2011 Hispanic Heritage Celebration Journey from Aztlán: Mexican Heritage New Jerseyans

Exhibit on view October 5 – December 31, 2011
Main Library, Second Floor Gallery


Fiesta by Emilio Amero. Color lithograph.
Newark Public Library’s Fine Print Collection.

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Opening Reception



Flyer (en Español)


The Newark Public Library’s 2011 Hispanic Heritage Celebration pays tribute to the history and cultural traditions of Mexico and examines the presence and contributions of Mexican heritage New Jerseyans — a community that has become an integral part of the state’s growing multicultural mosaic.

This year’s Hispanic Heritage Celebration programs are made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts and administered by the Essex County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs. The exhibit, Journey from Aztlán: Mexican Heritage New Jerseyans, was assisted by a grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State.

Discover_Jersey_Arts NJ_State_Council_on_the_Arts

On view October 5 – December 31, 2011
Main Library, Second Floor Gallery

The three–month exhibit, Journey from Aztlán: Mexican Heritage New Jerseyans, explores how this evolving community is part of the rapidly changing demographic–economic face of NJ, and showcases original artwork by contemporary Mexican–heritage artists in the tri–state area, as well as original prints from celebrated Mexican artists (Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros and Rufino Tamayo among others) from the Newark Public Library’s Special Collections. The exhibit was co–curated by Darius Echeverría, Guest Historian, Rutgers University and Ingrid Betancourt, NJ Hispanic Research & Information Center at The Library, in collaboration with a Mexican Community Advisory Committee.

Journey from Aztlán: Mexican Heritage New Jerseyans, 2nd floor gallery, Main Library, will be open to the public during regular library hours through December 31. To schedule guided tours of the exhibition in English or Spanish, please call 973–733–7772 or email ibetancourt@npl.org.


Opening Reception
Wednesday, October 5, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Main Library, Centennial Hall, Second Floor

Mariachi Oro de México

The opening reception for this year’s exhibit and public program series takes place on Wednesday, October 5, 6:00–8:00pm at the Main Library’s Centennial Hall and will feature traditional mariachi music performed by Mariachi Oro de México, a New Jersey–based group popular in the tri–state area. The keynote speaker for the opening night celebration will be Felipe Galindo (Feggo), renowned Mexican artist, illustrator, cartoonist and independent animator. Other special guests include Carlos Manuel Sada Solana, General Consul of Mexico in New York, and Teresa Vivar, activist and Executive Director of the organization Lazos America Unida in New Brunswick. Guest Historian and cocurator of the exhibit, Professor Darius Echeverría, will introduce this year’s exhibit. The 2011 program series includes dance performances, film screenings, book presentations and art workshops for children.

Manhatitlán by Felipe Galindo. The name “Manhatitlán,”
coined by Galindo, merges the word Manhattan (the Lenape–Algonquin name for the island) with the Aztec name of Mexico City, Tenochtitlán.

Felipe Galindo (aka Feggo) is a renowned fine artist, illustrator, cartoonist, independent animator and teaching artist. Born in Cuernavaca, Mexico, he studied Visual Arts at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and currently lives and works in New York City. His work is in numerous private and public collections, and his drawings have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, Nickelodeon, Mad, Narrative, INXart and in European publications like The International Herald Tribune, among others.

In my project Manhatitlán, I explore through humor the encounter of Mexican and American cultures in the context of the immigrant experience. The project explores the role of ethnic traditions in this era of multiculturalism and globalization. – Felipe Galindo (Feggo)

This year’s exhibit includes a selection of six works from Galido’s “Manhatitlán” — an ongoing project that includes works on paper, exhibitions, animations and the recently released book Manhatitlán: Mexican and American Cultures Intertwined (International Latino Book Award 2011). His award–winning animation The Manhatitlán Chronicles has been screened at more than 50 international film festivals and venues like the Guggenheim Museum and the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid. It will be screened at the Newark Public Library on October 15, as part of this year’s Indocumentales/Undocumentary film screenings.

Two young men on their lowrider bikes in Passaic. Photo courtesy of Gery Vereau.
lowrider bikes

Guest Historian, Dr. Darius Echeverría serves both the Department of History and the Department of Latino & Hispanic Caribbean Studies at Rutgers University. Professor Echeverría also serves as a visiting scholar at Montclair State University, contributing in the classroom and on the advisory board of the university’s Latin American and Latino Studies Program.

