Besides being the safest city in the nation, locating your office in Irvine, California, gives you access to a diverse consumer population with a desire to promote cultural harmony. Irvine’s demographics are almost equally white (45 percent) and Asian (39 percent), but those aren’t the only cultures celebrated in this idyllic Orange County city.
Hispanics, Indian and African American cultures are also represented in Irvine, to name a few. The latest Census reports that a non-English language is spoken in 58 percent of Irvine homes, with more than 70 different languages spoken in residences throughout Irvine. Local factors such as being the home of the University of California, Irvine and several smaller colleges, ample housing and a thriving technology environment (for both startup and existing companies) attract students and workers from all over the world.
To promote understanding between cultures, a group of residents established the city’s first Multicultural Festival in 1998. Since then the free-admission festival has changed names and grown in size to attract over 20,000 attendees. Called the Irvine Global Village Festival, it is now the city’s signature event and includes more than 100 musical, dance, and demonstration performances on five stages. The Festival also features a variety of international cuisine, children’s crafts and activities, cultural and world religions exhibits, and a global marketplace. The event has received many accolades including a 2012 Cultural Diversity Award from the National League of Cities for its role in promoting cultural diversity through a collaborative process with city officials, community leaders and residents.
Local businesses can get involved in a number of ways, such as:
Businesses of all sizes can become a sponsor for the event to help celebrate the day and also to gain recognition for the business. There are several levels and ways to become a sponsor, including sponsoring a Kids Village booth activity.
If your business has cultural entertainment to share you can become part of the performances. You can also sell products or services but they must be cultural in nature.
You and your employees can also join the many volunteers needed to keep the event running smoothly by giving your time and expertise to the event. You can also join the Festival Committee to contribute even more.
The festival’s goal is to eventually be a zero-waste event. Consider donating reusable bags, helping coordinate the recycling program or simply promoting environmentally friendly behavior by encouraging people to take shuttles, walk, or ride their bikes to the event.
Photo Courtesy: Global Village Festival