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The Salem Multicultural Institute and World Beat Festival® were created to promote an environment of openness for all people. In all our activities, we aim to be family-friendly, economically inclusive, and culturally authentic. We believe that education about and exposure to the traditions of different cultures can help to counter intolerance and enrich the community.

Our vision is that Salem, Oregon be known for its commitment to cultural exchange and enrichment. Our mission is to collaborate with public and private organizations to promote harmony and understanding through innovative and educational cultural programs and activities.

To this end, we believe the key to establishing Salem and Oregon as a culturally rich and welcoming place is through broad-based community involvement. One way we do this is through the annual World Beat Festival ®, which gives an estimated 40,000 Oregonians the opportunity to gain an appreciation for different cultures. More than 70 sponsors, 90 performing and folk art groups, and 300 volunteers take part. We also host a variety of ethnic cultural exhibits and performances throughout the year in our World Beat Gallery and in the Reed Opera House’s Trinity Ballroom.

As a result of strong support from business, civic and cultural leaders, Salem Multicultural Institute and the World Beat Festival ® have gained statewide acclaim and received several awards, including “Best Non-Profit” from readers of Salem Monthly in 2007 and 2008.