Anne Huang / Executive Director, World Arts West

Dear World Arts West Community,

Thirty years ago, I stepped into my first folkloric dance class, with Ms. Blanche Brown, at Third Wave in San Francisco. I was immediately moved by the live drumming, the beauty of the songs, the spiritual groundedness, the celebration of cultural heritage, and the sense of community. This led me to a wondrous journey of the diverse culturally-based dance classes in the Bay Area and beyond, volunteering for the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival, and attending many Festivals over the years. Over the last three decades, I have watched the blossoming of our multicultural, intergenerational dance communities, and how they serve as a crucial anchor for so many of us. 

Two years ago, I was appointed the first person of color and Ethnic Dance Festival artist to lead World Arts West. Since then, we’ve been steadily building a majority BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and cultural-artist centered team. For the first time in 43 years, the WAW board and staff reflect the diversity of the WAW artist community. I am so honored to lead World Arts West in this new era, where we are centering equity and voices of cultural artists in everything we do.  

While the 2020 Festival was cancelled due to the pandemic, World Arts West was far from dormant. We launched online programs, such as  our Living Traditions conversation series, and expanded our Artist Service Program at a critical time to support and financially sustain the creative work of our community.   

Artists are fueled by creating and being in community with one another. It’s gratifying to provide a new platform for artists to do that through film. I’ve been so moved by the way the artists have shown up for each other through this very challenging time. I’ve witnessed this care through the production of our film, even among our team, many of whom are artists themselves.

As we plan for a bright future for World Arts West, we will continue to center the voices of cultural artists, empower artists to present their traditions in evolutionary and revolutionary new artworks, and uplift underrepresented voices and stories. 

Come and be a part of this new journey of World Arts West and celebrate the 2021 San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival Film with us!!! 


Anne Huang, Executive Director

Dance and Music Origins

Our Festival film represents hundreds of Northern California artists presenting dance and music from all over the world

Festival Family Viewing Guide

Our first-ever Festival Family Viewing Guide!
Click on the image below to view and/or download the guide.

Festival T-shirt

For our Festival Film, designer Aaron Sencil created an original mandala, a geometrical configuration of symbols, to represent a gathering of our community — people, artists, and cultures from around the world. He wanted to show the beautiful and special unification of cultures that come together in the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival, inspired by motifs and symbolism through each unique circle.

Each ring represents one of the traditions in the Festival Film. Starting from the outer ring:

– Boot ridges to represent the stomping and body percussion of Molodi
– Overlapping circles to represent the hoop dance by Native American dancer Eddie Madril
– Dominos, specifically including the double nine, to represent Cuban duet Denmis Bain Savigne + Angel Yoel Mulen-Robert
– Hawaiian tapa print motifs to represent Hālau o Keikiali’i
– Strings tied in a knot to represent the strings that are pulled to tune the djun djun drums of Lahydi Dance Collective
– Textile pattern that can be found in Indian fabrics to represent Mythili Kumar
– Floral design found in the fans of the Mexican folkloric dancers of Ensambles Ballet Folklórico de San Francisco
– California poppy to represent our home and new life

Bella + Canvas, Unisex sizing, 100% Airlume combed and ringspun cotton. * Product colors and design may vary depending on your viewing device and print. San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival T-Shirts will be shipped to your billing address in October.

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The mission of World Arts West is to support local artists sustaining diverse world dance and music traditions by providing needed services and performance opportunities, while deepening the public's support of and engagement with these inspiring culture bearers.