Mesa County Libraries to host virtual Culture Fest 2020

Culture Fest, Mesa County Libraries’ annual celebration of cultural diversity on the Western Slope, happens online this year and features a wide-ranging look at the stories of several immigrants to the region.

Because of pandemic-related precautions, the library is unable to host the traditional in-person Culture Fest celebration this year. That event typically attracts about 2,500 people to the Central Library for a one-day festival that includes music, entertainment, and food.

This year’s virtual Culture Fest will highlight a series of interesting and enlightening video interviews with Mesa County residents from around the world. They will be talking about their homelands, their traditions, and how Mesa County feels like home.

Virtual Culture Fest also will include the popular Culture Fest Art Show in a new format, as well as culturally themed Take-and-Make kits for kids and a series of video introductions to Mango Languages and other cultural resources available at Mesa County Libraries.

New video interviews will debut on the Mesa County Libraries YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram TV pages from November 2020 through February 2021. They will be available for anyone to watch 24/7.

The first video premieres at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4, and features Brunella Gualerzi, owner of il Bistro Italiano in downtown Grand Junction. Gualerzi was born in the small town of Bibbiano in northern Italy and grew up in a traditional family where cooking and making pasta were everyday activities.

Other videos in the series will feature Ana Marte, a native of Puerto Rico who came to Grand Junction after graduating from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagũez, in 2018 and now works for Mesa County Libraries; Fadma Hankar, who speaks three languages and worked as manager of a women’s cooperative in Morocco before coming to the United States four years ago; and Danya Aletebi, a native of Saudi Arabia who migrated to Durango, Colo., in the 1990s and is an accomplished artist. Other scheduled participants are Elvira Ramirez (Mexico), Megan Bissonnette (Canada), Luisa Gil (Venezuela), and Claudie Bertin (France).



A popular part of the library’s traditional Culture Fest celebration is the juried art show, which displays the amazing work of artists from throughout the community.

Online and in-person audiences will be able to enjoy this year’s Culture Fest Art Show, which will be displayed both in the east hallway gallery at the Mesa County Central Library, 443 N. 6th St., and in an online format.

The show will hang in the Central Library from Oct. 23, 2020, through Jan. 7, 2021. The online art gallery and announcement of awards for the show will premiere at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6, on the Mesa County Libraries YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram TV pages.


SCHEDULE OF VIDEO RELEASES (Schedule is subject to change. Please refer to the Event Calendar at for current information. All videos are scheduled for release on Mesa County Libraries’ YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram TV pages.)

  • Culture Fest Art Show – On display at the Central Library from Oct. 23, 2020, through Jan. 7, 2021. Online art show and awards announcement premieres 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6.
  • Video Interview: Brunella Gualerzi (Italy) – 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4.
  • How-To: Mango Languages – Italian – 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 6.
  • Video Interview: Ana Marte (Puerto Rico) – 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16.
  • How-To: Mango Languages – Spanish – 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 20.
  • Video Interview: Fadma Hankar (Morocco) – 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 2.
  • How-To: Mango Languages – Arabic – 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 4.
  • Video Interview: Elvira Ramirez (Mexico) – 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 16.
  • How-To: Kanopy – Cultural films – 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 18.
  • Video Interview: Danya Aletebi (Saudi Arabia) – 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021.
  • How-To: Libby – Multiple languages – 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 8, 2021.
  • Video Interview: Meghan Bissonnette (Canada) – 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021.
  • How-To: Mango Languages – French – 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021.
  • Video Interview: Luisa Gil (Venezuela) – 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021.
  • How-To: Mango Languages – Spanish – 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 5, 2021.
  • Video Interview: Claudie Bertin (France) – 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021.
  • How-To: Mango Languages – French – 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 26, 2021.
Posted in 970West, General, Library News, Programs/Classes.

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