After the success of last year’s inaugural Mosaic Festival in San Jose, Usha Srinivasan saw an opportunity to make the event bigger this year, expanding to two days of multicultural arts programming. But Srinivasan, co-founder of the nonprofit Mosaic America, also did not want to lose sight of its mission of bringing together different aspects of the community — not just multicultural, but “inter-cultural.”
So when this weekend’s second annual Mosaic Festival Silicon Valley takes place Friday and Saturday at the Mexican Heritage Plaza in San Jose, the schedule will include artists and arts organizations that Srinivasan said “had already been doing the work here for a long time.”
That includes Chamber Music Silicon Valley — the conclusion of its weeklong Silicon Valley Music Festival kicks off the Mosaic Festival on Friday — as well as San Jose Jazz, the lion dancers of Buu Kim Tu, New Ballet San Jose, the House of Inanna dancers and the Playboyz street dance crew. Conscious San Jose is bringing in tai chi and meditation activities and Health Trust is sponsoring a healing garden. Even the food trucks on site will represent different cultures.
“What makes this festival a little different is its so anchored in place,” she said. “We are really reflecting the diversity of East San Jose, very specifically.”
Friday night will be a “block party” starting at 6 p.m., with music (and dance lessons) ranging from Iranian pop and Bollywood to hip-hop and more. Saturday’s lineup, running from 2 to 10 p.m., will include workshops on mindfulness and arts and crafts, as well as more performances throughout the day.
There’s also a visual arts exhibition, “An American Mosaic,” featuring the work of a dozen artists from different cultures who share a “San Jose vibe.” Curated by Joe Miller of Works/San Jose, it’ll be open during the weekend festival and will continue to be on display through Sept. 18.
The whole festival is free, and you can get more information at www.mosaicamerica.org/festival.