We enjoyed a lovely dinner last night with our children and James’ parents, who share our penchant for Italian fare despite extensive world travels.
My only experience with Japanese food was during graduate school, when I had a roomate who often shared family recipes featuring Japanese flair.
It’s unlikely I’ll ever be able to duplicate them — but I’m always on the lookout for opportunities to explore the culture of Japan and other countries.
So I’m excited about today’s (Sept. 5) noon to 5 p.m. “Passport to Japan: Grandparents Day” event at the Arizona Museum for Youth in Mesa.
Admission to museum exhibits, including “Jump to Japan,” is free today (Sept 5) — and museum visitors can explore a wealth of Japanese art and culture. Think kimonos and origami. Swordsmanship and cuisine. Calligraphy and storytelling.
Here’s a look ahead to other multicultural events and experiences coming to the Valley and other parts of Arizona…
Calo Flamenco CUADRO at Chandler Center for the Performing Arts. Sept 19 (3pm; free). Features music and dance following traditional themes and elements of this folk art form. www.caloflamenco.com.
The Power of You at ASU Kerr Cultural Center in Scottsdale. Oct 2 (5-9pm; free). Features a thematic dance performance in the Indian classical style of Bharata Natyam by Stage Sanchar (presented by Arizona South Asians for Safe Families). www.asukerr.com.
Japanese Folk Dance at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Phoenix. Nov 15 (1pm; free with admission). Features Japanese music and folk dance. www.japanesefriendshipgarden.org.
Celtic Harvest Festival at Tequa Plaza in Oak Creek (near Sedona). Sept 24 & 25 (hours; ticket prices vary). Features art workshops and demonstrations, music and dancing, children’s activities, and vendors selling items from Ireland, Scotland and Wales. www.celticharvestfestival.com.
Celebraciones de la Gente at the Museum of Northern Arizona. Oct 24 & 25 (9am-5pm; free with museum admission of $4 to $7). Features opportunity to learn about the traditions and culture of people from Mexico and Latin America. www.musnaz.org.
The Arizona Irish Festival at Margaret T. Hance Park in Phoenix. Oct 31 (10am-8pm; free). Features Celtic music and dance, along with kids’ activities. www.festival.azirish.org.
Jump to Japan: Discovering Culture Through Popular Art at the Arizona Museum for Youth in Mesa. Through Oct 10 (times vary; $6.50/ages 1 & up). Features both traditional art forms and pop icons in a fun and educational exhibit. www.arizonamuseumforyouth.com.
Community Second Sunday at the Heard Museum (Phoenix and Scottsdale). Sept 12 (11am-5pm; free for Arizona residents). Features free admission to all exhibits at both Heard Museum locations (presented by Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa). www.heard.org.
Spirit of Nature at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix. Sept 25 (7pm; $25-$30). Features acclaimed Chinese flutist Chen Tao and ‘mistress of the pipa’ Gao Hong. www.themim.org.
A Mexican Celebration at the University of Arizona Music Building (Chowder Hall) in Tucson. Sept 25 (7:30pm; $9/general admission). www.cfa.arizona.edu/music.
Pops Adventures Around the World at Phoenix Symphony Hall. Oct 1-3 (times vary; $18-$83). Features Phoenix Symphony conducted by Jack Everly performing music from Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Italy. www.phoenixsymphony.org.
Doc Severinsen & El Ritmo de la Vida at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. Oct 14 (7:30pm; $49-$59). Features trio performing Latino music, along with the blues, played in a European style. www.sccarts.org.
Multilingual Reading at the University of Arizona Poetry Center in Tucson. Sept 10 (8pm; free). Poets Sherwin Bitsui, Alberto Rios, Natalia Toldeo and Ofelia Zepeda read from their work. Features a chainlink of translations in Zapotec, Spanish, Tohono O’odham and Navajo. www.poetrycenter.arizona.edu.
Kimono Evolution: The Japanese Character of Silk at the Phoenix Art Museum. Sept 8 (12:30pm; free with admission). Features rare opportunity to view exquisite objects from a private collection not previously displayed publicly (presented by members of the Japanese Culture Club of Arizona). www.phxart.org.
La Phoeniquera art exhibit at the Arizona Latino Arts & Culture Center in Phoenix. Through Oct 29. Features an examination of urban Phoenix by Latino artists who are experiencing the cultural changes firsthand. www.alacaz.org.
I’m always looking — so please share what you’ve found on the multicultural front in Arizona arts and culture in the comment section below.
Note: Many of the venues/organizations noted above offer additional multicultural fare, so please visit their websites to learn more.
Coming up: Trumpet tales, Art & animals, Poetry perspectives, Making magic in Tucson