Dimas Chávez, owner of a
pizza parlor in Passaic,
shows off his Pizza Mexicana Margarita. Photo courtesy of Gery Vereau.

Mariachi Oro de México, will kick–off this year’s celebration with music that embodies the essence of Mexico and its people, but which is enjoyed around the world. Although mariachi is a genre of music from the state of Jalisco in western Mexico, the mariachi ensemble — with its violins, trumpets, classical guitar, vihuela (high–pitched, five–string guitar), guitarrón (large acoustic bass guitar) and musicians dressed in silver–studded charro outfits with wide–brimmed hats — has become emblematic of Mexican music worldwide and is commonly heard in places as far away as Japan and Europe.

The opening night event and all Hispanic Heritage activities will take place at the Main Library, 5 Washington Street, downtown Newark. All programs are free and open to the general public. For more information, please contact ibetancourt@npl.org



All programs are free and open to the general public. For additional information, please call 973–733–7772 (Sala Hispanoamericana) or email ibetancourt@npl.org.

Calpulli Mexican Dance Company


Saturday, October 8, 2:00pm
Main Library, Centennial Hall

Dancing Across Mexico

The Calpulli Mexican Dance Company presents a vibrant showcase of traditional dances from different states and ethnic regions in Mexico, each with its unique costumes and music. Calpulli Danza Mexicana captures the essence of Mexico with joyous dances and music in this exciting show. The lively performances, framed by a descriptive narrative, will offer the audience an interactive musical tour of Mexico.

Calpulli Mexican Dance Company (a.k.a. Calpulli Danza Mexicana) was founded in 2003 by a group of artists working and living in New York City. As a not–for–profit organization, its mission is to teach and produce dance–based programming incorporating live music and theatre to promote the rich diversity of Mexican cultural heritage. Calpulli is a word of the Nahuatl language referring to the groups or clans categorized by trade, which contributed to the whole of the Aztec civilization. This young, energetic group is a calpulli of artists.


Saturday, October 15, 1:00pm
Main Library, Auditorium, Fourth Floor

Los Que se Quedan/Those Who Remain (and 3 other short films)

A screening of four new documentaries followed by a dialogue with some of the featured filmmakers and other special guests. Presented as part of the US/Mexico Interdependent Film Series on immigration and related issues: Indocumentales/Undocumentaries (www.indocumentales.com). Special guests to be announced.

Indocumentales/Undocumentaries is a collaborative series of documentary film screenings and dialogues, co–presented by what moves you?, Cinema Tropical, and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University. Designed to inform, inspire, and enable an open exchange of views on some of today’s pressing immigration–related issues, in addition to showcasing documentary feature films by directors from both sides of the border, each screening is followed by an informal interactive discussion with special guests of diverse backgrounds, sectors and experience.


Los que se quedan/Those Who Remain
Los que se quedan/Those Who Remain

Los que se quedan/Those Who Remain
(Juan Carlos Rulfo, Carlos Hagerman, Mexico, 2008, 96 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)
“Those Who Remain shines a light on the families left behind by loved ones who have traveled North for work, while also illuminating the rich glow of the Mexican spirit. With great balance and sensitivity, this intimate documentary follows a number of families who each share their stories, ranging from the American Dream to heartbreakingly tragedy. Examining the emotional cost of long–term estrangement, directors Juan Carlos Rulfo and Carlos Hagerman find rich cinematic metaphors in the deserted, newly constructed homes on the highway, their empty rooms a powerful reminder of the absence of loved ones at otherwise joyous occasions like communions and graduations. Despite this void in their communities, many of those profiled emerge as colorful characters with boundless vitality and wonderful senses of humor.” – L.A. Film Festival.


Subterraneans: Norteña Music in New York
(Gaspar Orozco and Karina Escamilla, US, 2010, 26 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)
Five musical groups from south–center Mexico survive playing music in the subways of New York. For them, Mexican Norteña music is more than a way of life — it is an expressive vehicle that reflects their experience as immigrants in this country and gives them a sense of identity in a radically new society. Caught between a yearning for the country they left behind and the hope of building a new life in a new society. This small community of Norteña musicians is the manifestation of an identity in transformation.

