Miller Multicultural Family Festival Celebrates Diversity

miller multicultural
Photo By Ross Benson

The Joaquin Miller Elementary School PTA hosted a Multicultural Family Festival on Friday evening, October 19, at the school’s Copeland Courtyard. Approximately 300 people attended the event, many bringing dishes to share for a school-wide potluck.

“With over 20 languages spoken in addition to English [in the school population], the audience was treated to a diverse multicultural program that included homemade ethnic foods donated by our families and local businesses and musical and dance performances,” said Principal Judy Hession.

Photo By Ross Benson


The Miller Elementary student chorus sang and Miller students Karine Hukikyan and Dvin Boghosian performed an Armernian dance. Thai dance and Thai long drums were shared by Giong-Yao Wat Thai of Los Angeles. The Xipe Totec Aztec Dance Company were joined by the school’s Spanish Community Liaison Estela Sermeno for their performance.

School parent Alla Ter-Vartanyan performed Armenian folk music on the Kanon stringed instrument. Audiences also heard an Armenian solo song performance and Armenian Dhol (drum) and Duduk (double reed woodwind instrument) by three students from Sonata Music, a local music program.

Photo By Ross Benson

Mexican folk dances by Ballet Folklorico San Fernando led by Nora Villarreal were performed in addition to Armenian folk dances from Lilia Dance Studio with Miller student Celine Najarian and Korean traditional drums and music by Hwarang Youth Foundation.

“Miller Elementary PTA’s hope was that this Multicultural Family Festival would bring our school community together while celebrating the diversity of cultures found at Miller,” commented PTA President Claudia Knoell.

“Thanks to the Multicultural Family Festival chairperson Katharine Moser and parent volunteers, and the overwhelming support of our school administrators and teachers, Miller Elementary had an evening of family engagement and inclusiveness that our families won’t soon forget.”

Photo By Ross Benson

City council member Bob Frutos, City Treasurer Debbie Kutka, Burbank Unified Board of Education Vice President Dr. Armond Aghakhanian and Board of Education member Steve Fritner also attended the event.

“It was a night to celebrate our diversity and how this enriches all of our lives!” said Hession.