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La Casita’s New Exhibition Celebrates Decade of Cultural Engagement in CNY
Hands-on learning and cultural exchange are the hallmarks of learning in the College of Arts and Sciences. One of the best-known examples of this is La Casita Cultural Center, where for the past decade students from the college and across the University have interned, worked, conducted research and volunteered—enhancing their education while strengthening and celebrating Latinx culture.
The 2021-22 academic year marks the 10th anniversary of La Casita Cultural Center, and the organization will commemorate the occasion with the opening of a new exhibition, “Corazón del Barrio (Heart of the Barrio).” The exhibition honors the community of artists, educators, students and families who have been a part of La Casita’s history. The opening reception and launch of the exhibition on Sept. 18 will coincide with 2021 National Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.
Tere Paniagua, executive director of the Office of Cultural Engagement for the Hispanic Community in the College of Arts and Sciences, says the goal of the exhibition is to honor the people who have devoted their time, energy, talents and histories to La Casita. “Our students, faculty, staff, local residents and artists, put their heart in everything they do here, and they are the heart of the barrio,” she says. “This fall, as we return to in-person programming and begin to heal from the public health crisis experienced last year, the center’s programs will focus on healing through creativity and artistic expression.”
The “Corazón del Barrio (Heart of the Barrio)” program will also include community dialogues, the release of a new children’s book that comprises five years of dual-language writing and illustration workshops where the authors and graphic artists are the children participating in the programs, as well as the release of a new publication produced by the Teen Writing Program offered last summer, a 90-page book titled “My Life In Syracuse,” edited by Zakery Muñoz, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Writing Studies, Rhetoric and Composition.
The exhibition’s opening reception on Sept. 18 is from 6 to 8 p.m. and guests can attend in-person at La Casita (109 Otisco St. in Syracuse) or view virtually via Zoom. The opening festivities will include a tour of the exhibit, a live duet by Colombian violinist Sara Silva G’06 with Cuban classical guitarist and soprano, Liamna Pestana ’21; a spoken word performance by Noel Quiñones; live salsa music by Henry Rosado and his Grupo Boricua and a live performance by the Syracuse-based dancers of Dominique’s Dance Creations.
Admission to the event is free. Guests in attendance will be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test and use of masks will be required. More details and an online registration link are available through La Casita’s Facebook event page.
The opening event is part of the Syracuse University Humanities Center’s 2021 Syracuse Symposium, “Conventions.”
Support for La Casita comes from the College of Arts and Sciences, the Latino-Latin American Studies Program, the Office of Cultural Engagement for the Hispanic Community, the Office of Community Engagement, PLACA (Program on Latin America and the Caribbean, Maxwell School) and the Syracuse University Humanities Center.