INDIANAPOLIS — This weekend culture and creativity will be celebrated at Lawrence North High School.
"The goal of Culture Punch is to bring the community together through the power of the arts to showcase everyone and their talents and build the human family," Najah Tai said.
Tai and Brittny Williams are co-creators for the event that will bring together a variety of local artists and organizations from different backgrounds.
"We're bringing two high schools together, two communities together to produce a show. When you're creating with someone, you start seeing how these people operate and then you realize it's similar to yourself," Williams said. "When you're experiencing things with people you start wanting to know more about people and that fosters understanding which fosters unity."
Two of the groups performing will be the Lawrence North High School dance team and the Herron High School ballet. The performance runs from 6-10 p.m. at the Lawrence North High School auditorium.
"I think dancing & music is something that brings people together from all backgrounds and different political ideas and religious backgrounds," Chaevon Latham, Lawrence North High School Dance Director, said. "Dance and music can bring you together, any way you express yourself through the arts should be celebrated."
Latham is working with 130 students from two teams for the event.
"I hope it makes them want to get up and dance with us, get up and have fun, get up and enjoy life because I think that's what this is all about," dancer Ceniya Jones said.
Mrs. Indiana 2020, Justus Kelley, also has a special role in the performance. She says she was called to be a part of Culture Punch because of what it stands for, bringing people together and lifting each other up.
"There is so much beauty in difference, in the things that you can learn from other cultures, from other backgrounds, I would say lean into that. Come to the production and be exposed to an amazing evening of culture and celebration of culture," Kelley said.
Williams and Tai recognize the last year and a half has been difficult for so many. They hope their event is more than just a night of fun, but also a step towards bringing the community together.
"Especially right now in the climate politically and everything else there's a lot of division happening right now. We wanted to bring a production and project together to showcase everyone and bring us all together and create together," Tai said.
Tai and Williams hope to make this an annual event. Every year, two to four schools in Indiana will be selected to collaborate with the goal to mix cultures and give back to the arts. All of the proceeds from the event will be divided amongst the participating organizations to support their fine arts departments.