Latino Arts Partners in Chicago and HoustonWednesday, May 16th, 2012
Arts and Humanities. Without the arts to nourish the soul, what is culture? Teatro Luna, Arte Público Press and Talento Bilingüe de Houston are three of Valoramás’ community partners striving to enhance and highlight Latino arts and humanities. We are proud to be their partners and would like to highlight some of their work.
These three groups are just a few of our 16 Latino-focused, non-profit organizations in Chicago and Houston participating in Valoramás’ $150,000 Founders’ Grants Initiative. Each will receive at least $2,500 in unrestricted funds and could receive up to $35,000 or amounts in between.
Teatro Luna, Talento Bilingüe de Houston and Arte Público Press are on a mission to showcase Latino arts, culture and literature. Teatro Luna and Talento Bilingüe de Houston both strive to support the Latino community by fostering creativity and growth in the performing arts. Arte Público Press publishes literature by U.S.-based Hispanic authors, thereby increasing Hispanic readership across the country.
Latino Arts – Teatro Luna
Teatro Luna is Chicago’s first and only all-Latina theater company. Founded in 2000 by Coya Paz and Tanya Saracho, Teatro Luna has grown to become one of the premiere theaters in Chicago focusing on the Latino arts.
“We came together because we realized that the stories and experiences of Latina/Hispana women were undervalued and underrepresented not only on the Chicago stage, but beyond,” says Alex Meda, Teatro Luna’s Executive Director. Teatro Luna’s specialty lies in “ensemble and collaborative work” and celebrating the stories of Latinas.
Currently, Teatro Luna is presenting Diane Rodriguez’s play “Living Large in a Mini Kind of Way,” a work that explores generational and class differences within the Latino community by telling the story of Lily, a recent widow struggling to move forward in her life. Lily is lonely and wants to surround herself with a new family, represented by two younger immigrant sisters from Mexico. Themes of acculturation and opportunity are also explored in a thoughtful and often humorous way. The play is at Chicago’s Viaduct Theater through June 17th.
Latino Arts – Talento Bilingüe de Houston
Talento Bilingüe de Houston, (which translates to ‘Bilingual Talent of Houston’) is a non-profit Latino arts and cultural center located in Houston. Originally founded in 1977 as a bilingual theater, the organization has grown to become a cultural arts center that offers summer arts camps, educational workshops and performances from Latino artists.
Talento Bilingüe de Houston (TBH) specializes in visual and performing arts. The center hosts a wide variety of performances, from Manuel Puig’s iconic play “The Kiss of the Spider Woman” (opening on May 31st) to Flamenco dance shows. The performances at Talento Bilingüe de Houston showcase creativity from all across Latin America.
TBH aims to preserve and present Latino culture. “Talento Bilingüe de Houston is a vibrant and exciting arts center inviting residents and visitors of Houston to enjoy our creative and colorful productions and exhibits all year long,” says Cristy Jennings, the Executive Director of the organization.
Located in Houston’s East End neighborhood, TBH has become a focal point allowing Houstonians to explore Latino arts and culture.
Latino Literature – Arte Público Press
With a history connected to the University of Houston, Arte Público Press (APP) is the largest publisher of contemporary and recovered literature by Hispanic-American authors. APP has published several series of books about Hispanic life in America.
“Latino history and culture is the basis of our community identity,” says Arte Público Press. “We need to foster reading and education at every level in order to preserve our community.” Many prominent Latino authors are published via APP. The publishing house also covers topics of interest to the Hispanic community and doesn’t shy away from highlighting some of the challenges facing Latinos in the United States and Latin America.
Arte Público Press specializes in young adult and children’s literature as seen in its Piñata series. Many books in this series tell wonderful tales while also focusing attention on important issues to Latino youth and their families, such as obesity and healthy eating, understanding cultural differences, and bridging the generation gap. Many books also feature beautiful covers highlighting some of the stars of the Latino arts world.
The $150,000 Valoramás Founders’ Grants Initiative
Valoramás is proud to support these three organizations that play such important roles in serving in the Latino community. Please see our Valoramás YouTube page to learn more about the other 13 Latino community organizations that are a part of the Valoramás Founders’ Grants Initiative.
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