Third Annual Latino Arts Festival Set for Ware Center, 3/6-8

Third Annual Latino Arts Festival Set for Ware Center, 3/6-8

The Third Annual Latino Arts Festival kicks off three-days of events showcasing Latino art, music, dance, film, family programming and more March 6-8 at the Ware Center, 42 North Prince Street, Lancaster, PA. The Festival is meant to celebrate the rich cultural traditions of the Latino community, and everyone - regardless of national heritage - is encouraged and invited to attend. Two of the five events are free. Three other events are ticketed and can be purchased individually (priced from $5 to $15 max.) or included in an all-five events/all weekend pass for $25 - a 33% discount.

The Festival, which is being organized by Normal Bristol Colon and Fran Rodriguez in conjunction with Millersville University, beings with First Latino Friday, March 7 at 7:30 PM, the Festival showcases Samba, Bossa Nova and other forms of Latino music in a Jazz-in-the-Sky performance featuring Hector Rosado & Celeste M. Polanco. Percussionist Rosado has appeared on the Tonight Show and played for such legends as Celia Cruz and Tito Puente and toured with the Talking Head's David Byrnes. Hector is joined by Philadelphia based, hot jazz vocalist Celeste M. Polanco. Tickets for this event are $15 per person.

Saturday morning, March 8 at 11 AM, The Latino Arts Festival has scheduled a creative activity for families. The special session - created by the Fam Fun Fest Series for kids 12 and under and their parents, grandparents or caretakers -- is being conducted by Merci Brill, a Cuban-American who comes highly recommended by the Lancaster Public Library and Kids N Cultures. Merci is preparing a multi-faceted experience for the whole family including Latino song, story, dance, visual arts, and even food (tropical fruit). Merci Brill was born in Cuba and raised there until age 8, when she was sent to Puerto Rico as part of the Peter Pan project, with the purpose of escaping Communist indoctrination. Merci enjoys talking about her Cuban childhood versus the Puerto Rican one, and can speak about both cultures in English and Spanish. She plays guitar and sings, and has a music repertoire of Hispanic children's music and adult cultural versions. Merci currently lives in Lancaster. This event is FREE.

At 2 p.m. on Saturday, the Festival presents "La Camioneta," a film about a decommissioned school bus leaving the U.S. on a southward migration that carries it to Guatemala, where it is repaired, repainted and resurrected as one of the brightly-colored camionetas that take the vast majority of Guatemalans to work each day. Since 2006, nearly 1,000 camioneta drivers and fare-collectors have been murdered for refusing or being unable to pay the extortion money demanded by local gangs. The film is in Spanish with English subtitles. Tickets for the film are $7 general admission or $5 for students and seniors.

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