Tennessee Technological University’s annual Window on the World (WOW) festival will fill the campus with all things international Friday, April 8 through Saturday, April 9.
WOW is an international two-day festival and symposium that represents world cultures with food, crafts, music and exhibits. This will be Tech’s 18th year participating in the festival that celebrates cultural diversity and global harmony. The event brings in, on average, 2,000 to 4,000 people every year.
WOW starts with a symposium to discuss issues pertaining to the world as a whole. This year the symposium will be Friday, April 8 and will be held in Johnson Hall Auditorium at 10:10 a.m.
As last year’s theme was “solutions for a sustainable world,” this year the theme is “global issues in health care.” The symposium will be moderated by Economics Finance and Marketing professor Ferdinand Difurio and will have a list of guest panelists from the community.
After the symposium Friday April 8, the festival begins. It will extend from the Roaden University Center through Centennial Plaza and into Derryberry Hall. The festival features food, crafts, cultural exhibits and music from 73 nations around the world.
The festival kicks off with the presentation of the Mandala Award. The Mandala Award is given to someone in the Upper Cumberland area whose recognition of the world as one – a circle of humanity – has led to international activism and friendship. According to Melissa Creek, WOW coordinator, this year’s winner is Peggy Semmes; a Court Appointed Special Advocate.
“It is going to be a great event,” said Creek. “We have a lot of interesting performances happening on three stages (Derryberry Auditorium, Tech Pride Room and Multipurpose Room). We have some new food vendors that will be offering a variety of foods along with past food vendors that WOW regulars know and love. The Children’s Craft Area will have international crafts that children can make while learning about different cultures around the world. There is definitely something for everyone at WOW.”
Events at the WOW festival include Irish Step Dancers, Appalachian music and authentic food from Syria, Venezuela and Egypt. This is just a fraction of all the international exhibits featured at the festival.
For younger children, the festival has “Hands Around the World,” which is a craft space located on the third floor of the RUC. There will be 10 free crafts tied to different cultures that children can make.
The event is a CenterStage sponsored event by the Globalization Committee of the TTU College of Business The event is free and open to the public.