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13/15 University Ave, Second Floor
West Chester, PA 19383

Phone: 610-436-3383

Office of Communications Staff

WCU Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

For more than the 30 days that constitute Hispanic Heritage Month, West Chester University will bring in speakers and performers, offer free cultural films, and host its annual conference on serving our Hispanic population.

Hispanic Heritage Month falls across two months to encompass the independence days of seven Spanish-speaking countries. Sept. 15 is the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day (Oct. 12) or Día de la Raza, which honors the many different peoples of Latin America, falls within this 30-day period.

Latino Communities Conference - Thursday Sept, 17

West Chester University bridges cultures with the seventh annual Latino Communities Conference on Thursday, Sept. 17, bringing to campus people and resources representing current and historic issues important to the Hispanic community. The day's events are free and open to the public (there is also a $12 lunch option).

Pictured: Linda Stevenson
Latino Communities Conference

Sessions are both academic and general-interest covering such topics as Latino life and culture, education/ELL, entrepreneurs, community-builders, health access and the need for more Latino/a health professionals, gangs and media stereotypes. Among the regional agencies presenting are La Comunida Hispana, A Seed on Diamond Street, Maternal and Child Health Consortium of Chester County, and West Kensington Ministries. Educators include professors from Bryn Mawr, Haverford and Swarthmore colleges, Thomas Jefferson University and WCU, plus school districts (Kennett Consolidated, Upper Merion, and West Chester Area). Events run 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., with keynote speaker Melvin Delgado, Boston University, addressing how civic responsibility can engage Latino youth at 11 a.m.

Among the afternoon presentations is a narrative dance titled Supper, People on the Move, choreographed by Silvana Cardell, a U.S. citizen and native of Argentina. The performance (12:30 to 1:45 p.m.) and an accompanying art exhibit by Philadelphia sculptor Jennifer Baker are inspired by the immigration experience. Baker and Cardell have collaborated on several multidisciplinary performance pieces.

All events take place in Sykes Student Union on West Rosedale Avenue. Because the University is in session on Thursday, parking is extremely limited. Continuing Education (ACT 48) credits will be available upon request.

Philly Bloco - Saturday, Sept. 26

Part of the University's WCU Live! Series of premiere performers, Philly Bloco take the stage at 7:30 p.m. The 24 members of this Brazilian Carnivale-style troupe create a mash-up of samba, funk, reggae, and New Orleans 2nd-line with 12 Samba drummers, vocals, horns, accordion, costumed dancers and more. General admission $10. Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall. Tickets: 610-436-2266.

WCU's First Spanish-Language Film Festival - Wednesdays, Sept. 30–Oct. 28

The West Chester University community will have an opportunity for cultural exploration when five Spanish-language films are shown on campus this fall. All films have English subtitles and the screenings are free and open to the public.

A faculty member from Department of Languages and Cultures will introduce each film and facilitate discussion afterward. WCU received a grant from Pragda to host screenings for the Spanish Film Club series, which is also supported by SPAIN Arts and Culture and the Secretary of State for Culture of Spain.

The films will be shown at 7:30 p.m. in Mitchell Hall Room 102 each Wednesday from Sept. 30 through Oct. 28. In the schedule below, the director's name follows each film title, as well as the country of origin and year produced. At the end of the entry is the name of the faculty member hosting the film that evening.

9/30 - Wrinkles (Ignacio Ferreras. Spain, 2012) This animated feature based on Spanish artist Paco Roca's graphic novel examines the indignities of aging. Megan Saltzman.

10/7 - Cuento chino (Sebastián Borensztein. Argentina, 2012) In Buenos Aires, a loner and a Chinese man looking for a relative find unexpected connections that change both their lives. Jason Bartles.

10/14 - Paraíso (Mariana Chenillo. Mexico, 2014) Body image and self-confidence are at stake when a couple try to lose weight and one succeeds faster than the other. Innhwa Park.

10/21 - Las analfabetas (Moisés Sepúlveda. Chile, 2013). An illiterate middle-aged woman learns how to read. Tia Malkin-Fontecchio.

10/28 - Who Is Dayani Cristal? (Marc Silver, Producer Gael García. Mexico-USA, 2014) The name tattooed on a decomposing body in the Arizona desert pushes filmmakers and forensic pathologists to discover his identity. Daniela Johannes.