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Our First Pillar: Cultural Celebration

The Greater Gainesville International Center's mission is supported by four main pillars: Cultural Celebration, Education and Outreach, Economic Empowerment and Direct Services. Today, I will share with you our efforts surrounding our first pillar, cultural celebration.

The Greater Gainesville area is rich with a diverse gathering of families from around the world. When they settle here and call Gainesville home, they bring with them their history, culture, lived experiences and aspirations. It is our goal to provide the spaces, both in-person and virtually, that will allow these incredible friends share their gifts with our entire community. To that end, GGIC hosts events that showcase a taste of home (food), music and authentic storytelling.

Food is the one thing that we all have in common. We all have our favorites. The comfort foods, the foods that remind us of home, the foods that opened new and exciting horizons when we travelled to a far-away land or just a hidden gem a county away. Today more than ever, we are seeing culinary cultural collisions resulting in amazing new flavors, textures and smells. From Viet-Cajun to Korean tacos to Japanese-Brazilian, staid notions of food have given way to new explorations rooted in tradition but with a driven verve for adventure.

GGIC will be hosting a series of events that highlight our local culinary savants. These lively mixers will be hosted at various venues around town and be open to all. The next opportunity is our Caribbean Summer event on July 21st from 5-8 at How Bazar in Downtown Gainesville.

Music is the universal language. It is how humans communicated before we invented spoken language. It is how we convey deep emotion, from sadness to joy, suffering to elation, heartbreak to newfound love. We will be hosting a series of local events featuring local artists, sharing their musical heritage. These events will be intimate and engaging, and sure to expand your love of all that is drummed, plucked, strummed, blown or sung. We will also be partnering with local DJ Jeremiah Ludicrous (@jeremiahludicrous) to put our curated seasonal playlists on Spotify. Search for Greater Gainesville International Center to get the playlist and DM us @g_g_i_c_ to suggest additions!

We all have our stories. They may be simple and sweet or complex and traumatic. All of our stories have value and we can all learn from one another's lived experiences. To open this window into the immigrant experience, we will be hosting a series of intimate storytelling events, as well as publishing monthly blog entries showcasing these stories. Be prepared to laugh, cry, be inspired and be outraged, likely all in the same evening.

Check back frequently to our website for the latest updates on these cultural events and more. We are always adding new events and most will be free and open to the public. And if you or someone you know would like to contribute to one of our cultural celebrations, please reach out at

We can not do any of this without you generous support, so if you would like to see more of this type of activity from GGIC, please consider making a donation today!

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