Global Diversity Fest at South Park welcomes wide audience

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Melanie Harrington, CEO of Vibrant Pittsburgh, hopes that one day Pittsburgh will be welcoming to everyone and come together as one.

But tonight, that hope will become a reality when about 30 diverse community organizations will be welcomed to South Park as part of the inaugural Global Diversity Fest.

Vibrant Pittsburgh and Allegheny County are partners for the event, which will be from 6 to 9 p.m. at the South Park Amphitheater.

"Vibrant Pittsburgh is ultimately looking to create a more diverse and welcoming region," Ms. Harrington said. "This event showcases diversity and brings people together to celebrate diversity." She added that events like the Global Diversity Fest serve as a magnet, attracting greater diversity to the region.

Ms. Harrington said the county's support of the event "is helpful toward our effort to creating the region and culture we aspire to create here."

For the county, the festival is an opportunity to showcase the county parks to a new audience that wouldn't normally come to the park, said Katie Harbison, county special events coordinator.

The representatives from the 28 diversity community organizations will bring information about their organizations, showcasing what they are doing and sharing their community with others. Some of the groups are Salud Para Ninos, Pittsburgh Irish Festival, Steel City Salseros and Persad Center.

There will also be food vendors ranging from Peruvian to Mexican to Filipino cuisine. While the rest of event is free and open to the public, the food will be available to purchase.

County officials are estimating 2,000 to 3,000 people will attend the three-hour event.

At 6 p.m., Global Beats will perform. As a leading producer of global music events in the area, their show will feature lounge and dance music from around the world, offering both traditional and underground hits of world rhythms.

Latin Grammy winner Los Amigos Invisibles will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. The Venezuelan Dance Band won a Grammy for best alternative music album in 2009.

Los Amigos Invisibles was already booked as part of the county's Summer Concert Series, but the group the best option for the festival, said Ms. Harbison, who helped plan the event.

Vibrant Pittsburgh community outreach and inclusion manager Adriana Dobrzycka said Los Amigos Invisibles' music and show is supposed to be fun and lively.

"It is important to showcase the vibrancy of the region in more ways than one. It is very celebratory kind of gathering."

"People are coming to Pittsburgh and wanting to stay here," Ms. Harbison said. "You don't realize how much Pittsburgh showcases groups that people are not always aware of."

"I am very excited about it since it a new thing the county is doing. We hope to expand it next year," she added.

neigh_south

Claire Aronson: caronson@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1964 or on Twitter @Claire_Aronson.


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