Hispanic Heritage Month Features Award-Winning Artist and Authors

Posted: September 15, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Jennifer Mitchell

“Honoring Our Past, Surpassing Our Present, and Leading Our Future” is the 2004 theme for Hispanic Heritage Month, which is celebrated every year from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15. The Office of Diversity Programs and Services, along with various departments and student organizations, sponsors festivities at George Mason to promote Hispanic culture, history, and distinctiveness. Events are free unless otherwise noted.

On Tuesday, Sept. 21, at 7:30 p.m., artist Lalo Alcaraz will deliver a keynote address titled “Latino USA: A Cartoon History” in the Johnson Center Cinema. Alcaraz is the creator of La Cucaracha, a nationally syndicated Latino comic strip that appears in more than 60 major newspapers.

In its fourth year, Shades of Brown, an open mike night that gives students the opportunity to discuss Hispanic literature and poetry, will be held in the Johnson Center’s Dewberry Hall on Thursday, Sept. 23, at 8 p.m. This year, Peruvian poet Odi Gonzales is featured.

On Thursday, Sept. 23, at 10:30 a.m., Maria Herrera-Sobek, professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and author of Northward Bound: The Mexican Immigrant Experience in Ballad and Song, presents a portion of her current research. She studies Mexican corrido (traditional ballads) and narco-corridos, Mexican/Chicano contemporary balladry that documents the lives and exploits of drug smugglers on the U.S.-Mexico border. Herrera-Sobek’s talk is featured as part of the Fall for the Book festival, which runs Sept. 18-23, and she will be speaking in a festival tent on the North Plaza.

On Friday, Oct. 1, the Hispanic Student Association will sponsor the fifth annual Latin Night in the Johnson Center Atrium and Bistro at 9 p.m. The free event will include food, movies, crafts, and games.

On Saturday, Oct. 2, the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra performs “A Tribute to Tito Puente” at 8 p.m. in the Center for the Arts (CFA), followed by an informal “jazz club” on the Grand Tier. For tickets, which are $36, $28, and $18, contact CFA at 703-993-2787.

Other activities include movie screenings, a talent show, and a luncheon and dinner featuring Latino cuisine, as well as a job fair and networking reception. For more information and a full schedule of events, see the Hispanic Heritage Month web site.

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