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Photo: esperanza.us
Photo: esperanza.us

Esperanza celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with a weekly Virtual Latino Arts Festival

There’s hope in art yet, even amid COVID-19 and social distancing.

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In honor of  Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, North Philadelphia’s own Esperanza Arts Center (EAC) is hosting a Virtual Latino Arts Festival.

The overarching organization, Esperanza, was founded in 1987 and is a national community-based organization that aims to target the unmet needs of North Philadelphia’s Hispanic community.

Every Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. throughout Hispanic Heritage Month, EAC is hosting different Latinx artists that showcase different traditions and  streaming the performances through the Esperanza Art Center website and Facebook page. 

The festival showcases have different traditional influences ranging from Afro-Carribean to South American pop fusion.

The festival is yet another example of how the Latinx community, especially that of North Philadelphia, is resilient and brings some joy in the face of the negativity brought by 2020.

And while watching through a computer screen is not the same as living the experience in the moment, but the virtual festival is still a way to show your support and pride for the culture that thrives on color, happiness and support. 

The Senior Vice President of Esperanza Arts Center, Bill Rhoads, said “Our first Virtual Latino Arts Festival will take audiences on a kaleidoscopic journey through a tapestry of Latin American culture and traditions,” said Senior Vice President of the Esperanza Art Center, Bill Rhoads. “There’s plenty here to inspire, excite, and get you on your feet.”

This week, on Sept. 16, the first performance, Vivelo! premiered, but there are still four more that you can catch from the comfort of your home. 

The next one on Sept.23 at 6:00 p.m. is called Ologundê: Afro-Brazilian Music & Dance. It celebrates the rich Afro-Brazilian culture of Salvador, Bahia with ‘a diverse repertoire of music, dance, and martial arts. The performers are comprised Brazilians living in the United States and Brazil.

On Sept. 30 at the same time catch Remojo Remixed! This will give everyone a chance to get close with Latinx creativity through mediums like theater, music, dance, and alongside film/media artists. The show will be composed of six different parts highlighting traditions from Puerto Rico to Tenerife. 

On Oct. 7, Plena Libre, a Grammy-award winner will entertain on the night with a performance unique to Puerto Rico. There is also a special bonus feature to cap the night that will include a screening of the first episode of Bodas de Sangre by Teatro Quarantine as a perfect fit for our modern reality. 

To end, Oct. 14 will close the month of Hispanic celebration with Argentine composer Pablo Murgier, who combines tango, jazz and Latin American popular music for a truly unique musical experience.

Enjoy the celebration and stay tuned for a unique month of talent, culture and showing what Latinidad is all about!

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