2019 Latino Celebration – Newark Public Library

2019 Latino Celebration

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Carnival Devil Mask, photograph by Luisa Pinzón

The Andes Mountains curve through seven South American countries: Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. The indigenous peoples of the Andes have developed a distinct and vibrant culture which flourishes wherever their communities take root. In New Jersey, this native Andean presence is seen in the intricate and colorful murals painted on the walls of buildings, it is savored enthusiastically in restaurants and private kitchens, and it is heard and enjoyed at music and dance festivals.

The 2019 Latino Celebration exhibition and public program series will explore the rich history of the Andes and illustrate how Andean culture is vibrantly alive in New Jersey through art, food, music, and more.


The exhibition Andean Culture Alive in New Jersey was curated by Nélida Silva (guest curator) and Yesenia López, Director, New Jersey Hispanic Research and Information Center at the Newark Public Library. It is open during regular Library hours, Monday through Saturday, with free admission – 2nd Floor Gallery, September 18 through December 31, 2019. Group visits/gallery talks can be arranged by calling the Sala Hispanoamericana: 973-733-7772.

Public Programs

Wednesday, September 18th – 6-8 PM | Centennial Hall
Opening Reception: Andean Culture Alive in New Jersey
Join us for the opening of the 2019 Latino Celebration at the Library. View the exhibit, enjoy a lively folk music and dance performance by Verónica Killawawa y su Grupo Corazones de Bambú, savor traditional Andean dishes, and learn how Andean culture is alive today in New Jersey. Keynote speaker, Nélida Silva, protagonist of the films, Soy Andina and Return to the Andes. Click here to view the event ->


Saturday, September 28th – 2-5 PM | 2nd Floor James Brown African American Room
Film Screening: Return to the Andes
Documentary filmmaker, Mitchell Teplitsky presents his new film, Return to the Andes – a sequel to the 2007 documentary, Soy Andina. In Return to the Andes, a Peruvian woman living in New York City travels back to her birthplace to help local women start their own businesses — and ends up running for mayor. Will she become the first woman to be elected mayor of her town, running on a platform of sustainable development and anti-corruption? The screening will be followed by commentary and Q & A with Teplitsky and protagonist, Nélida Silva. Click here to view the event ->


Thursday, October 10th – 6-8 PM | Centennial Hall
Musical Performance: Dancing to the Andes
An evening of Andean music and dance performances by various Andean groups: Sumac Punchau, from Perú, Bolivia and Chile; and Bien al Sur, from Argentina. Click here to view the event ->


Saturday, October 26th – 2-5 PM | Centennial Hall
Food Event: A Taste of the Andes
The Andean region is home to a wealth of food products, dishes, and cooking techniques. Over 3,000 species of potato, various types of corn, and grains and seeds like quinoa originated in the Andes. Nutritionist, Ana María Quispe, will demonstrate how we can all enjoy a healthy, affordable diet through Andean foodways. The public will have the opportunity to sample traditional dishes of the Andean regions. Click here to view the event ->


Saturday, November 9th – 2-5 PM | Centennial Hall
Children’s Fest | Pachamama
An afternoon-long family program featuring crafts for children and a screening of the animated movie, Pachamama –the story of a spirited boy who dreams of becoming a shaman and goes on a brave mission to rescue a sacred statue that is taken from his Andean village.
Click here to view the event ->


Wednesday, November 20th – 6-8 PM | Centennial Hall
Panel Discussion: Immigration in the Arts
Immigrants have always been the lifeblood of New Jersey. They’ve expanded our labor force, enriched our culture, seasoned our food, and breathed new life into the arts. Join us for a moderated discussion about the effects of new immigration legislation on the immigrant art community in the state. Updates on DACA and immigrant rights will be discussed as well. Panelists: Nedia Morsy of Make the Road NJ; Daniela C. Vélez of UndocuJersey; immigration attorney, Carmen Carrillo, Esq; multidisciplinary artist Maria de Los Angeles; and immigrant Latinx artist, Layqa Nuna Yuwar. Click here to view the event ->

credit: inglés sin barreras, artwork by LNY


Click here to view the 2019 Latino Celebration flyer.


All programs are free and open to the general public. For additional information please call the Sala Hispanoamericana at 973-733-7772 or email ylopez@npl.org

The 2019 Latino Celebration programs and exhibit 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 Council Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs; and the Friends of HRIC.