“It’s becoming an international destination,” Lowe said. 

click to enlarge East Meets West;  A Celebration of Cultural Diversity in OKC met at the B&B Theatre Windsor 10, 1-22-15.  mh
  • East Meets West; A Celebration of Cultural Diversity in OKC met at the B&B Theatre Windsor 10, 1-22-15. mh

Windsor Hills Shopping Center, located at the intersection of NW 23rd Street and N. Meridian Avenue, was built in 1959 as a specialty and local, higher-end retail destination. Retail growth waxed and waned as the communities around it grew and diversified.

“We’ve spent the last 14 years working to revitalize the area,” said Kimberly Lowe, president of Windsor Area Business Group, which operates and manages The Windsor District.

Now, instead of a single shopping center, it’s more of a hub surrounded by everything from eateries and retail stores to a bowling alley.

“It’s becoming an international destination,” Lowe said.

Larry Hopper of the Gold Dome Multicultural Society recently came to Lowe with an idea. Residents and businesses of The Windsor District — spanning from the Capitol to Lake Overholser along 23rd Street — represent cultures that span the globe. Why aren’t they all celebrated?

Together, they organized East Meets West, a five-part series at Windsor Hills Shopping Center.

click to enlarge East Meets West;  A Celebration of Cultural Diversity in OKC meets at the B&B Theatre Windsor 10.  mh
  • East Meets West; A Celebration of Cultural Diversity in OKC meets at the B&B Theatre Windsor 10. mh

Each of the themed events includes a showing of a coinciding episode of the BBC documentary series The Incredible Human Journey. The first was “Out of Africa” in January. March 26 features the episode “Asia,” May 14 features “Europe,” July 23 features “Australia” and “The Americas” screens Sept. 24.

Lowe said the group also shortened the district’s name to The W to emphasize its inhabitants’ global unity.

On March 26, Serena Prammanasudh Greenwell, job developer with Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, will speak about her role helping refugees resettle and reestablish themselves in the city.

Yasuko Hildebrand, a bodhisattva reverend who has dedicated her life to Buddhist tradition, also will speak.

Lowe said that check-in starts at 5:15 p.m., and a social mixer is at 5:30 p.m. with wine and beer and ethnic cuisines made by restaurants in the corridor: Queen of Sheba, Gopuram Taste of India and Smokey’s BBQ & Diner. Food and drink are included in the ticket price.

The Incredible Human Journey episode “Asia” screens at 6:30 p.m., followed by open discussion and guest speaker presentations.

The things people learn about other cultures often impact neighborhoods and communities, Lowe said.

“[At the first event in January,] people were asking such engaging questions,” she said.

The discussion went longer than expected, as guests engaged with cultures and each other.

“That’s the ideal scenario,” Lowe said.

Gold Dome Multicultural Society’s mission is to promote cross-cultural awareness through ethnic celebration and education, according to its website. The W works with the businesses that serve these communities.

Tickets to the March 26 event are $20 each or $30 per pair. Proceeds benefit Gold Dome Multicultural Society and The Windsor District.

Print headline: Worldly wonder, The East Meets West series brings together global cultures for food, drinks, education and fun.

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