“We hope this event is viewed as the kick-off celebration for the Hispanic Heritage Month,” said Ruthie Brown, Director of Community Programming. The festival is part of the museum’s seven event cultural series that celebrates American diversity.
“This is the museum’s way of celebrating all ethnicities through music.” She said the event grows every year and more people attend as the word spreads. Brown said as the Latino community grows, the museum wants to pay homage to its contributions to the cultural society.
“We want to put a positive face on the community,” said Gilberto Peña, Director of Ritmo Y Raza Dance Company, and community organizer. He energized the crowd by performing in flamenco, hip-hop dance with Ritmo Y Raza Dance Company.
Peña said he was very excited that the Toledo-based Imagenes Mexicanas agreed to perform at the event. He considered it a sign that the annual celebration is growing.
Peña informed La Prensa ‘the aim for the event is to makes people smile, get them to dance, and enjoy the richness and cultural diversity of Latin America.’ “We want this event to be a huge success so we can keep coming back to celebrate our heritage here every year,” he said.
The Ballet Folklórico Imagenes Mexicanas performed regional dances from six Mexican states: Nayarít, Chiapas, Veracruz, Nuevo León, Guerrero, and Jalisco. Their elaborate costumes reflect the regions, giving insights to the geography and economy of each. The group has 37 members ranging in age from 4 to 24 years-old. The audience enjoyed the array of performances, often falling in step with the beat.