Cultures celebrate food, dance, diversity at AMSA

With vivid color, contagious enthusiasm and spirited energy, Anoka Middle School for the Arts (AMSA) celebrated students’ cultural heritage during the second annual Multicultural Celebration April 4.

Faith Moua takes a turn performing a hip hop dance with Partic Moua (not pictured) during the April 4 Anoka Middle School for the Arts second annual Multicultural Celebration. Photo by Sue Austreng
Faith Moua takes a turn performing a hip hop dance with Partic Moua (not pictured) during the April 4 Anoka Middle School for the Arts second annual Multicultural Celebration. Photo by Sue Austreng

The celebration featured an eclectic menu, music, dance, cultural artifacts and performances.

After sampling foods from China, Kenya, Greece and Mexico, the celebration shifted into the auditorium where students took the stage and performed with song and dance, instruments and the spoken word.

Performance groups included the Anoka Middle School Fiddle Club, the school choir, AMSA Stepping Team, the Anoka Middle School World Drum Group, as well as several solo and duet performers, too. Also, six AMSA students regaled the audience with recited poetry.

Outside the auditorium, an eighth-grade advanced ILA art gallery adorned the area and featured students’ research projects inspired by art from around the world.

The entire evening was a celebration of life, art, music and food from around the world.

“This is just such a great opportunity to celebrate our students’ heritage and recognize and applaud their talents,” said Principal Jerri McGonigal.

Sue Austreng is at [email protected]

Alexis Brooks, grade seven, and her mom Cynthia Brooks get a close look at a sample of artifacts from Venezuela. Photo by Sue Austreng
Salma Urrutia, grade four, enjoys some Kenyan chapatti during Anoka Middle School for the Arts’ second annual Multicultural Celebration. Photo by Sue Austreng
Rylee Thorson, Quinn Hufnagel, Claudia Knutson and Adrianna Warden, members of Anoka Middle School’s Fiddle Club, serve as opening act for the April 4 Multicultural Celebration staged in the AMSA auditorium. Also performing with the Fiddle Club but not pictured here are Tabitha Bretheim, Felicity Schultz, Alexis Brooks, Sophia Guthmiller, Madeline Noland and Jack Strub. Photo by Sue Austreng
The Anoka Middle School World Drum Group keeps the beat with music teacher Julie Schmidt (far right) drumming along with them. Pictured here with Schmidt are (left to right) Breanna Geissler, Taylor Schmahl, Meikel Keleekai and Alexis Brooks. Photo by Sue Austreng
Inspired by a Buddhist mandala he’d seen at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Kevin Orpen wrote a piece of original music and performs it for the audience gathered for the Multicultural Celebration. Photo by Sue Austreng Faith Moua takes a turn performing a hip hop dance with Partic Moua (not pictured) during the April 4 Anoka Middle School for the Arts second annual Multicultural Celebration. Photo by Sue Austreng
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Rylee Thorson, Quinn Hufnagel, Claudia Knutson and Adrianna Warden, members of Anoka Middle School’s Fiddle Club, serve as opening act for the April 4 Multicultural Celebration staged in the AMSA auditorium. Also performing with the Fiddle Club but not pictured here are Tabitha Bretheim, Felicity Schultz, Alexis Brooks, Sophia Guthmiller, Madeline Noland and Jack Strub. Photo by Sue Austreng