Latino Heritage Month Event at Columbia

The Problem

Space: Low Plaza, main central outdoor campus location at Columbia University Date: Friday October 12 Time: 12- 3pm Aim: To celebrate Latino Heritage Month by illustrating through music/dance/theatrical performances the cultural contribution Latinos have made to NYC and why its art and thus affordable housing should be preserved while NYC is being “restored” because the artistic cultural contribution Latinos have made since the 1940s has drawn newcomers to want to live in New York City and in its artistic urban neighborhoods. Meetings Held: - Carol- space request - Kecia Brown- GQ advisor - Professors from CUNY & Columbia: Helga De Valk, Philip Kasinitz, Juan Flores, Raquel Z. Rivera, Ramona Hernandez, Nicole Marwell I. FUNDING OUTREACH A. Internal - Columbia: Latino Alumni Association, Center of Ethnicity and Race Studies: Latino Studies Program, SCEG, SPEAK Latino groups: SOL, Accion Boricua, Phi Iota Frat, Chicano Caucus B. External - NYU: Latino Studies Program, Latino groups, Social Justice Groups - Yale: Latino Studies Program, Latino groups, Social Justice Groups: Jamil Abreu - CUNY: Latino Studies Program, Latino groups, Social Justice Groups - Fordham: Latino Studies Program, Latino groups, Social Justice Groups - Dominican Studies CUNY - community orgs - David Ortiz baseball player - Bridgez Magazine & Brenda's contacts - Dominican Times magazine - Hispanic Business Magazine - Latina Magazine - Dominican Counsel, Allianza Dominicana - corporate sponsors from Latino Networking Event II. LETTERS - Potential Speakers: Piri Thomas, Julia Alvarez, Prof. Nicole Marwell, Prof. Raquel Z. Rivera, Prof. Juan Flores, Young Lords Felipe Luciano, Councilmen: Robert Jackson, Miguel Martinez, Rosie Mendez, Charles Deren Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez - Performers - Sponsors - invitation to schools: George Washington, Mother Cabrini (Contact GQ alumni: Migna) III. SHOWCASE (Preliminary Performers) Intro: Before Showcase begins, Grupo Quisqueyano can welcome everyone followed by a short welcomes by Councilwomen and men and Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez. 1890s- 1940s: From the 1890s to 1940s, significant numbers of Puerto Rican immigrants began migrating to the United States, particularly settling in New York City. Many Puerto Ricans chose to come to New York City in the 1890s because of New York City's symbolic representation of democracy and independence which they did not have back home due to the close ties the island had with Spanish colonialism. In addition, many Puerto Ricans wanted to work in the United States as other immigrants in search for the "American Dream." U.S. economy was in need of labor specifically during World War II and granted many industrial positions to Puerto Rican immigrants among others coming into the country. - A speaker such as Professor Nicole P. Marwell of Columbia University would introduce herself and this time period by briefly conveying the social and political historical content summarized above. A skit would follow her introduction to visually illustrate this time period with actors from the PR traveling theater in the Bronx showing Puerto Ricans coming to New York in search of jobs and independence. 1950s: During the 1950s, much more Puerto Rican immigrants came to New York City as well as many popular Cuban music known to many as the Mambo. Such Cuban artists as Machito and the Afro-Cubans and the first mambo song, "El Manisero," or the "Peanut Vendor," opened up the mambo market for other later musicians like Tito Puente and Tito Rodriguez. Mambo became exceptionally popular during the 1950s and attracted Hollywood stars such as Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner to the Palladium, the most famous mambo club in New York City around the Times Square area. Blacks and Latinos from Harlem, East Harlem and other urban neighborhoods gathered at the Palladium in their best attire to mingle with people of the upper classes where they all shared one thing in common despite race and class- mambo. - A speaker such as Professor Paul Scolieri would introduce himself and this era by briefly conveying the historical context summarized above. - A skit would follow to show Latinos and Blacks getting ready to dance mambo in their apartments in Harlem, which would follow them dancing at the Palladium which is where Mambo Musicians such as Tito Puente's son can play famous songs from the era. - Roberta Singer- City Lore- Mambo to Hip Hop- potential professional dancers. - Paul Scolieri knows Eddie Torres' contact info for professional dancers as well. 1960s: During the 1960s, Dominicans begin to arrive in significant numbers due to the tyrannical rule of dictator Trujillo. Many are in search of work opportunities for the "American Dream," although U.S. economy is beginning to decline in the mid-60s. As a result, industrial job positions begin to diminish. Dominicans move predominantly into Washington Heights, although a lot also move later to the Lower East Side, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens. Many set-up their own businesses like bodegas, restaurants, and local neighborhood shops such as hardware stores and bakery shops. They also set-up their own political parties from Dominican politics back home in New York City. Also, many Dominicans become great baseball players in MLB. - A speaker such as Ramona Hernandez from the Center of Dominican Studies would introduce herself and present this era by briefly conveying the historical content summarized above. Perhaps Dominican author Julia Alvarez can be present as well as a Dominican baseball player like David Ortiz. -A Skit performed by actors of "Las Manos De Dios" play performed on 42nd Street will incorporate a theatrical act