples, Danny Thien Le, Dunsmuir Scottish Dancers, Ensamble Folclórico Colibri, International Performing Arts of America, Mary Jessie Celestin, New Ballet, New Ground Theatre Dance, Opera Cultura, Opera San Jose, Parangal Dance Company, Playboyz, Inc. Ramana Vieira, Ray Furuta, San Jose Jazz, San Jose Taiko, Simorgh Dance Collective, Tabia African American Theatre Ensemble, Vân-Ánh Võ and Xpressions Dance.
Workshops featured Anjali Rao, Arts Unity Movement, Jeffrey Fung, Kavita Patel, San José Museum of Art, School of Visual Philosophy, Teiko Smith and The Get Down.
The Mosaic Festival also co-presented an art exhibit with Works/San José and the School of Arts & Culture. “An American Mosaic” featured the works of artists from within and around San Jose and was curated by Joe Miller.
“The Mosaic Festival was not just a milestone for us as a small nonprofit with a Silicon Valley innovation idea, but a significant win for the community,” says Usha Srinivasan, CEO & Co-founder of Mosaic America. “We have proven that all communities can thrive harmoniously in this era of the pandemic, through collaborative art, safe planning, and a mission to lift all.”
Mosaic America prides itself in its meaningful partnerships with artists from all communities and art forms. And for many of them, the Mosaic Festival was a first of its kind, bringing together a number of performers from different disciplines. Coleen Lorenz of New Ground Theatre Dance Company said, “I LOVED the entire event! What a production – what a festival!”
Arturo Magaña of Ensamble Folclorico Colibri echoed that, “As always, we feel part of the Mosaic and everyone always treats us with regard and care,” a precious takeaway for a festival that doesn’t identify itself strictly as an art or music festival, but as a festival of belonging.
A unified Silicon Valley effort, the event was also attended by Assembly member Ash Kalra, Sunnyvale Mayor Larry Klein, Supervisor Cindy Chavez, Supervisor Susan Ellenberg, Supervisor Otto Lee, San Jose Councilmember Magdalena Carrasco, and San Jose Councilmember Raul Peralez.
The festival was funded in part by Applied Materials, Knight Foundation, Adobe, Google, Healthtrust, the City of San Jose Office of Racial Equity, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Silicon Valley Creates, Wyndham Garden, and Priya Living. Media sponsors were TFC/MyTFC.com (the Filipino Channel), India Currents, and Diya TV
In May, Mosaic America (formerly known as Sangam Arts) was awarded $25,000 from the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) in the ‘Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works’ category in support of next year’s Mosaic Festival in 2022 and its mission of cultivating a sense of belonging through co-created art and dance. This funding was part of the NEA’s second round of over $88 million in grants to organizations across the country in FY 2021.
About Mosaic America:
Mosaic is a nonprofit organization that strengthens communities, cultivates belonging, and catalyzes inclusion through inter-cultural and co-created art. Our team of artists uses inspiration from their cultures and art forms to collaborate on unique performances and expressions that highlight the common threads of our shared American story.