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'Latinos in the Arts' theme of Latino Awareness Month Events
(Released: 3/29/00)

By Allison Thompson, Office of University Communications

STORRS, Conn. -- With the popularity of singers like Ricky Martin and Jennifer Lopez and actors such as Salma Hayek and Antonio Banderas, Latinos are at the forefront of popular culture like never before. In April, the University of Connecticut will commemorate the achievements of these and other performers with "Latinos in the Arts," the 31st Latino Awareness Month celebration.

This year's events begin on Monday, April 3, with an opening ceremony featuring a keynote address by performer and community activist Felipe Luciano. The ceremony, which will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Rome Commons Ballroom, South Campus is free and open to the public and the media. People who wish to attend are asked to RSVP to Cindy at (860) 486-1135.

Luciano was the founder and chairman of the Young Lords Party, a 1960s Puerto Rican civil rights group in New York City and Chicago. He was also a member of the Original Last Poets, one of the first hip-hop groups.

The winner of two Emmy Awards and an ACE Award, Luciano was the first Puerto Rican news anchor on a network broadcast for WNBC. Currently the president and founder of Luciano Productions Inc., Luciano has also worked as a print journalist.

On Friday, April 14, Sonia Nieto, a professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, will be the keynote speaker at a conference "Education for a Diverse Society: The Latino Experience." The conference, sponsored by the Neag School of Education, will run from 9:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center's Konover Auditorium.

On Saturday, April 15, Latin Fest 2000 will be held at the Jorgensen Auditorium. The nightclub cabaret, which begins at 8 p.m., will feature performances by Latin artists Oro Sólido, Domingo Quiñones and Los Deskkontrolados, merengue and salsa music, dancing and Latino food.

A Latino Recognition Banquet on Monday, May 1, rounds out the month-long celebration. Beginning at 5 p.m. in Rome Commons Ballroom in South Campus, the ceremony will feature a keynote address by Sandra Guzmán, former editor-in-chief of Latina magazine.

Other events during the month-long celebration are:

Tuesday, April 4, a lecture on "Social Justice and Revisionist History in the Poetry of Aida Cartagena Portalatin" by Romanita Marcano at 3 p.m. in Arjona Building Room 221.

Tuesday, April 4, a book reading by Juan Gonzalez, the author of Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America, at the UConn Co-op at 4 p.m.

Friday, April 7, the Latino UConn Pageant, "Millennium Magic," in the Student Union Ballroom from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Tuesday, April 11, a lecture titled "The Spanish Caribbean in Translation: Traveling Narratives," by Guillermo Irizarry, at 3 p.m. in Arjona Building Room 221.

Thursday, April 13, a poetry reading, "So Often the Picture Goes to Water Until It Breaks," by Rigoberto González, at the UConn Co-op at 7 p.m.

Sunday, April 16, a comedy night featuring comedian Eric Nieves at 9 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom.

Monday, April 17, a poetry reading by Martin Espada, in the UConn Co-op at 7 p.m.

Thursday, April 20, a lecture, "Eminent Maricones: Arenas, Lorca, Puig and Me," by author and poet Jaime Manrique in Student Union Room 358 at 4 p.m.

Tuesday, April 25, a lecture on "Barbarians at the Gate: Race and Canonicity in Latin American Theater," by William Garcia, at 3 p.m. in Arjona Building Room 221.

Friday, April 28, a screening of the film Buena Vista Social Club, at 7:30 p.m. at the von der Mehden Recital Hall.

March 2000 Releases
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