The Manhatitlán Chronicles/Crónicas de Manhatitlán
(Felipe Galindo, Feggo, US, 1999, 7 min.)
The Manhatitlán Chronicles is an animated flight of fancy that transposes elements of Mexican culture onto the cityscape of Manhattan. A humorous view on how Mexican and American cultures playfully intertwine.

The Manhatitlán Codex
The Manhatitlán_Codex

The Manhatitlán Codex
(Felipe Galindo, Feggo, US, 2008, 5 min.)
Felipe Galindo’s digital animation, narrates an imaginary migration of a group of Mexican people to the US, inspired by Aztec mythology and American history. This animation explores the concepts of homeland, migration and globalization.

what moves you? (www.whatmovesyou.net) is an organization that produces educational public art and other media exploring the relevance of global and social issues in people’s lives.

Cinema Tropical (www.cinematropical.com) is a non-profit media arts organization dedicated to the promotion, programming and distribution of Latin American cinema in the U.S.

Saturday, October 22, 2:00pm
Main Library, Auditorium, Fourth Floor




Saturday, October 29, 2:00pm
Main Library, Auditorium, Fourth Floor

Flying with Emilio
(Juan Carranza and Javier Vargas, US, 2009, 47 min.)

On July 12, 1928 one of Mexico’s greatest aviators fatally crashed his plane in the New Jersey Pine Barrens during a thunderstorm while flying a historic goodwill mission from New York. The one-hour film, Flying with Emilio, takes you to a small community in New Jersey, where every year tribute is paid to a virtually unknown hero, Captain Emilio Carranza, who has been dubbed “Mexico’s Charles Lindbergh.”

The members of American Legion Post 11 in Mount Holly recovered the body of the fallen aviator and held a memorial service in his honor. For over 80 years Post 11 has continued to honor Captain Carranza with an annual memorial service at the monument installed to honor the fallen aviator. This documentary, which was produced under the auspices of the American Legion Post 11, is the perfect starting point for anyone who is interested in the story of Carranza’s life and legacy.

Robert Barney, member of the American Legion Post 11 in Mount Holly, will provide introductory remarks and host a Q&A session after the film. An exhibit of photographs of Emilio Carranza, his plane, people and events related to the 1928 crash will be on view in the Auditorium.

For additional information, please visit:www.flyingwithemilio.com


Catrinas, one of the most popular figures of the Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico.

Saturday, November 5, 2:00pm
Main Library, Centennial Hall

The Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos

El Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a dynamic and colorful tradition in Mexican culture which honors and remembers loved ones who have died. Take part in the celebration by making traditional crafts — Papel Picado [perforated paper], Calaveras de Dulce [sugar skulls], flores de papel [handmade paper flowers] — to create a collective Ofrenda, a Day of the Dead altar. The afternoon–long festival includes hands–on activities, games, brilliantly decorated altars and a live performance of Aztec dances by Calpulli Huehuetlatolli. The festivities will close with Mexican appetizers and a champurrado (a chocolate-based Mexican drink) tasting.




2:00 – 2:30pm Introduction of the DOD celebration & video presentation
2:30 – 3:30pm Arts & Crafts workshop/Create your own altar items
• Learn how to make papel picado, calaveras de dulce and flores de papel.
3:30 – 4:00pm Learn how to make a Day of the Dead Altar
• Bring fruit, chocolate, bread or a flower for the ofrenda.
• Write the name of someone you want to remember and honor on colorful piece of paper, to be read aloud during the ceremony.
• Bring a photo, or draw a picture of you deceased relative to place at the altar.

Take part in the creation of a collective Day of the Dead altar. The facilitators will explain the meaning of each item that is placed on the altar. Attendees will receive guidelines to make an altar at home.

4:00 – 4:35pm Mexican Dance presentation by Calpulli Huehuetlatolli
• Yaocihuatzin Yao, Native American Mexica, will talk about the items used in the traditional Native Mexican Dances, and explain their relationship to the celebration of the Day of the Dead.
• Dance performance by the Calpulli Huehuetlatolli dance troupe
4:40 – 5:00pm Champurrado tasting & Mexican snacks


Smithsonian Latino Center – Day of the Dead
U.S. Census – Hispanic Heritage Month 2011: Sept. 15 – Oct. 15
Hispanic Heritage Month Facts and Figures
Pew Hispanic Center