Santa Barbara Public Library Celebrates Latin American Immigrant Culture in Santa Barbara | Homes and Lifestyle

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Posted on September 16, 2021
| 1:01 p.m.

The Santa Barbara Public Library invites the community to a series of month-long events celebrating the culture of Latin American immigrants in Santa Barbara.

With the support of a grant from the California Humanities Library Innovation Lab, the Integrating Immigrants series programs showcase the music, art, poetry and food of the Latin American immigrant community, with the aim of bringing together immigrants and share their culture with the entire Santa Barbara region. residents.

Events include an evening of Afro-Latin music and dance with Radio Café; Exhibition in an art gallery, Things We Do Not Say: Intergenerational Conversations Through Art on Taboo Subjects in Immigrant Families; a poetry and fanzine workshop for bilingual young adults led by a local poet; and Taste of Home – home recipe contest and cookbook collection celebrating Latin American cuisine.

The California Humanities Library Innovation Lab’s programs are developed over a nine-month period with the goal of meeting the needs and circumstances of today’s immigrants and immigrant communities and fostering more inclusive communities in California.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the Santa Barbara Public Library carried out an extensive awareness campaign to develop a series of events for and with the local immigrant community.

Library staff, who are themselves Latin American immigrants, reached out to community members from a variety of cultural backgrounds, including recent immigrants and those whose families had been in the United States for generations. .

A clear theme emerged from the conversations with all: aspirations to connect with each other and develop stronger bonds between immigrants of different origins, as well as a desire for the rest of Santa Barbara to appreciate more fully. the diversity of experiences, origins and cultures.

“The immigrants I have met have all expressed a desire to participate in events that allow them to reconnect with their culture and traditions in a welcoming and safe space where they can explore and share aspects of Latin American culture, and feel at home with people again. that represent their culture, ”said Eric Castro, head of the Library Innovation Lab.

“It was especially important for them to find ways to share aspects of their culture with their children,” he said.

The Immigrant Integration Series will bring together immigrants to share music, dance, art, poetry and their favorite recipes with each other, and invite the rest of the Santa Barbara community to experience the rich tapestry. of Latin American culture.

“America’s public libraries have played an important role in welcoming newcomers throughout our history,” said Julie Fry, president / CEO of California Humanities. “This year, our Library Innovation Lab program cohort will continue this legacy by building the capacity of California libraries for all communities in our state, from newly arrived immigrants to long-term residents.”

The Afro-Peruvian concert with Radio Café will take place at 5:30 p.m. on October 15 at the Lower Plaza Central Library, 40 E. Anapamu St. The community is invited to a showcase of Afro-Latin music and culture in an after -midday with vibrations of Latin music with Radio Café, a musical trio specializing in Afro-Peruvian music, Cumbia and Son.

The sound of Radio Café brings together an electric guitar with its groove rock, a Peruvian cajon with its vibrant wood and a tuba taken from the context of symphony orchestras to add versatility to its bass sound. After the concert there will be a bilingual Spanish / English conversation with the musicians on Afro-Latino culture, diaspora, history, etc.

Masks are mandatory and capacity is limited to allow social distancing. Register through the library’s website for reserved seats.

The Things We Do Not Say art exhibition will take place from September 15 to October 15. 30 in the Faulkner Gallery Central Library, 40 E. Anapamu St.

This art exhibit features works by local Latin American immigrant artists in a variety of mediums. Their works focus on how different artistic expressions communicate the artist’s unique vision and experience as an immigrant to older generations in the hope that these works can spark an open intergenerational conversation about any aspect of their life. a life that is not easily talked about within families when they negotiate their identity as immigrants in a new country.

Instead of a reception, the library will produce a video interview with participating artists.

The Taste of Home Cookbook Contest is accepting submissions until October 15.

Food is a celebration of culture, connecting us to family heritage. Recipes handed down from generation to generation are a way to maintain traditions. This is especially true for immigrant families. A favorite recipe can instantly transport someone to their home country and give their kids a taste of home.

Whether recited and memorized and transmitted through oral tradition or kept in handwritten cards in familiar script, these recipes have stood the test of time. SBPL invites members of the immigrant community to submit their family’s best recipe for the chance to feature in a cookbook published by SBPL and added to the library’s collections. Contributors will also receive a copy of the cookbook.

To learn more about this contest and to submit your own recipe, visit the Library’s website.

The Bilingual Immigrant Identity Poetry / Zine Workshop will be held at 5:30 p.m. on October 1, 2021 at the Eastside Library Outdoor Patio, 1102 E. Montecito St.

Led by SBCC professor and poet Joshua Escobar, this workshop will help bilingual young adults reflect on their experience as a child of immigrants while writing and designing their own DIY magazine, or zine, while learning the techniques. collage and layout.

The series of immigrant integration programs are made possible through support from California Humanities, a nonprofit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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