Tacoma Arts Live, in partnership with Latinx Unidos del South Sound (LUSS), is pleased to announce the seventh annual Festival Latinx on Saturday, October 14 from 12:00-5:00 p.m. Festival Latinx is a celebration of the Latinx communities of the South Sound with music, dance, art, crafts, and more. This event is FREE to attend. This year’s theme is Alegría (Happiness).
Attendees will experience live performances that reflect the diversity of Latinx communities, with musical acts including festival favorite Mariachi Guadalajara de Seattle kicking off the festival at noon. Dance performances feature lively choreography and colorful costumes. Bailadores de Bronce – the Northwest’s premiere Mexican ballet folklórico company – will open the dance stage, followed by students in Tacoma Arts Live’s school-based folklórico program in East Tacoma, and Costa Rican group Caña Dulce. Afro-Puerto Rican ensemble, Hijos de Agüeybaná, under the direction of drum master Otoqui Reyes will present the powerful tradition of bomba drum and dance, followed by Argentine vocalist and bandoneon player Mirta Wymerszberg’s program of tango dance and live music with Sol de Noche. Huehca Omeyocan will close out the mainstage with the inspiring traditions of Mexica (Aztec) music and dance, adorned in captivating regalia.
Celebrated Tacoma visual artist Gerardo Peña Aka Periko will create debut an original mural where festival attendees can contribute their own stories of what brings them Alegría (Happiness). Surrounding the mural will be a hands-on arts and craft zone serving children and creators of all ages. LUSS and Calavera Collective will host traditional craft activities with additional children’s activities from the Tacoma Public Library, the Children’s Museum of Tacoma, and Symphony Tacoma.
A mercadito – or little market – will feature dozens of Latinx visual artists and vendors offering handmade jewelry, imported and local handcrafts, bilingual books, and small-batch creations. Additionally, various nonprofit and advocacy organizations serving the Latinx and broader communities will be on hand with information and resources. The festival will continue its longtime commitment to community health by partnering with the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, Molina Healthcare, and other services. Finally, the event will also feature local Latinx food and drink vendors such as Lopez Cocinita LAB and Komadre Kombucha, serving Mexican and Caribbean inspired flavors.
With five hours of free music, dance, art, crafts, food and hands on activities, Festival Latinx welcomes community members of all ages to explore the rich tapestry of diverse Latin American heritage that is reflected in the Latinx communities of our region!
“Latinx Unidos del South Sound is a grassroots treasure that has been a wonderful amplifier of the Latinx community in the South Sound, where Latinos compose one of the largest demographic groups. From vaccine clinics to educational and immigration advocacy, to this beloved festival. Tacoma Arts Live is honored to host this annual celebration of Latinidad,” said Tacoma Arts Live Director of Community Engagement & Extended Learning, Antonio Gómez. “Not only is it an opportunity for us all to explore the incredible range of experiences encompassed in our Latine communities – who trace their heritage across Latin America – it’s also a special culmination of the work we do year-round to advance cultural art forms like our school-aged ballet folklórico program, and to ensure that the arts are a tool to help all residents come to know each other better.”
Festival Latinx is produced by Latinx Unidos del South Sound, a volunteer community organization, through its fiscal sponsor, the Pierce County AIDS Foundation. Presented in partnership with Tacoma Arts Live with major funding through Tacoma Creates and additional support from Sound Transit, Puget Sound Energy and KNKX Public Radio.