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Lillian Casillas
La Casa

Nicole Roales
IU Office of University Communications

Last modified: Tuesday, September 2, 2008

IUís Festival Latino brings in a Grammy-nominated group to celebrate 10th anniversary

Sept. 2, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- To celebrate its 10th year, organizers of the 2008 Festival Latino at Indiana University Bloomington will bring in a Grammy-nominated group to perform at the free outdoor event.

Festival Latino

Dancers demonstrate a Latino-style dance during a previous Festival Latino at IU Bloomington.

Print-Quality Photo

Latino culture will be celebrated with food, live music, dancing, interactive activities and more during the one-day festival sponsored by the IU Latino Cultural Center, La Casa. The festival will take place from noon to 6 p.m. on Sept. 20 in Dunn Meadow, located at the corner of Seventh Street and Indiana Avenue in Bloomington. The event is open to the IU and Bloomington communities. Festival Latino is one of many events scheduled during National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 to Oct. 15).

"The original mission of Festival Latino still applies 10 years later," said Lillian Casillas, director of La Casa. "It is an opportunity for people who are Latino and non-Latino, on and off campus, to get together in a venue that is educational and fun to celebrate the overall community. It's also a great kick-off for National Hispanic Heritage Month."

The festival will help those at IU and in the community to learn and experience the many facets of Hispanic culture. Many activities have been planned to facilitate interaction and active involvement in the festival. Local vendors will serve food, and booths will feature activities that will educate and entertain.

Four bands will perform: Descarga (Latin rock), Kumbia Queers (Kumbia-style music), Women of Mass Percussion (Brazilian band consisting of IU students) and the Grammy Award-nominated group Sones de Mexico. Festival Latino will open with a concert for children called "Fiesta Mexicana" by Sones de Mexico. The group will also close the event with a concert for the general public.

Union Board is collaborating with La Casa to bring Sones de Mexico to the campus. The group was nominated for a Grammy for Best Mexican/Mexican-American Album in 2008. Sones de Mexico is Chicago's premier folk music ensemble, specializing in Mexican 'son' including the regional styles of huapango, gustos, chilenas, son jarocho and more. The group formed in 1994 to keep the tradition of Mexican 'son' alive in its many regional forms. Juan Dies, one of the founding members of Sones de Mexico, is an IU alumnus (Class of 1994). As a performer and recording artist, the ensemble has developed and popularized many original arrangements of Mexican traditional tunes.

The Mathers Museum of World Cultures at IU Bloomington will lead families in activities throughout the day, including:

  • Milagros -- Make a wish, and make a milagro (miracle). Think of something you wish for and use aluminum foil to make a small version of something that stands for your wish.
  • Inca Quipu -- Incas used quipu to keep track of the king's storehouses and to follow the movements of the stars in the sky. Make your own quipu to keep track of things you do.
  • Otomi Paper Figures: Learn about the sacred and artistic tradition of Otomi Indians from Mexico by making beautiful paper-cut figures.
  • Aztec Sun Stone: Decorate the sacred Aztec calendar that holds symbols of days, the sun and versions of the world.
  • Many other fun and engaging activities for kids and adults.

Festival Latino sponsors include the Latino Enhancement Cooperative, La Casa, Union Board, Latino Studies, College of Arts and Sciences, Office of Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs and the City of Bloomington Community and Family Resources Department.

For more information, call La Casa at 812-855-0174. Casillas can be reached at 812-855-1740 and