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DeltaFusion Festival a Huge Success

Jul 7, 2011


DeltaFusion puppetAfter two and a half years of planning, an idea that has been pursued by Theatre Arts chair Cathie McClellan and Visual Arts professor Brett DeBoer came to fruition with the first ever DeltaFusion festival, which took place Saturday, July 23. DeltaFusion was an event created to celebrate the immigrants who gave Stockton its rich cultural diversity. DeltaFusion combined displays of visual and theater arts with music, creating a pageant of larger-than-life puppets.

Community Collaboration

In June, a series of workshops were offered to local teachers and other interested leaders to teach them about the history of Stockton as well as the basics of puppet making. In July, members of the community were invited to attend larger workshops where the finishing touches were put on the puppets, and practices were held to help participants learn to maneuver and perform with these giant works of art.

Faculty from the Visual Arts and Theater Arts departments along with Pacific students joined with the Haggin Museum, the Cultural Heritage Council of San Joaquin County, students and faculty from Delta College, local artists, and other community members to collaborate on the parade and pageant that took place at Victory Park in Stockton. Dr. Joanna Albala, Director of Research Initiatives & Strategic Partnerships for the College of the Pacific was instrumental in supporting the project, which was partially funded through a National Endowment for the Arts grant.

DeltaFusion puppetmaking

Community members of all ages joined to help build and decorate the large puppets.

A Colorful Celebration of Cultural Diversity

The parade and pageant aimed to show off the unique qualities of different cultures and celebrate the effect that this cultural fusion has had in making Stockton the place it is today, and it did so beautifully. As Pacific and community members of all ages gathered together, wearing masks of every shape and color and carrying just as colorful and creative puppets, live musicians accompanied the festivities and other activities helped add to the fun atmosphere of the event. For the 1000+ in attendance, it was a day of true fusion of culture and community. 

Professor McClellan, who conceived and initiated the DeltaFusion project, has already started planning for a fundraising campaign to prepare for the next DeltaFusion event in summer 2012.

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