Tacoma’s second Latin Arts Festival will celebrate professional and student artwork in August. But first, Centro Latino needs submissions.
One of the nonprofit’s board members, David Artis, spoke with The News Tribune about the Hilltop festival and this year’s theme for the art contests.
Question: What will the festival be like?
Answer: We plan on having live music, dancing lessons for the various types of Latin music. Salsa and so on. Tango. A long line of vendors selling their wares. There will be activities for children. We’re not sure if we’re going to have a beer garden or not.
We’ll have some lowrider cars available for people to look at. At the beginning of the festival, there will be over 40 different countries represented. Children will be carrying the flags of their various countries and dressed in traditional costumes. It’s like a parade.
It should be a very fun day for lots of people, and it’s a good way to learn about the culture and the art.
Q: What’s the theme this year for the art submissions?
A: This year’s theme is migrations in the Americas. Which could be anything. The gray whales migrate from Baja, Mexico, all the way up to Alaska. There’s lots of animals, but there’s also the migration of peoples as well.
Q: What’s the deadline?
A: Everything has to be in the first week of August.
Q: When can the public see the artwork?
A: They’re welcome to come in during the week of Aug. 11 and look at the art while it’s being judged. Or they can come the day of the festival, which is Aug. 16. It starts at 11 a.m. and ends at 6 p.m.
Q: Are the artists all local?
A: We just had a person who applied from California. We have someone from Belize who is interested. And someone from Florida.
Q: How did you get involved with the center?
A: I was challenged to be a part of the community, and not just talk about helping, but actually help. I joined the Centro Latino board, and I’ve been a board member ever since, so 14 years. Now that I’m retired, it’s a big part of what I do.
Q: What sort of work does the center do?
A: It does a lot of work with families. We have a computer lab, we have classes for adults and children as far as computers. We have (English as a second language) classes.
If people need interpretation, if they need something written from Spanish to English or vice versa, we do that.
At tax time we do a lot of help with taxes for Latinos who are not bilingual. All the proceeds that we receive (from the festival) will go into our education fund. We do employment and job training, and family support and family outreach.