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The mission of the Ethnic Heritage Council (EHC) is to preserve the unique mix of cultural traditions that enrich our Northwest communities. We particularly value educational programs and projects that benefit children, the general public of the future. We are active in a number of areas: Free Referral Service; Organizing Multicultural Festivals; Umbrella Services for smaller non-profits and Publishing.
Free Referrals: EHC handles more than 2,000 referral requests each year from artists, educators, public and private organizations, and individuals. We place people who need information about any aspect of ethnic culture customs, languages, history, art forms in touch with specialists in the field. Publications: We are currently at work on the 4th edition of the Contact Directory: the 900-listing, 400-page book which is the one comprehensive reference work detailing Washington State's ethnic arts and culture resources, with the Multicultural Resource Guide for Schools as a featured section. Our monthly Calendar of Ethnic Events lists programs, meetings, and special events presented by cultural organizations throughout the Puget Sound area. Free Multicultural Festivals: The Ethnic Heritage Council produces four major public celebrations, with roughly 400,000 total attendees, each year: Cultural Crossroads, a three-day festival held at Bellevue Crossroads Shopping Center, with 40 booths and two performance stages, exhibits, and children's activities; World Music and Dance Festival, at South center Mall, with two days of ethnic entertainment on one main stage as well as cultural information and exhibits; and The 4th of July Naturalization and Swearing-In Ceremony at Seattle Center, a celebration of citizenship in a nation of many cultures which has become the largest daytime Independence Day observance in the region. World Market, at Seattle Center, a November/December bazaar event, with roughly 250,000 attendees and major multicultural performing planned for 2000. Umbrella Services: Through umbrella services for members, the EHC provides organizational backup to many artists who would be unable to present their work to the public without the Council's production support. Recent examples include the two-day Tet in Seattle festival celebrating the Vietnamese lunar new year, Red Eagle Soaring theatre company's Celebration of the First People, and Der Yiddisher Mikado