Little Rock, Ark. (Jan. 24, 2012) -- The International Village at Riverfest is expanding to become part of a free Family Zone, organizers announced today. The International Village is an ongoing partnership between Riverfest and two global non-profit organizations: the William J. Clinton Foundation and Heifer International.
Created in 2005 to educate festival-goers about different cultures and ethnicities through arts and music, the theme of International Village is "Festivals of the World," highlighting Brazil, Germany, the United States, Japan, Spain and Mexico.
"The mission of Riverfest is to produce a quality, recreational, cultural, educational, family-oriented celebration of the visual and performing arts for the benefit of the community," said Riverfest Executive Director DeAnna Korte. "Expansion of the International Village and the addition of the Family Zone is a reflection of this emphasis, as well as Riverfest's continued partnership with the Clinton Foundation and Heifer International."
International Village activities will begin Friday, May 25, and run through Sunday, May 27, 2012, and will be part of a new "Family Zone" that will include the Family Stage, the Great Arkansas Talent Search, interactive activities and much more. The Family Zone will be free to the public and not within the gated portion of Riverfest. The area will be open Saturday, May 26, from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and on Sunday, May 27, from 1-7 p.m. Regular admission fees apply to enter the gated perimeter of Riverfest. Activities will kick-off with a Student Day Friday, May 25 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. hosted by the Clinton Foundation. Schools from across the state will be invited to participate in a cultural fair with educational projects focusing on the theme. School groups will also receive free admission to the Clinton Presidential Center and tours of Heifer Village. Each student participating on Friday will receive a free 3-day ticket to Riverfest.
"This marks the fourth year that the Clinton Center has enjoyed a partnership with Riverfest, and we are proud to be expanding that partnership this year to include International Village," said Stephanie S. Streett, executive director of the William J. Clinton Foundation, also a co-sponsor. "International Village is a wonderful opportunity for children and families to be a part of the Riverfest weekend, but more importantly, International Village is an opportunity to broaden children's perspective of our global community."
In order to make the celebration as accessible and family-friendly as possible, the festivities will take place on the east side of the Clinton Center and the grassy lawn of Heifer International. Arts, crafts, interactive activities, music and dance are among the attractions. At Heifer Village, students can play with hands-on exhibits while learning about different living conditions around the world and solutions to hunger and poverty.
"We think it's a natural fit for Heifer International to co-host Riverfest International Village on the grounds of Heifer Village and our eco-friendly headquarters," said Pierre Ferrari, president and CEO of Heifer International, a co-sponsor of the event. "It's important to teach young people about the wider world, so that they can become thoughtful members of the global community. It's the curiosity and caring of regular families that enables Heifer to fight hunger and poverty around the world, starting right here in Arkansas."
The Clinton Center is not only a reflection of the work - past, present and future - of the 42nd President of the United States, but also an educational and cultural center hosting temporary exhibitions and programs throughout the year. In May, the Center will host "Play Ball! The St. Louis Cardinals" in partnership with the St. Louis organization. School groups can tour the Clinton Center year-round for free by calling (501) 748-0419 for reservations. Bus transportation grants provided by Arkansas Children's Hospital and Bank of America are also available for schools.
A place for learning about solutions to global hunger and poverty, Heifer Village offers an interactive glimpse of Heifer International's innovative work to provide livestock and training to families worldwide. Focused on facilitating sustainable, practical and cost-effective solutions to hunger and poverty, Heifer programs are available throughout the year, furthering Heifer International's mission to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth. School group reservations can be made year-round by calling (501) 907-COWS (2697).
The Clinton Center and Heifer Village will maintain regular business hours during Riverfest. The Clinton Center will offer a special $2 off regular admission Friday, Saturday and Sunday during Riverfest weekend, and Heifer Village is always free to the general public.
Riverfest is a celebration of visual and performing arts that is held annually over Memorial Day weekend on the banks of the Arkansas River in Little Rock and North Little Rock. Riverfest is the largest single event in the state of Arkansas with a rich 35-year tradition. Riverfest, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has been a leader in the redevelopment of downtown Little Rock, donating nearly $1,000,000 to various projects in the riverfront and downtown areas.
About the Clinton Foundation
During his second term as the 42nd president of the United States, President Clinton established the William J. Clinton Foundation with the mission to improve global health, strengthen economies, promote healthier childhoods, and protect the environment by fostering unique partnerships among governments, nongovernmental organizations, and private citizens to turn good intentions into measurable results.
About Heifer International
Heifer's mission is to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth. Since 1944, Heifer International has provided livestock and environmentally sound agricultural training to improve the lives of those who struggle daily for reliable sources of food and income. Heifer is currently working in 40 countries, including the United States, to help families and communities become more self-reliant.