Fifth Annual Cross-Cultural Arts Festival at William Paterson University Focuses on South Asian Art and Culture in March and April

Three-week festival of theatre, visual art, music, Indian classical dance and academic discussion is inspired by South Asian culture

The fifth annual William Paterson University Cross-Cultural Arts Festival will celebrate South Asian culture with a series of events on campus in Wayne from March 23 to April 12. In addition to performances of music and Indian classical dance from the diverse cultures of South Asia, the three-week festival includes panel discussions, theatre, films, art exhibitions and a children’s art workshop.

“The Cross-Cultural Arts Festival: South Asia” will emphasize the University’s mission to encourage diversity, community outreach, and multiculturalism. It also seeks to feature the impact of the fine arts, music and cinema in facilitating cross-cultural empathy and developing global connections. All events are open to the public.

Highlights of the festival include a March 22 evening of Indian classical dance and the highly anticipated jazz performance by the Rudresh Mahanthappa Quartet on April 6. For tickets to these performances visit or call the University’s Shea Center Box Office at 973.720.2371. Also included are the art exhibition “Doublebind: Art of the South Asian Diaspora” featuring artists Jaishri Abichandani, Hasan Elahi, Naeem Mohalemen, Yamini Nayar, and Jaret Vadera from March 31 to May 30 and a young person’s art workshop on April 1 for select elementary, middle and high school students. The Ben Shahn Galleries events are free.

A film series will include “Wajma” on April 1, “Transgender: Pakistan’s Open Secret” on April 3, and “Kai Po Che!” on April 9. Throughout the festival, academic panel discussions will be held to reflect on South Asian identities and themes. Faculty members will convene to discuss topics relevant to the history, culture, art and identity throughout South Asia. These panels will feature such topics as “Global Perspectives on Social Justice Education” on March 28, “A Geographic Snapshot of South Asia” on April 1, “Factories, Flames, and Fabrics: Labor Issues in Bangladesh” also on April 1 and “Contemporary South Asian American Writing: A Reading” on April 8. The film series and academic panels are free.

A pre-festival theatre event is planned for March 4 through 9. “A Perfect Ganesh” by Terrence McNally will be staged in the Hunziker Black Box Theatre. For tickets to these performances visit or call the University’s Shea Center Box Office at 973.720.2371.

For information about ticketed events, please visit or call the Shea Center Box Office at 973-720-2371.  For information about the University Galleries, please visit or call 973-720-2654. For general information about the Cross-Cultural Arts Festival, please visit, call 973.720.2231 or email