Global Cultural Exchanges – Festivals

Visitors watching the 'Festival of Lights' performances at the Seattle Armory in Oct 2019

Festival of Compassion at Seattle's Westlake Plaza

Northwest SHARE has been in the Seattle landscape for roughly two decades conducting various arts, cultural events.  Northwest SHARE offered free food in many of these festivals where Festival organizers permitted free food.  Following is the list of memorable arts and cultural experiences organized by Northwest share in Seattle and throughout state of Washington in partnership with organizations such as Festal, Northwest Folklife, City of Redmond, One Redmond, City of Bellevue, City of Issaquah, and Washington state parks.  

1a. Diwali: Lights of India is a colorful festival that comes under the umbrella of Festal.  This festival is conducted in October of every year.  This festival is free for the public to experience the culture of India through performances, hands on activities, art gallery, kids activities, free vegetarian food to attendees and much more.  Diwali has been successfully celebrated at Seattle Armory in the years 2017,2018, 2019.

1b. Flavors of India: The annual Flavors of India is a free outdoor festival showcasing authentic Indian arts and culture.  Last year's event featured stage performances by Gina Sala, a local favorite with a national reputation, light classical singers from the Caribbean, and budding local artists.  The festival portrayed Indian culture through dioramas and live demos of authentic Indian way of life and offer cuisine from various regions of India. The highlight of the event is a street parade. Over 1200 plates of free food were distributed over a 16-hour period across two days.

1c. NW folklife festival:

Under Northwest folklife take part in the following festivals and events throughout the year:

  • Our Big Neighborhood
  • Moving around the world: Winter
  • Moving around the world: Spring
  • Global play ground : Summer
  • Seattle children's festival : Fall
  • Northwest folklife festival : Memorial day weekend

1d. Children festivals: Interactive booths.  Northwest share has interactive booths doing hands on activities like mixing your own Indian spices and take home for free, decorating cookies, making garlands, flower mandala, henna, milking cow, balancing pot on the head and walk, make your own aromatherapy oils, making Rotis, Palmistry, Ayurvedic cooking demos, herbal tea, rangoli, textile printing workshops, Indian puppetry shows and workshops, Madubani art gallery and workshop and many such activities showcasing the art, traditions, culture and heritage of incredible India. All these are free for kids and all age groups. Family friendly. 

1e. Festival of compassion:  This festival showcases the cause of the homeless in greater Seattle and King County area.  Northwest SHARE conducted three festivals – one in 2018 and two in 2019.  These festivals bridge the gaps between races, bring about a dialogue between the homeless and general population, connect donors with recipients and establish ongoing dialogue on the topic of homelessness.  focus is on low-income workers in the service industry, gig-economy workers, people on street with compromised immune systems, pregnant women, foreign workers with limited English language proficiency, African American, Latino, and migrant workers, and finally individuals with disabilities.  We bring international groups to perform at the compassion festival.  The event is free to the public. Northwest SHARE gives a lot of importance to arts and culture in all our festivals, events and offerings. Diverse ethnic food is a part of our culture too.


1f. VegFest 2019, Redmond, WA: The pioneering 2019 event organized by Northwest SHARE and attended by roughly 9,500 people on the eastside where we promoted healthy living through vegetarianism and veganism.  Over 30 local farmers and businesses have been invited to participate and showcase their crop growth, herbal medicine, holistic living techniques.  Festival was free of charge with free entry and offered free food.  While some commercial vendors charged for their food, as organizers we served out over 900 plates of free hot delicious food to those with need. 

1g. Seattle’s University-District Street Fair: 2005, 2006,2007,2008,2009,2010. Attended by roughly 50,000 people.  Northwest SHARE showcased various arts forms and served more than 500 plates of delicious and nutritious vegetarian food to the needy.

1h. Seattle’s Freemont Fair: Date: 2013, 2014, 2015,2016, 2017, and 2018. Attended by roughly 80,000 people.  Northwest SHARE showcased various arts forms and served more than 800 plates of delicious and nutritious vegetarian food to the needy.

1i Bellevue Street Fair: Date: 2014, 2015,2016, 2017, and 2018, Attended by roughly 100,000 people.  Northwest SHARE showcased various arts forms and served more than 400 plates of delicious and nutritious vegetarian food to the needy.

1j. Seattle Hempfest: Date: 2004, 2005, 2006,2007,2008.  Attended by roughly 150,000 people.  Northwest SHARE showcased various arts forms and served more than 1000 plates of delicious and nutritious vegetarian food to the needy.

1k. My Sweet Lord Free Vegetarian Restaurant: in Seattle’s University-District was operational from years 2000 to 2015 when the focus shifted to mobile ‘meals-on-wheels’ Food Truck.  This restaurant operated 5 days a week with daily food distribution ranging from 100 -200 plates based on seasonality.  By moving to a Free Vegetarian Food Truck, Northwest SHARE saved over $18,000 on restaurant rental.

Pictures from Festival of Compassion - Seattle's Westlake Park

Key Themes of Diwali 2020 at Seattle's Armory (near Space Needle)