The Resource Center for Cultures and Languages of the Americas, a Central Lakes College project, is observing Hispanic Month with several events for the public.
Jan Kurtz and Liliana Hennis, Spanish instructors at the Brainerd campus, planned these events after receiving a Teaching and Learning Grant from Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.
Events are as follows:
-- World photographer Dick Bancroft, presenting "A Glimpse of Latin America" through an exhibit in the CLC Gallery through Thursday and his free presentations at noon ("The Stories Behind the Photos") and 7 p.m. ( "The Colombia Story Today") Thursday. Both are scheduled for the Lecture Hall.
-- Mixed Blood Theater Co. presentation of "Minnecanos: A Look at the Mexican/Minnesota Migrant" at noon and 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11, in Chalberg Theatre. The evening program is for the public and there will be a $2 admission charge.
-- Kathy and Leo Lara, Latino singing duo, performing "Nuevo Cancion" ("new song") combining music and social issues, noon and 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, Chalberg Theatre. The evening program is for the public and there will be a $2 admission charge.
Bancroft has photographed indigenous people in several countries, including the Americas. He has documented life on the American reservations, as well as in the Guatemalan Mayan Highlands, and most recently, Colombia. His photographs reveal the lives, social issues and struggles of his subjects.
"Dick can tell you how he got the close-up of the military man," said Kurtz. "Or what the little child's house was like or the story of the Huaorani Indians of the Amazon and how the oil company changed their lives."
Mixed Blood Theatre has produced "Minnecanos," which begins at the Minneapolis home Diego Morales has owned for more than 40 years. Encouraged by the bemused ghost of his loving wife, the old man uses the contents of an ancient trunk to ignite his great-grandson's interest in their rich cultural heritage.
The highlights of the 45-minute performance include El Renchanche (the train that shuffled laborers from the Southwest to Minnesota's sugar beet fields), the mass deportations of the Great Depression, and the Cesar Chavez-led farm workers' movement.
Kathy and Leo Lara are musicians and educators of South American folkloric music. They interpret traditional songs and rhythms of Latin American countries with a variety of authentic instruments.
Their "new song" is the expression of daily life, which for Latinos has included political upheaval, wars, sweatshops, economic strife, refugee situations and overall distress.
"We believe that providing events related to Hispanic culture is timely as populations migrate and integrate," said Kurtz. "We're excited to make these events possible, and thanks to the grant, we're able to keep the ticket price low."
This diversity promotion is part of the work undertaken by the Resource Center for Cultures and Languages, which also sponsors Cultural Thursday on the Brainerd campus. It features 50-minute programs at noon on the first Thursday or each month.
For information, contact Kurtz or Hennis at 855-8183.
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