The New Jersey State Library has chosen the New Brunswick Free Public Library as one of the winning libraries of their Fifth Annual Multicultural Program Award. The library is proud to be recognized with this award since the cultural diversity of the City of New Brunswick is one of the factors that makes it a great place to live. The library tries through its resources and programming to celebrate the different cultures of our community such as Black History Month, Chinese New Year, Cinco de Mayo and Dia De Los Muertos. For more information on library programs, visit https://www.nbfpl.org.
The program submitted was the library's annual Holi Festival, which is organized in conjunction with the Rutgers Indian Graduate Students Association (RIGSA), Rutgers Hindu Students Council, and the South Asian Total Health Initiative (SATHI). Other program sponsors are the New Brunswick Cultural Center, the Indo-American Festivals, Taalim School of Indian Music, and Music Souls. Funding provided in part by Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders, The Folklife Program for New Jersey, New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Dept. of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.
This year the library will celebrate its Ninth Holi Festival on Saturday, April 7. Holi is an exuberant Indian festival of colors usually celebrated in March. The celebration will include Mehndi, children’s activities, and music & dance performances by Rutgers students and Kalyanni Performing Arts Education. In addition, a variety of Indian delicacies will be provided by area restaurants for sampling. Holi color play will take place on the library’s front lawn.
RIGSA has been a supporter of the festival every year since its inception in 2009. RIGSA is dedicated to bringing together the Rutgers desi student community. RIGSA annually celebrates two festivals, Diwali in the Fall and Holi along with the New Brunswick Public Library in the Spring. RIGSA also organizes airport pick ups and arranges for temporary accommodation for incoming graduate students in an attempt to make them feel at home in a new country.
The purpose of the State Library's Multicultural Program Award is to recognize and encourage library programs that increase understanding and promote multiculturalism in New Jersey’s public libraries. The ultimate goal of this award is for libraries to develop long-term partnerships with community organizations that result in sustainable cultural programming.