Charmaine Lim
SBM Culture Editor

As society begins to talk more about the value and importance of culture, the ways we celebrate it grow larger.

This year, the Multicultural Council and ISA/MuKappa made the decision to change the International Banquet to International Gala. This change has been in the works since April 2018, not only in name but also in the size of attendance and the venue.

The gala will be split into three parts over the course of the night, allowing attendees to choose what they would like to attend. The evening will begin with dinner in Brubaker, followed by performances in Parmer Hall and ending with desserts and art exhibits in the High Center.

Tickets will be split up for people who want more options. Buying a ticket for dinner will include a ticket for performances, and a separate combo is available for people who only want to attend performances and the art exhibit. Due to the limited number of tickets available for the dinner portion of the evening, attendees can choose to buy tickets for the performance and exhibit if they’re more interested in the show.

“It’s not just a dinner and a show anymore,” Lydia Tamrat, Public Relations Officer for ISA/MuKappa, said. “It’s bigger and it touches on more areas of culture. We do bring in the art and how culture has evolved at Messiah.”

The addition of the art exhibits this year allows Messiah students, both past and present, to submit work that reflects their understanding of culture.

“As much as ISA/MuKappa is focused on supporting our international students, there’s also a part of our mission that talks about educating and including the majority population here at Messiah,” Ines Yoon, Vice-President of ISA/MuKappa, said. “Really, it’s more about educating this year, with the history and the legacy.”

To reflect the changes that are taking place, the theme for this year’s International Gala is “Celebrating Our Legacy.” In choosing this year’s theme, both the Multicultural Council and ISA/MuKappa took a look at the past.

“We had a Rachel Helen Flowers memorial earlier last semester,” Gloria Igihozo, Chair of the Multicultural Council, said. “They had posters and displays of previous Messiah alum, and most of them were international students that we did not know anything about. Looking at those displays, how can we look at the legacy of what they’ve left and the work they’ve done on campus, but also showcase this to the wider Messiah community so that they are aware of that?”

Tickets will go on sale on April 1, when the Ticket Office in Eisenhower opens. Students who are interested in getting involved with this year’s International Gala can submit artwork, walk in the fashion show and be part of the flag procession. All sign-ups can be found in a recent email from ISA/MuKappa.

For more information and answers to questions, you can contact ISA/MuKappa on their Facebook and Instagram pages.