2013 Hispanic Heritage Celebration
Over the last twenty years, New Jersey has become home to a growing number of families from Central America who bring with them dreams of opportunity as well as the willingness and resources to achieve success. Statistically a younger population, they rejuvenate the state and offer unique cultural, societal and economic contributions – a new Mesoamerican–heritage generation of New Jerseyans.
Today, the Garden State has the seventh–largest Central American–born population. Of the seven Latin American countries that constitute the Mesoamerican Region – Belize, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras – the latter three have the largest presence in the Garden State and are the main focus of this year's exhibit.
Mesoamerican Mosaic: New Jersey's Guatemalan, Salvadoran and Honduran Communities examines the history and growth of these three groups, highlights cultural traditions and contemporary self–expression, looks at their contributions, as well as at the challenges they face, and also shows how these evolving communities are part of a rapidly changing demographic–economic face of New Jersey. The exhibit was curated by Ingrid Betancourt, Project Director, NJ Hispanic Research and Information Center at The Newark Public Library, in partnership with an Exhibition Advisory Committee composed of community members from the Guatemalan, Salvadoran and Honduran Communities.
The Newark Public Library is located at 5 Washington Street on Washington Park in downtown Newark's growing cultural complex. The exhibition is open during regular library hours, Monday through Saturday, with free admission. Group visits and more details are readily available by calling the Sala Hispanoamericana at the Library: 973–733–7772.
This event kicks off the Library's 2013 Hispanic Heritage exhibit and public program series. The evening's festivities will include remarks by representatives from some of New Jersey's Central American communities, a sneak preview of the landmark PBS series "Latino Americans" set to air nationally later in the month, and a dance performance by Grupo Folklórico Salvadoreño Cuzcatlán.
The Newark Library is partnering with PBS to present a sneak preview of The Peril and the Promise, the final episode of the upcoming television series, LATINO AMERICANS. Actor Benjamin Bratt narrates this landmark six–hour series, the first major television documentary series to chronicle the rich and varied history of Latinos, who have for the past 500–plus years helped shape what is today the United States and have become, with more than 50 million people, the largest minority group in the U.S.
Saturday, September 28 • 2pm • Centennial Hall
The marimba is the national instrument of Guatemala and has been an important part of traditional celebrations for hundreds of years. A distinguishing feature of the modern Guatemalan marimba is its size and range – it is built to accommodate three or four musicians at once. Each player has a specified area and register to play, much like a choir has bass, tenor, alto, and soprano parts.
Ricardo, a Garifuna language teacher, sets out to build a school in his native village in Honduras and fights to keep his endangered language alive in the face of personal betrayal and tourism's encroachment. Compelling, humorous and deeply human, the film examines family strife and the tensions between tradition and assimilation and also addresses the issue of defending the integrity of ancestral lands from exploitative commercial interests – highlighting realities faced not only by the Garifuna, but all indigenous people worldwide. Shot in Los Angeles and Honduras, Garifuna in Peril features a cast of first–time Honduran and Belizean actors.
Grupo Folklórico Salvadoreño Cuzcatlán captures the essence of El Salvador in this exciting show and presents a vibrant showcase of traditional dances from various parts of the country, each with its unique costumes and music. This extraordinary folkloric ballet ensemble – established by the parent organization, Asociación Cultural Salvadoreña Cuzcatlán, is committed to presenting and disseminating Salvadoran culture throughout the tri–state area.
This documentary film sheds light on a little–known episode in the history of El Salvador. It tells the story of the search for hundreds of children, now adults, who disappeared during the Salvadoran civil war. Many were "sold" into adoption in the U.S. and Europe. Margarita Zamora, one of three protagonists in the film, is an investigator for a Salvadoran human rights organization who searches for disappeared children – including her own four siblings.Niños de la Memoria weaves three separate yet intertwined journeys in the search for family, identity and justice in El Salvador, and asks the larger question: How can a post–war society right the wrongs of the past?
• Census Bureau News — Hispanic Heritage Month 2013
All programs are free and open to the general public. For additional information, please call 973–733–7772 (Sala Hispanoamericana) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This year's Hispanic Heritage Celebration is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts and administered by the Essex County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs.