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World Languages Café

CA’s monthly World Languages Café offers free evenings of conversation and culture. It’s a place to practice speaking a language you know or are learning, converse in a friendly atmosphere, meet new people who enjoy learning about other cultures, increase your fluency by speaking and listening, pick up useful phrases to use when traveling and recall your childhood language.

World Languages Café is held once a month, year-round on the fourth Tuesday of the month from 7-9pm in the 50+ Center at the East Columbia Library, located at 6600 Cradlerock Way, Columbia 21045.

Come in and join the language table of your choice (indicated by signs on the tables). There is no need to RSVP. Language tables are hosted by a native or fluent speaker who will facilitate conversation. Languages include American Sign Language, Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, English, Farsi, French, German, Haitian Creole, Hebrew, Hindi, Irish Gaelic, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Turkish.

Tea, coffee, and water are available. Participants and table hosts are welcome to bring food and beverages and may bring treats from their culture to share with their table. Children under the age of 13 should be accompanied by an adult.

To find out if there will be a native speaker of the language of your interest, to request that your email is added to the World Languages Café email group, or for more information, please contact Laura Smit at 410-715-3162 or Click here for the flyer.


Music, Dance and Displays at Africa CultureFest on October 14


Africa Culture Fest
Columbia Association, in collaboration with the Howard County Library System, invites the community to enjoy a free afternoon of African music, dance performances and displays celebrating the countries and cultures highlighted in the movie Black Panther —  Algeria, Benin, Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mali, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, South Africa, and Tanzania — and all other African countries.This free family event will be held on Sunday, October 14 from 1:30-4:30pm at Howard County Library System’s Miller Branch, 9421 Frederick Road in Ellicott City.

There will be dance and drum performances by the Performing Arts Center for African Culture, as well as belly dancing and dances by African student groups. The African Art Museum of Maryland will have pieces from their collection on display, representing many African cultures. African clothing, as well as arts and crafts, will be on sale. Food trucks selling African food will also be available in the Miller parking lot. Families can pick up a “CultureFest Passport” upon arrival and complete it for door prizes.

To download the Africa CultureFest flyer, click here.  

For more information, contact Laura Smit, program manager for International Exchange and Multicultural Programs, at 410-715-3162 or

International Book Club

book club banner imageCA’s International Book Club meets monthly to explore multicultural and international themes. All books are selected by participants. Through a collaboration with Howard County Library, the book selections are reserved each month at the East Columbia branch. All books are in English.

Book discussions are held at 7:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of the month at Columbia Association Headquarters, 6310 Hillside Court, Columbia. To see the the list of upcoming books, the list of books the International Book Club has read since 2010, and book suggestions made by members by area of the world, click here. To join the CA International Book Club Google group, please contact Laura Smit at

Past Multicultural Events:

Oceania CultureFestOctober 2017, click here for photos.
HaitiFestJanuary 2017, click here for photos
Central America and Mexico Culture FestOctober 2016, click here for photos
Eastern Europe and Russia Culture FestApril 2016, click here for photos
Ghana Fest 2 November 2015, click here for photos
Western Europe Culture Fest October 2015, click here for photos
South America Culture Fest April 2015, click here for photos
Caribbean Culture Fest September 2014, click here for photos
North Africa and Middle East Culture Fest May 2014, click here for photos
The Art of Ghana Exhibition May 2014, click here for photos
Ghana Fest November 2013, click here for photos by Ron Fedorzak
South Asia Culture Café November 2012, click here for photos
East Asia Culture Café March 2012, click here for photos