Emerge in the West
VenueNicholson Street, Footscray.
LocationMelbourne, VIC 3011 Australia
Presented by Multicultural Arts Victoria in partnership with Maribyrnong City Council Festival City Program, Emerge in the West is back in 2016 bringing Footscray’s Nicholson Street alive on Saturday 4 June from 1pm-6pm with some of the West’s top emerging talent in music, art, fashion, dance and spoken word across three stages, an expanded craft market and special offers from the local traders for the day.
Powerful Aboriginal didgeridoo collaborators with African Star Dance & Drumming, alongside Hakka by Te Whare Tutaua O Te Hononga Ki Wikitoria will open the 2016 Festival. On Nicholson Street, the main stage this year will feature a new Majestic Vietnamese band and dance group, the Abyei Sudanese Band, afro beats by Alárìíyá, the Eritrean Snit Band, reggae and roots by Rasta Unity, dynamic percussion and dance by Asanti Dance Theatre, and an impressive closing act featuring Melbourne’s inimitable Ethio-jazz maestros JAzmaris alongside Nhatty Man and his new band Gara, with Seble Girma and the iconic Bitsat Seyoum.
The main stage acts will alternate with the street’s second stage featuring an Afro Chic Fashion Show, Kids’ traditional African dance performance, Ba’hil Ethiopian traditional dance and workshops, and new talent in “All You Can Spit” Youth MC Project. In addition to these interactive performances and dance workshops, the street will be filled with art and craft stalls offering a range of craft activities, kids’ tribal jewellery workshops and face painting for kids. This year audiences are also invited to win a trophy in a pool (billiards) competition at Welwalo Café.
Art and craft experiences will continue inside Victoria University’s iconic MetroWest venue that is located in the middle of Nicholson Street. VU at MetroWest will host weaving demonstrations from 1pm to 5pm by PNG Bilum artist Vicki Kinnai, a textile exhibition, a special afternoon of spoken word and jazz with local musicians, Soreti Kadir and “Words on the West” poets, a pop up shop of local fashion, jewellery and accessories in an Afro Chic Boutique coordinated by Vissolela Ndenzako, and a Winter Craft Market of handmade treasures by “Creating a Welcome” program by Anna Branford. Every item has been made by a creator keen to use crafty skills to support those seeking asylum in Australia and includes knitted and crocheted winter woollies, soft toys and dolls, prints, jewellery and much more, with every cent raised to be donated to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.
Building on insights and new traders in Footscray, AASBA representative Berhan Jabar will lead two guided Cultural Walking Tours to the local traders spanning rare textiles, unique Ethiopian pool (billiards), original African hair art and popular local Eritrean/Ethiopian restaurants and more.
This annual ‘Emerge’ event is an outcome of MAV’s Community Cultural Development (CCD) program which aims to empower and create connections for artists and communities from refugee backgrounds. Produced by Multicultural Arts Victoria in partnership with local governments, Emerge Festival is presented annually in different locations around Victoria to celebrate and acknowledge the important contributions of local newly arrived refugee and emerging multicultural communities. Emerge in the West is supported by Creative Victoria, City of Maribyrnong, AASBA, VU at MetroWest and FABA.