Herencia Latina Brings Exploration of Latino History and Culture to the Pioneer Valley
For over a century, Latino Americans have been a part of communities within the Pioneer Valley. With over 50 million people making up Latino communities across the country, the group is the largest minority group in the country.
In order to celebrate and educate about Latino American history and culture, the Pioneer Valley History Network – in conjunction with local museums, libraries, colleges, and community organizations – brings Herencia Latina to western Massachusetts.
Offering seemingly endless opportunities to explore the history of Latino Americans in the Pioneer Valley and beyond, Herencia Latina brings educational opportunities to western Massachusetts through May of 2016.
The central element of Herencia Latina is the screening of the six-part documentary series Latino Americans, which chronicles 500 years of Latino American history. All six portions of the documentary will be screened during the event, each paired with a scholar-led discussion to extend and expand audience members’ understanding of the documentary. Other highlights of Herencia Latina include an exhibit of photographs of residents of Springfield’s North End at the Lyman & Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History (September 22, 2015-March 20, 2016), a bi-lingual exhibit at the Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke titled Nuestras Abuelitas/Our Grandmothers and curated by members of the Latino community in the Pioneer Valley (March & April 2016), and screenings and community conversations centered around a variety of topics relating to Latino American history and culture and its ties to the local community.
As a part of its participation in this community project, Turners Falls RiverCulture celebrates Latino History Day with traditional Central and South American music, food, and crafts, as well as a documentary film and discussion on Thursday, September 17, 2015. Families can head to Spinner Park (Avenue A and 4th Street) for lively musical performances, make their way to 109 Avenue A to decorate paper mache masks representative of those used in a variety of traditional ceremonies, stop by 113 Avenue A for a delicious meal of rice and beans, and get to the Shea Theater by 7pm for a screening and discussion of Peril & Promise, part of a PBS-created documentary series The Latino American.
The full Herencia Latina project includes a total of fourteen film-and-discussion events, six cultural programs and festivals, four special exhibits, and several related events in communities throughout the Pioneer Valley. To further explore the project, see Herencia Latina’s full schedule of events taking place over the next nine months.
[Photo credits: Award-winning guitarist Lorena Garay and Eugenio Huanca will perform an energetic blend of traditional and original Latin American music during the Turners Falls RiverCulture event, Latino History Day, Thursday, September 17. This colorful performance will include irresistible rhythms from the Andes, Puerto Rico, the Spanish Caribbean, South America, and Mexico! Spinner Park, Avenue A and 4th Street in Turners Falls, 6pm.; Kids can explore Mexican culture by decorating paper mache masks. Used in various traditional dances and ceremonies, masks have been was a well-established part of ritual life in Mexico for thousands of years. Make a jaguar or a coyote at 109 Avenue A from 4 to 8pm. Traditional beans and rice provided by Great Falls Harvest Restaurant will be served as well!]