Latin American Cultural Project
In 2009, the Folk Arts Program at ArtsWestchester was awarded its third grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support a Latino Community cultural project. From 1998 to 2008 the Folk Arts program presented Mexican music and dance in the Alma de Mexico festival in collaboration with the Untermyer Performing Arts Council and other Mexican craft traditions in numerous other venues. Since 2004, we have presented Andean culture with artists from Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia, and over as many years, we have been assisting the Comité Latino of Hudson Healthcare with the Tres Reyes (3 Kings) Celebration in Peekskill, a showcase of Latino and Caribbean holiday traditions.
The Latino Cultural Project pools the artist roster and community contacts of these projects to support, present and publicize the strength and diversity of Caribbean, Central and South American arts being practiced in Westchester and the Lower Hudson Valley. The goals of the project are: 1) to expand cultural collaboration with Latino immigrant cultural organizations in Westchester; 2) to build an advisory group representing those organizations, with the goal of increasing Latino community access to cultural resources in the County; 3) to present both in White Plains and in collaborative programs talented and accomplished traditional artists in the Latino Communities to educate non Latino audiences and affirm these communities and their considerable contributions to our economy and local cultural landscape; and 4) to work for greater representation and cultural equity among these communities in performance, exhibition and arts in education opportunities in Westchester.
Since September 2009, we have presented six events highlighting arts of Puerto Rico, Argentina, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru and Guatemala, and collaborated with three community based organizations to promote Latino cultural in Mount Vernon, Peekskill and Port Chester.