Pitchers at an Exhibition
Titled “Béisbol at the Heart of Our Latino Communities,” the exhibition will run Sept. 15-Dec. 11, and will kick off National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15) in Onondaga County. “Béisbol” will also serve as the theme for the “Balcón Criollo,” a signature program held every fall at La Casita, marking the rich history and culture of Hispanic communities throughout Central New York.
Organizers describe “Béisbol” as part exhibition and part oral history project.
“We are very excited about ‘Béisbol,’ which is designed to celebrate and document the significant role and history of baseball in Latino-American culture,” says Tere Paniagua ’82, executive director of the Office of Cultural Engagement for the Hispanic Community in Arts and Sciences. “At no other time have there been more Latinos on the field, in the clubhouse and in the stands.”
Paniagua, who also oversees La Casita, invites baseball enthusiasts to submit memorabilia depicting CNY’s Latino connection to the sport. She is looking for photographs, film, video, posters, emblems, uniforms, trophies, banners, letters, stories and diaries. Each item will be carefully photographed and documented for La Casita’s Cultural Heritage Archive and then returned to the owner upon completion of the exhibition. Digital materials may be sent to email@example.com. For more information, call 315-443-2151.
“Béisbol” is also part of a new, multiyear initiative between La Casita and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. To be announced in October, the partnership will consist of Latino-related exhibits, collections, programming, education and research projects. People will have the option to donate baseball items to the Smithsonian’s national repository, where they will be preserved as national treasures and enjoyed by future generations.
“We want to hear from players, coaches and fans at all levels, from youth programs, to college and amateur leagues, to semi-professional and professional teams,” Paniagua adds. “By sharing your cherished memories with us, you provide valuable insight into and knowledge of our Latino communities in CNY. Your personal memory becomes part of our collective memory.”
This year’s Hispanic Heritage program at La Casita is made possible, in part, by a grant award from the Gifford Foundation and a joint award from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association.