Mosaic America – Strengthening Communities through Arts
Jul 28, 2017
Mosaic America – Strengthening Communities through Arts

Silicon Valley is among the most culturally diverse areas in the US with no single race or ethnic group making up more than a third of the population.  Even as this trend towards diversity intensifies, there is a decline in social integration.  The melting pot model, which worked for first wave of European immigrants fleeing persecution in search of freedom relied on subjugating and modifying one’s identity to immerse oneself in the culture of the adopted homeland. Recent waves of Silicon Valley immigrants however, came for the economic opportunity, and continue to maintain strong ties with their homeland. Buoyed by numbers, they are able to silo their cultural identities.

The community now consists of adjacent immiscible enclaves that intermingle tolerantly as necessary. The downsides of this sort of existence are a tendency to prioritize hyphenated identities above a national identity, and to forge expedient alliances.

In this talk, Usha Srinivasan, Founder and President of Sangam Arts, discusses a grassroots arts-based approach to strengthening rapidly diversifying communities.