Culture Nights Celebrate the Richness of APS School Communities

Several APS elementary schools periodically bring their school communities together at cultural nights which celebrate the richness and diversity among their members. Two schools held these events in November. The Brackett Culture and Creativity Night was held on November 3, and the goal of the evening was to be as inclusive as possible in representing how individuals define their cultural identity, whether it is by language or origin, abilities, family structure, or ethnicity, for example. This is the fourth year that the Brackett community has gathered in this way.

At some of the display tables, attendees were able to explore the history and culture of a variety of countries including El Salvador, Germany, Turkey, Serbia, South Korea. One table focused on the Basque culture of Spain. Another illustrated the LGBTQ+ culture. Former Brackett students (now at Ottoson) returned to share basic French and Spanish words. A Brackett fifth grade student was on hand to paint henna tattoos. Mandarin teachers from the middle and high schools came to demonstrate how to paint Chinese characters. 

Food is always a highlight of the Culture and Creativity Night and this year was no exception. Attendees were able to sample the cuisine of El Salvador, Turkey, Spain, South Korea, Guatemala, and India. The food of Louisiana was on hand as well with the return of last year’s popular New Orleans table that offered hot sauce tasting.

The Dallin community celebrated its diversity during its fourth Family Culture Night held on Saturday, November 5. This wonderful event featured food, international display tables, crafts, cultural costumes, and performances that left attendees proud and excited about the number of different cultures among the school’s families.


Food from nearly 30 different countries and cultures prepared by Dallin families offered the taste of Europe, Asia, Central and South America, and Africa. Peruvian empanadas, Polish paczki, Norwegian krumkake, Armenian ghapama, Nigerian rice, French crepes, and Moroccan sweets were just some of the delicacies on offer. 


Attendees found cultural displays and crafts in the gym. Poster displays and artifacts told the story of the nation or culture of the hosts. Nicaragua, Argentina, Pakistan, Scotland, Poland, Venezuela, and Nigeria were among the countries represented here. Attendees were also able to decorate tealight candles to represent Diwali, make Greek bracelets, play a guessing game about Ireland, learn Taekwondo moves, and have their faces painted with country flags. Over a dozen children and family members modeled traditional clothing. 


Three wonderful performances by Dallin students added music and joy to the evening. One recent Dallin alum played the Ukrainian national anthem on the piano, a trio of third-grade girls performed a dance set to a popular Indian Bollywood song, and three generations of a family performed Venezuelan songs together. Additionally, the library had a display of diverse books and a world map in the hall recorded the many nations that make up the cultural heritage of Dallin families.


Coming together to learn more about each other and celebrate similarities and differences is one of the many ways APS elementary schools build community. The enthusiasm of the volunteers who organize the evenings, and that of all those who participate by sharing their culture or attending, makes the events very special and something that the families look forward to year after year.