Indiana State University Newsroom

Indiana State, Arts Illiana teaming for international festival

January 9, 2013

Indiana State University and Arts Illiana will sponsor an inaugural festival to showcase cultural performances of Wabash Valley residents from around the world.

The first International Music and Dance Festival will be on March 23 from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Indiana State will host the event featuring musical and artistic performances highlighting cultures from around the world. Many other groups, including the Arts Council of the Wabash Valley and groups representing international residents of west-central Indiana, are teaming to organize the event.

"The event is for the entire community to learn about different cultures around the world," said Zachariah Mathew, associate director of the Office of International Programs and Services at ISU. "We are in a global society. It is an opportunity for people to contribute to the international community that we have in the Wabash Valley."

The event will feature amateur performances from students at local universities and longtime valley residents. Auditions will be held in person on Feb. 9, with video auditions due to Arts Illiana by Feb. 4.

"This is a chance to really recognize and really celebrate a truly global perspective that we have here in Terre Haute," said Jon Robeson, executive director of Arts Illiana. "Sometimes the international populations in Terre Haute don't get to share some of our commonalities, and we want to try to open up the international community for people, while opening more of Terre Haute to people from around the world."

A dozen groups, including organizations from ISU, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and the community, have already signed up to audition for the festival. The event will feature performances that are expected to be about five to six minutes in length, Mathew said.

This is the first time such an international event featuring people and cultures from around the world has been organized in Terre Haute, he added. While some cultural organizations have hosted their own events, this is the first time that they will join together for a single event.

"This is not just a cultural show," Mathew said. "This is arts. This is a means of expression."

While other events have included international residents performing, this is the first time that such an event is being organized solely to feature cultural performances, said Pat Grigg, one of the event's organizers.

"Having many contacts with international groups who have performing arts talent in the area I thought that an international music and dance festival would be a good way to bring them together," Grigg said. "When I presented the idea to the different organizations it was received with much enthusiasm."

The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are required because of limited seating capacity for the audience, Robeson said. Tickets are available through Arts Illiana.

Photo: (ISU/Sam Barnes)A group of Indiana State University students performs at International Idol in 2011. The International Student Organization, an ISU student group that organizes International Idol, is among the groups collaborating on the International Music and Dance Festival scheduled for March.

Contact: Zachariah Mathew, associate director, Office of International Programs and Services, Indiana State University, 812-237-2439 or

Writer: Austin Arceo, assistant director of media relations, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3790 or