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NORTHRIDGE : CSUN, Activists Plan 1st Heritage Festival

August 05, 1993|JILL LEOVY

A group of San Fernando Valley activists and Cal State Northridge officials are planning the area's first Heritage Festival for next year, touting it as a three-day celebration of the Valley's new ethnic and cultural diversity.

Dick Hardman, a local insurance broker and president of the newly incorporated nonprofit Valley Heritage Fair Inc., said he is laying the groundwork for a three-day fair on the grounds of the university featuring food booths, concerts and games.

Hardman, a longtime Valley resident, said he began to notice the extent to which Valley demographics had changed by noting the changes in the surnames of homeowners insured through his business.

Immigrants, he said, "need to get amalgamated so they can feel comfortable and we feel comfortable."

CSUN will provide the use of its campus free of charge for the festival, said Ron Kopita, vice president of student affairs and a member of the fair's board of directors.

"The world is smaller. In Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, the makeup of people has changed dramatically. We need to recognize and celebrate it," Kopita said.

Proceeds from the fair will go to scholarships and community awards that promote tolerance for other cultures, Hardman said. The public is invited to participate in a planning meeting at 7 p.m. today in the Pieza de Selis room of Cal State Northridge's Satellite Student Union, on the corner of Zelzah Avenue and Lassen Street.

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