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Preview: Events to support and celebrate Latino art, heritage

The Venezuelan Dance Group performs at El Centro Hispano's Latin American Festival on August 27, 2023.

Throughout the Triangle, Latino creators are expressing their identities and experiences through art, from music to dance to murals.

Here are some local events to support Latino artists and learn about Latino culture, as well as events celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, which begins Sept. 15.

Hispanic Heritage Month

On campus, the Carolina Latinx Center is rolling out a calendar of events to celebrate the month under this year’s theme: “Latinxverse: El Universo es Tuyo,” which translates to "the universe is yours."

The upcoming events are all about embracing the future, Gabrielly Nolasco, the center’s Latinx Heritage Month ambassador, said. 

The CLC is starting the month with a kickoff event on Sept. 15 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Pit. The center will also host a dinner of Latin American dishes at Lenoir Dining Hall on Sept. 19 and its annual keynote address on Oct. 4.

Additionally, there will be events every Friday, such as a space-themed dance night, a wellness event with live bunnies, dance classes and a night market for Latinx groups. The center will announce more details soon.

Nolasco said she feels a sense of belonging within CLC and in her work at the center. 

“It's important just showcasing who we are as individuals,” she said.

Music and dance

Franklin Street restaurant Basecamp will host a "Baile En La Calle" event on Sept. 15 at 8:30 p.m. with a live DJ and a mix of dance styles, such as salsa, bachata, merengue, cha cha and more.

El Centro Hispano recently hosted the festival "Fiestas en la Calle" on Aug. 27 in Carrboro. Nana Abreu, an artist from Puerto Rico who attended the event, said she loves to dance and watch the diversity of Latin American dance at festivals like "Fiestas en la Calle."

“I have a group of friends and sometimes we get together and we come together, so it’s a nice place to come and enjoy the music and our culture because we miss our culture,” she said. "And it's good to have a space where you can just be you and be crazy and have fun and enjoy it.” 

Bandalos Chinos, a popular band formed in Argentina, will play on Sept. 30 at Chapel Hill rock club Local 506. With over 1.2 million monthly Spotify listeners, they are known in Argentina and Mexico for their indie rock music style.

La Fiesta del Pueblo, the Triangle’s largest festival of Latin American culture, will be held on Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh on Sept. 17. The event will include live music, dance performances, art exhibits and other activities.

Pilar Rocha-Goldberg, the president and CEO of El Centro Hispano, said it is important to host community events to showcase Latino heritage. She said El Centro’s "Fiestas en la Calle" is like a bridge between the Latino community and those who don't share their background. 

“Showing that we have more things in common than differences, and we also respect this country, we love this country, and we also want to learn and we want them to come," she said. "So it's like coming to the middle, not just saying that, 'Oh, we are here.’”

Visual arts

The Upfront Gallery of Artspace in Raleigh is displaying an embroidered art exhibit titled “13 Moons” by Colombian artist Jimena Vergara-Sanz through Sept. 24. Vergara-Sanz’s pieces question the societal shame on women’s bodies and embrace her personal experience with healing through Colombian indigenous rituals.

Argentinian artist Amalia Pica will speak about her recently completed colorful mural on Craige Deck at the Ackland Art Museum’s Artist Talk at 6 p.m. on Sept. 21.

The ArtsCenter in Carrboro is hosting “De Colores,” a collaborative exhibit by five local Latinx artists exploring Latinx heritage, North Carolina traditions and contemporary expressions, according to the ArtsCenter’s website. The exhibit runs through Sept. 26.

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These events and more will take place throughout the month. For more information, visit the event organizers' websites.

@dthlifestyle |