photos by Jax Connolly

Passport to Silk Road

x_silkrd2Encinitas Friends of the Arts (EFA) presented the Passport to Silk Road event as part of its Passport Series at the Encinitas Community Center in May. The event, which featured cultural artists, musicians, dancers, henna body art, shopping, food, and opportunity drawings, recreated the cultural exchange of the real Silk Road, the main trade route for commercial goods between countries in the 12th century. The Passport Series are one-day events that seek to raise awareness and celebrate the diversity that exists in Encinitas and throughout San Diego County. The events also help EFA raise funds to sustain future events while elevating cultural offerings and drawing recognition to local and regional artistic talent through multi-disciplinary experiences.

Cultural performers at the Passport to Silk Road included: Grand Master Reza Mahini with the Del Ava Ensemble, the Gulistan Dance Theater, Tara Renelle Roxy, Bahman Sarram, and Mystic Groove Eclectic. “The ensemble won over audiences with their passion and unlimited energy and music that ties together many cultures and expressions into an ecstatic celebration of life,” said EFA president Naimeh Tanha Woodward. Marla Mossman’s Peace Caravan Project was also present, promoting cultural exchanges, deepening understanding of other cultures, and celebrating common humanity through photographs.

Established in 2014, EFA is a nonprofit organization that seeks to support a vibrant arts community. In partnership with the City of Encinitas, EFA fundraises and advocates for the cultural arts in Encinitas and a city-owned arts center. Other EFA programs include the Encinitas Día de los Muertos celebration, Ballet Folklorico de San Dieguito, and public art displays. For more information go to