Home Entertainment International Festival returns to Overture Center

International Festival returns to Overture Center


After a one-year hiatus due to COVID-19, Overture Center the Arts’ daylong celebration of worldwide culture returns to downtown Madison on Saturday, March 19, with an additional virtual element this year.

Artists representing 31 nations and cultures will perform at the 41st annual festival.

Flamenco dancer Tania Tandias has been performing at the festival since the late 1990s.

“I think it’s great for people to see the diversity of all the inhabitants of Madison. Sometimes you’re not able to explore those on your own. You might not have friendships or people in the workplace from these different countries. So this is a way that everybody can come together and really celebrate the diversity that we have. It’s actually, for a city of this size, it’s an incredible amount of diversity here,” said Tandias, founder of the school and company Tania Tandias Flamenco and Spanish Dance. “And especially in this time, when there’s a lot of divisiveness, I think it’s wonderful to have events like this … I think it really brings people together, which is great in a time like this too, when we’ve had COVID and people are feeling isolated and anxious.”

The 2020 festival took place just before the pandemic set in, and last year’s event was virtual, with recorded performances available online. That element will stay as an additional way to take in performances, said organizer Karra Beach, which will allow more schools and families to take part.

Photo by Fatoumata Ceesay.

“That’s something that we probably would continue from here on out because schools have really been able to engage with it,” Beach said. “With the festival being on a Saturday, we’re never able to get school groups in. And the performers often can’t do a school day. So it’s hard to figure that out and coordinate it. But this virtual option has been a really great discovery that we never would’ve thought of, had COVID not happened.”

Beach said prerecorded virtual performances will be available at the event’s website, and live performances will be streamed on the center’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

Photo by Fatoumata Ceesay.

Overture Center will still practice caution, requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test, as well as face coverings. Additionally, two of the venues normally used for the festival will remain empty in order to spread out the performances and avoid people clustering in hallways.

The schedule will be published soon. The full list of performers and vendors is below.

Atimevu Ghana
Black Star Drum Line w/Dynamic Badgerettes African American Culture
Boliviamanta Bolivia
Breckenridge School of Highland Dance Scotland
Charanga Agozá Latinx/Cuba
Cris Plata Trio Mexican/American with European influences
DanzTrad Mexico/Mexican
Beni Daiko Japan
Last Gaspe (VIRTUAL) Ireland/Canada/New England
Leslie Damaso with Mr. Chair (VIRTUAL) Filipino American
Limanya Drum & Dance Ensemble Guinea, West Africa
LuLu Quintet French and Romany
Mad Craig Irish Dance Ireland
Madison Chinese Culture Association Chinese
Madison Japanes Taiko gorup Beni Daiko Japan
Madison Männerchor German
Madison Pipes and Drums Scottish
Mai Zong Vue and Mason Her Hmong music
Meenakshi Ganesan and the Kalaanjali Dance Company Classical Indian Dance
Mesoghios Dance Troupe Greek
Raízes do Brasil Capoeira Madison (VIRTUAL) Afro-Brazilian
Sadira Middle Eastern dance Middle East/Egypt
Sergio Cuba
Tania Tandias Flamenco & Spanish Dance Spain
The Handphibians Afro-Brazilian
The Taiwan Puppet Troupe Taiwanese
Tri Bratovchedki Balkan/Eastern European
UW Russian Folk Orchestra Russia & Eastern Europe
Yid Vicious Yiddish
Zhong Yi Kung Fu Association Chinese
Žaibas Lithuanian Dancers Lithuanian
Wisconsin Dells Singers & Dance Troupe Native American
Madison Vilnius Sister Cities, Inc. Lithuania
Inti Fair Trade Ecuadorian
Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of WI – Madison various developing countries
Knitting for Peace Syria and Iraq
Madison-Rafah Sister City Project Palestinian
Palestine Partners Palestine
Hope Institute of Uganda Ugandan
Hope Institute of Uganda Dba Jinja Fair Trade Gift Shop Uganda
Madison Arcatao Sister City Project El Salvador
Otavalo Ecuador
Madison-Mantova Sister Cities Italy
Madame Chu Delicacies Southeast Asian – Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia
Madison Area Chinese Community Organization Chinese
Toast Israeli
Italian Workmen’s Club Italian
Spice Yatra Indian
Rolling Pin Bake Shop Russian


  • Promenade Hall, Level II

10 AM – 4:30 PM| Mark your cultural heritage and current home on the magnetic maps.

  • Promenade Lounge, Level II

11:30 AM – 5 PM | Explore new cultures with student ambassadors from UW-Madison International Reach.