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Hudson Valley Press

September 5th, 2012

Howland Center celebrating Hispanic American heritage

The Howland Cultural Center in Beacon, NY hosted its 18th Annual Celebration of Hispanic American Heritage Month with an art exhibition featuring an artist reception on Saturday, September 1, 2012. Hudson Valley Press/CHUCK STEWART, JR.
BEACON - National Hispanic American Heritage Month takes place each year from September 15th through October 15th, and each year, the Howland Cultural Center joins the national celebration with an art exhibition recognizing accomplished Latino American artists of the Hudson Valley.

This exhibition, “Despertar La Mas Profunda Expresion”; “Awakening the Deepest Expression” will be shown at the Howland Cultural Center from thru September 30th.

The exhibition kicked-off with an opening reception to meet the artists last Saturday.  During the reception, Alfredo Bejar, an acclaimed documentary artist, showed his short film  of an Andean Dance Festival: “La Candelaria.”

Later in the month, on Friday, September 28th at 8:00 p.m., Bejar’s film documentary: “Imagining Mina”  about Peru’s hero boxer will be shown followed by a discussion with the artist.

Thirteen artists: Jose Acosta, Salvador Arellano, Alfredo Bejar, Aurelio Castano, Rafael Figueroa, Jose Gomez, Nestor Madalengoitia, Wilfredo Morel, Elisa Pritzker, Misael Rios, Fels Santos, Marisa del Pozo Slick, and Luis Valentin have various exhibits in a multi-media diversity of paintings, sculpture, photography, and jewelry.
For the 18th consecutive year, the Howland Cultural Center takes pride in joining the celebration of the rich, cultural Hispanic traditions which have had a profound effect on the development and fabric of this nation. These annual exhibitions draw attention to the diversity and talent of Latino American artists who have established renowned reputations for their art not only locally and nationally, but also internationally.

Formal recognition of Hispanic Americans began in 1968 when Congress authorized President Lyndon Johnson to proclaim National Hispanic Heritage Week, and the observance was expanded in 1988 to a month-long celebration to honor our nation’s Hispanic heritage. During the month-long celebration, Americans celebrate the traditions, ancestry, and unique experiences of those who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico, the countries of Central and South America and the Caribbean. The artists featured in this show claim heritage in a number of Hispanic countries:  Cuba, Mexico, Peru, Spain, Columbia, Argentina, and Puerto Rico.

According to the most recent U.S. Census, 45.5 million people were identified as Hispanic, and 15% of the nation’s total population is Hispanic, making it the largest minority group in the United States, and growing larger each year.

From the 15th Century, when Spanish explorers first landed in the Western Hemisphere, the history and development of America and this nation in particular can in large measure be attributed to the integral role Hispanics have played by their influence in all areas of American society. Hispanic contributions exist in many professions and fields, including education, law, government, business, science, sports, entertainment, and the arts. Hispanics were and are astronauts, athletes, doctors, teachers, lawyers, and scientists, and so much more. They also have a proud tradition of serving bravely in the United States Armed Forces in all of this nation’s wars from the Revolution to modern times, earning more than three dozen Medals of Honor and numerous distinguished military decorations for their leadership, courage, and patriotism. The warmth and vitality of Hispanic Americans, their outstanding work ethic, and their cultural influences are evident in every aspect of American life. The Howland Cultural Center welcomes this opportunity to honor and celebrate the richness of the Hispanic American culture.

The art gallery at the Howland Cultural Center is open from 1-5 p.m. every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for public viewing; there is no admission fee but donations are always welcome. An exception to this gallery schedule is on September 23rd when the gallery is closed to the general viewing public for a Howland Chamber Music Circle concert featuring the Walden Chamber Players at 4:00 p.m.

The Howland Cultural Center is located at the east end of Main Street (477) in Beacon, NY. For further information and/or directions to the center, please call (845) 831-4988.

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Reader Response
  • Elisa Pritzker
  • September 7th, 2012 ~Thank you for your continued support Chuck Stewart Jr. and Hudson Valley Press!

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