The Johnson County Park and Recreation District’s Culture Division along with our community partners are pleased to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with an evening celebrating Latino culture and heritage. The event features Latino poets, artists, musicians, dancers, and heritage exhibitions on Thursday, Sept. 26 from 5:30 pm to 8 pm at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center, 8788 Metcalf Avenue, Overland Park. The event is free to the community.
An exciting group of Latino partners will present throughout the evening. José Faus, poet, artist, and teacher, will perform “They Changed My Name (Cambiaron Mi Nombre),” a recounting of his story immigrating from Colombia; Xánath Caraza, a professor at UMKC Latino Studies program and a traveler; poet, and short story writer from Mexico will give a poetry reading; Miguel Rivera, Kansas City Art Institute professor and artist from Mexico, will share his latest work; and Calpulli Iskali will share a traditional prayer and Mexican dance. Traditional music will be performed by Pedro Calderon, originally from Lima, Peru, and Ariel Bugosen, a native of Argentina, throughout the evening; and Emily Alvarez, an illustrator and designer of Dominican and Cuban descent, will be painting live during the dance and music performances.
Schedule of Evening’s Events
5:30 – 6 pm Reception featuring tastings from Latino-owned restaurants El Salvadoreño and Paleterias Tropicana, and live music by Pedro Calderon and Ariel Bugosen.
6 pm “They Changed My Name” José Faus, made possible by Humanities Kansas with support from the Andrew Mellon Foundation.
6:45 pm Dance performance by Calpulli Iskali
7 pm Artist presentation by Miguel Rivera
7:25 pm Poetry reading by Xánath Caraza
In addition, two exhibitions will be on view to coincide with Hispanic Heritage Month for the months of September and October: works by Miguel Rivera, and the heritage exhibit “Latinos in the Heartland,” produced by the Johnson County Museum. Both exhibitions are presented in English and Spanish, and are on view in the Cultural Commons area of the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center, and are free to the public. Viewing is Monday-Friday, 9 am to 9 pm and Saturday, 9 am to 5 pm.
“We are proud to celebrate the growing Latino Community in Johnson County and beyond which is quite diverse and varied by country in terms of food, custom, and culture,” said Superintendent of Culture Susan Mong. “The Johnson County Park and Recreation District values diversity and inclusion, and these events and exhibitions are a great way to help us come together as a community and learn through shared experiences. It makes our community stronger.”
“Immigration has been an important life event for many in the community, but area connections to Latin America - especially to Mexico - go back generations,” said Museum Director Mindi Love. “We want to collect more stories, photos, and objects relating to the stories of non-white Johnson Countians. We want our exhibits and collections to reflect the diversity of the Johnson County community, and Hispanic and Latino populations are just some of the communities with which we hope to form a lasting relationship.”
For more information about the Free Evening of Latino Culture, please visit www.jocoahc.com or call (816) 826-2787.