Our History

Our organization has since 1981 celebrated cultural diversity in the Rochester community and provided members and volunteers with opportunities for multicultural education, friendships, and exchange.

RIA ‘s opportunities include a monthly international luncheon event at the Rochester Family Y. Each year we organize and put on the Rochester World Festival that brings together all the international and multicultural groups in the community for a Parade of Nations, Cultural Displays, Ethnic Food Tasting, Children’s Activities, Music, Dance and demonstrations. An artistic cultural ethnic dance and musical talent event is presented on stage, under the direction of a professional artistic director. Volunteer talent from local community groups is auditioned and rehearsed. The final program has been staged in recent years at Century High School Auditorium.

We began in 1980 as the International Center at the Y. In 1982 we incorporated as the non-profit Rochester International Association. At that time, we took on the leadership of continuing the annual Rochester World festival, begun in 1976 under the leadership of Fuad Mansuer. Our offices are in the Intercultural Mutual Assistance Association and we work closely with the IMAA, the Diversity Council and many of the international and cultural groups in the community.

We join with the Mayor’s International Affairs Committee to welcome newcomers from other nations to our city with an annual reception at City Hall and an International Picnic each summer at Silver Lake. We take part in the Rochesterfest parade and many other community events.