of leaving Trujillo to come to NY in search of opportunities to set-up their own businesses, mostly moving to Washington Heights. - Music would be played while this skit is going on by such groups as: - Allianza Dominicana --> Ilu Aye (palos, salves, gaga, sarandunga) - Angelina ---> Elidio Paredes - Last year's Dominican Block Party band. 1960s, 1970s, '80s: During the 1960s there was also a rise in political activity from groups who felt their voices had not been heard. The Black Panthers heavily influenced the creation of the Young Lords, a political, often violently expressive group of predominantly Puerto Rican college students and people of the streets. During the early 1970s, New York City loses 1 million people since many middle class residents move to the suburbs with the facilitation provided by newly created transportation and the influx of poor minorities and immigrants. The city undergoes a fiscal crisis in 1975 partly due to the leave of the middle class. Many cannot find jobs or jobs that will pay enough since industrial job positions were no longer in demand. Many New York City residents turn to the sale of illegal drugs and its usage. By the 1980s, AIDS becomes a crisis. The majority of New York City is poor. However, a lot of art comes of out the 60s, 70s, and 80s in music, dance, visual art, spoken word, and film. In addition, although New York City is at a low level during the mid 70s, it is the poor people, primarily Latinos and Blacks, who hold up the city, even if it is at a low level. Mexicans begin coming in the 80s but in more significant numbers in the '90s. - A range of speakers are desired to speak about this era vividly such as a former Young Lord, perhaps a former Black Panther, Ed Morales a journalist and Revson fellow, artist Jean Michel Vasquiat from the Lower East Side who is familiar with '60s and '70s political avant garde, and Anthony Morales, a former student at Columbia and NuYorican and DefJam poet. It would be great if we could get Piri Thomas to come in and speak about this period since he has poems about it. - A skit of political activity can follow showing activists striking and squatters in East Harlem and the Lower East Side. A NuYorican and DefJam Poet and Columbia graduate such as Anthony Morales can perhaps speak or do a spokenword piece preferably relevant to the era. At the same time, the skit can continue showing how people cannot find jobs and turn to the sale and usage of drugs and art can be shown. However, predominantly poor Latino and Blacks, the people of the New York City hold it up during the economic crisis. - Young Lords Contact- Melinda Gonzalez ( Panama Alba & women Nicole Marwell- Felipe Luciano - Other Famous NuYorican Poets: Sandra Maria Estevez, Papoleto Melendez, Miriel Andarin, Yerbabuena's Flaco - Artist Jean Michel Vasquiat can be contacted. - Ed Morales can be contacted as he was present in a Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race meeting. - A former Black Panther professor is at Columbia. '80s, '90s & 2000: During the 70s and 80s, following and evolving in the 90s and 2000s, is the era of hip hop. Hip hop is most notably composed of four elements: MC's or rappers; Disc-Jockeys; dance with breakdancers and pop-lockers; and graffiti. The birth of hip hop is claimed to be in the South Bronx of New York City. Many early hip hop artists begin as political advocates through music lyrics like KRS One and Public Enemy with Flavor Flav from New York City on the East Coast. LL Cool J, MC Lyte, and Will Smith are other rappers during the time that do not curse and have an "old school" style. However, hip hop changes when rappers like Ice-T, Dr. Dre, and Snoop Doog from the West Coast during the late '80s, early '90s, begin to curse on their records and speak of more obscene themes. Tupac is still around and producing some songs that are politically inclined. Biggie Smalls from Junior Mafia becomes the greatest of his time along with Tupac, however they both are killed. Jay Z becomes the best critically acclaimed rapper after these legends in the 2000s. Other later rappers like 50 Cent with his G-unit group become popular in the 2000s as well. Hip Hop heavily influences reggaetton which becomes mainstream in the 2000s but was called underground in the mid 90s and was heard in Puerto Rico and Panama in the 80s and early '90s by such artists as El General and Vico-C. -It would be desirable for the hip hop portion of this event to be introduced by someone in the hip hop community, but if not, it can be introduced by a knowledgeable professor of both hip hop and reggaetton, Raquel Z. Rivera. - Two Turntables will be set up with one DJ in each. Both DJs will compete against one another by "scratching" on records. While this is going on, there will be a competition of breakdancers and pop-lockers. Henry Street Abrons Art Center dancers will then come in to show old-school dancers. Graffiti artists like Chico from the Lower East Side, will be shown putting up his work and possibly spray painting on a canvas right there. MC's with a beat boxer can then come out to battle each other. Preferably an artist from the hip community would be desired to perform. Reggaetton artists can follow. Outro: A speaker from among the Councilwomen and men or congresswoman will close strongly and Grupo Quisqueyano will say its thank yous to everyone for coming and everyone who helped make this event possible. IV. SET-UP COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION TABLES around stage COLLEGE ORGANIZATION TABLES around stage NYC MARCH REPRESENTATIVE TABLES around stage ARTIST MURAL PROJECTS (CHICO & JEDI)around stage T-SHIRT SALES- SPRAY PAINT (DOVES), OTHERS (CHICO's SHIRTS)before, during, and after show is going on.

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