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Spotlight: FusionFest 2019

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FusionFest 2018. Photo courtesy of FusionFest

FusionFest 2018. Photo courtesy of FusionFest

FusionFest aims to celebrate diversity and spread awareness of the different cultures that make up Central Florida.

The festival takes place in front of the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center in downtown Orlando this weekend.

90.7’s Matthew Peddie talked to FusionFest organizers Terry Olson and Thali Sugisawa about showcasing Orlando’s global roots.

Olson says FusionFest has a unique goal compared to other culture fests he has seen.

“We haven’t really found any that have the focus we do; that’s about, ‘Okay now, we are here together, how are we influencing each other?’ and ‘How does that make us more creative or innovative?’ cause we’ve got this cross-pollination of ideas and thoughts,” Olson said.

“We think we are the crossroads of the world here in Orlando, with 75 million visitors every year.  And we’ve had people from all over settling here. And we’ve had people from the world all over looking at us in the last few years since Pulse, to see how we respond to acts of hate. So we think this is the time and the place to show the world that people with different lifestyles and different ethnicities [and] heritages, can live together in a non-divisive way.”

Sugisawa says that although we may feel that every culture lives in silos, she believes “we can bring everyone together to celebrate not only their heritage, but also diffusion of different cultures and how we become one Central Floridian.”

A repeated phrase though the interview seems to summarize their message: “You can be you here.”

Find more information at the FusionFest website.

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Nicole Darden Creston

About Nicole Darden Creston

All Things Considered Host and Reporter

Nicole came to Central Florida to attend Rollins College and started working for Orlando’s ABC News Radio affiliate shortly after graduation. She joined WMFE in 2010. As a field reporter, news anchor and radio show host in the City Beautiful, she has covered everything from local arts to national elections, from ... Read Full Bio »