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Over 200 guests helped raise over $31,000 to support Lincoln Literacy April 16 at a Global Cabaret event that featured international food, drink and entertainment at Suite One Eleven in the Clocktower Shopping Center in east Lincoln.

“Our goal had been $30,000, so we are very pleased,” said Clay Naff, executive director of Lincoln Literacy. “The money will fund our free English language classes and tutoring programs.”

Performances reflected the cultures of Mexico, Sudan and Malaysia, beginning with Philippe Siassia on guitar, originally from the Republic of Congo, during a social hour.

After dinner – which featured cuisine from Peru, Morocco, Korea and other parts of the world – entertainment resumed with Aguel Lual and his family members, originally from South Sudan.

Next, vocalist Xiaoyun Sim from Malaysia and Zifan Kang from China gave a performance that included Kang playing an erhu, or two-stringed Chinese violin.

Maribel Cruz, former board president for El Centro de las Americas, entertained the audience with interpretive dance while Lora Black read poetry in English, Victoria Welles of Lincoln Literacy read in Russian, Andressa Matayoshi read in her native Portuguese and Sumia Iwanaga read in Japanese.

Welles interviewed both Matayoshi and Iwanaga on stage with the microphone as they told the audience how Lincoln Literacy’s services helped them adjust and connect with Lincoln, Nebraska and American culture.

Dinorah Garcia, a singer originally from Mexico, provided the final entertainment of the evening, accompanied by guitarist Pascual Salazar.

To learn more about Lincoln Literacy, see lincolnliteracy.org.

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L Magazine editor

Mark Schwaninger is L magazine and Neighborhood Extra editor.

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