Organizers of the Sigma Chi Omega Multicultural Fraternity’s Seventh Annual Cultural Showcase said they expect to entertain a full house at their variety show this weekend.
The free event, titled “The Greatest Multicultural Show on Earth,” is scheduled for Saturday from 7 to 9:30 p.m. in Campbell Hall. The program includes seven performing acts, including dance ensembles, hip hop and rock groups and mariachi music. Among the groups performing are the UCSB Polynesian Dancers, Black Reign, Naked Voices, the UCSB Latin Jazz Ensemble, Los Nuevos Del Norte, Honey White, and Skyline. Aldo Saenz, Sigma Chi Omega president, said the show accomplishes one of the goals of Black History Month by improving cultural awareness.
“We have a couple of rock bands and different organizations that come together and in a way teach people about what is out there,” Saenz said.
Saenz said UCSB alumni, businesses, several academic departments and grants from the Office of Student Life have contributed money in support of the event. Based on the success of previous years, he said he expects Campbell Hall to be filled to capacity.
“For the last couple of years, we’ve filled Campbell Hall — which has a capacity of 800 people,” Saenz said. “The show allows people to take a break. It’s a fun event. People are dancing and there’s music.”
Saenz said the Polynesian dancers should draw a big group of people because they are always a crowd favorite.
Aikka Nolasco, the UCSB Polynesian Dancers fundraiser chair, said she hopes the group’s performance will change many people’s preconceived notions about Polynesian culture. Many people only know of the Hula dance and its associated dress, she said.
“We have traditional costumes we make ourselves,” Nolasco said. “We have a variety of dances. We want to make people aware not of the touristy aspects and so we are promoting the Polynesian culture and not the stereotypes.”
Nolasco said the fraternity has been supportive of the dance group and has put on good shows every year with no cost to students.
“They tell us we’re pretty much the highlight,” Nolasco said. “They’re really good guys and generous enough to do it for free.”
Saenz said the fraternity plans to host the show again next year because it has become a big event for the fraternity.
“The fact that it’s grown to this size proves we made an impact,” Saenz said. “We always receive positive feedback.”