Seattle Theatre Group celebrates Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month
By Alison Ward, STG PR & Communications Intern
It's Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15–Oct. 15)! To celebrate the diverse peoples of Latin American ancestry, Seattle Theatre Group is bringing you a couple stories from artists in our community, a curated playlist of artists, and a resource list of educational materials and businesses to support. Read on below to enjoy!
¡El Mes de la Herencia Latine/Hispana es hoy hasta el 15 de octubre! Para celebrar a la comunidad de ascendencia latinoamericana, diríjase al #STGBlog para conocer historias de personas de nuestra comunidad, una lista curada de artistas latines e hispanos creada por el equipo de Programacion de STG una lista de recursos de materiales educativos y negocios para apoyar.
STG Artist Q&A's:
Describe who you are and/or your relationship with STG.
"My name is Angelina Villalobos Soto, but my artist superhero name is 179. I'm a Seattle-born artist and muralist. Currently, I am hanging art in a group show called Re:Definition at the Paramount Theater. Visual arts for me are a huge way of telling a story without saying a word. It allows the viewer to internalize the artist's meaning based on the feeling they get when they look at the work and then reciprocates it with their personal experiences. Therefore, I would describe my work as colors telling you, their story." – Angelina Villalobos Soto
"My name is Estrella Gonzales Sanders, I'm 13 years old, and I've been working with STG since I was 5-years-old on various projects." – Estrella Gonzales Sanders
"My name is Reiner Ramos Valdez. I am a member of La Clave Cubana and from Havana Cuba. I know STG through a very dear friend, Monica Rojas. Eventually, we were invited to perform in DANCE This. I remember well at the Moore Theatre it was a super enriching experience and a super nice budget for us. Later that year I participated in a summer camp where we had the opportunity to teach young boys a little bit of salsa and a little bit of my Afro-Cuban roots. "– Reiner Ramos Valdez
"My name is Daniela (Danny) Gallardo and I am a member of La Clave Cubana and I am Mexican. I also started at DANCE This and a little later, I was invited to become a Teaching Artist for Disney Musicals in Schools. Of course, wherever I am invited, I am there!" – Danny Gallardo
On this Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month—what are you celebrating?
"After much reflection, I've realized that I'm building on the legacy previous Latine American muralists started by painting their experiences. And as someone who traditionally didn't have access to education, the arts, or the freedom to pursue art as a career, I developed an art practice that allows me to live my passion. It is my thinking that once something exists in the universe, it's only chance of survival is to grow and evolve generationally. I am therefore celebrating my participation in the rich history of storytelling through visual arts." – Angelina Villalobos Soto
"I'm celebrating being able to be myself, and the fact that my family can express themselves freely without being worried about the consequences." – Estrella Gonzales Sanders
Why does representation onstage/in the arts matter to you?
"Representation opens the possibilities for potential futures. We're often told by adults that we can be anything we want, but what if we don't even know what those options are because our exposure is so limited? Or we can be anything we want just as long as it conforms to the restrictions of our gender, culture and family expectations? This stipulation often is the hurdle that we struggle with the most, finding a balance between the two, specifically, if we're the first generation, children of immigrants or the only English speaker. For families, the arts are often seen as a luxury. Therefore, each successful person who overcomes these obstacles is an example for a potential future for someone else looking to them as a role model." – Angelina Villalobos Soto
"Representation onstage and in the arts matters to me because it's important to be able to see someone who looks like me doing something that eventually I see myself doing as a lifestyle." – Estrella Gonzales Sanders
"It is important to create a community where everyone feels accepted as they are and a safe community where you can express yourself and also carry our culture to more people, not only Latinos, but to others who want to know our cultures or are too far from their countries or their roots."– Danny Gallardo
"It's that little bit of culture, that little bit of warmth that we are capable of transmitting through our dance. With our Cuban Salsa dance studio, people have written reviews and told us stories about meeting their partner from our classes; they have found a wonderful community to be a part of. "– Reiner Ramos Valdez
Latinx/Hispanic communities are complex and diverse. What are some ways we can be supporting these communities?
"Listening not just with our ears, but with our hearts is truly one of the biggest flexes you can do for yourself in learning about someone else. As Latine, we deal with similar issues such as colorism, the erasure of our Indigenous identity, the economic instability of our home countries and machismo/ patriarchy for example. Ways, we can understand each other is to talk openly and honestly and in more accessible ways; interviews, podcasts, books, storytelling through firsthand experiences are all ways we can share, support and bring understanding." – Angelina Villalobos Soto
"We can support these communities by learning about them, learning about their cultures and their history." – Estrella Gonzales Sanders
Is there anything else you would like to add about yourself and/or your heritage? Providing a story connected with you and your heritage would be great, too.
"For a long time, I tried to compartmentalize my identity. For example, I wanted to keep my art self-separate from my gender and my ethnicity. I was taught to see these elements of my identity as weaknesses. Oftentimes I would be told I was a good artist… for a girl hence naming myself a number. Or the comparison to another Mexican woman artist (who I also share a July 6 birthday with) Frida Kahlo. This would often overlook the fact that our work looks nothing alike, unintentionally erasing the work I actually did create. So, in trying to distance myself from these, I made my life harder. In my youth, I didn't realize the artists that came before me had so much knowledge I could pull inspiration from because their history is my very own. So now, I use my very, very Spanish name; one that is gendered and difficult to say, but one that I am extremely proud of." – Angelina Villalobos Soto
"I'm just so excited to see how much we grow as a community in the upcoming years because we're finally finding our voices." – Estrella Gonzales Sanders
Enjoy a special edition of STG Selects featuring Latinx and Hispanic artists! STG selects is a monthly playlist series curated by STG's own programming team. A group of self-professed music nerds we revel in the uncovering of a new favorite song, an impeccable chorus, a rhythm that precisely accompanies a given mood, or a lyric so expertly crafted you promptly play it back twice. We treasure discovering an artist unfamiliar to us, whether their work was released before our time or just this week, whether they are living in the same city we call home or on the other side of the world. These monthly playlists are full of things we've been enjoying. We hope they entertain, delight, and perhaps even introduce you to something new. For more information, go to stgpresents.org/events/stg-selects
Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month Resource List:
Latinx/Heritage Artists coming to Seattle Theatre Group:
Bomba Estereo (Sept. 27 at the Paramount) – A Colombian band founded in Bogotá in 2005 by Simón Mejía. Their music has been described as "electro tropical" or "psychedelic cumbia."
Adrián Uribe & Adal Ramones: ChavoRucos Tour (Oct. 2 at the Moore) – Este 2022 inicia un gran show de comedia con dos de las figuras más importantes en la industria del entretenimiento.
Silvestre Dangond (Oct. 13 at the Moore) – One of the most iconic singers in the new generation of vallenato, popular folk music from Colombia.
The Mars Volta (Oct. 14–15 at the Moore) – An American progressive rock band from El Paso, Texas, formed in 2001.
Intocable (Oct. 16 at the Moore) – One of the most influential groups in the Tejano/Norteño music scene today. For more than 25 years they've crafted a unique and extraordinary style of music fusing Tejano conjunto music, Norteño folk rhythms, pop ballads and rock.
Melissa Villaseñor (Oct. 30 at the Neptune) – Melissa Villaseñor broke barriers by becoming the first-ever Latina cast member of Saturday Night Live.
Café Tacvba (Oct. 30 at the Moore) – A band from Ciudad Satélite, Mexico that gained popularity in the early 1990s.
Las Cafeteras (Nov. 5 at the Moore) – Born and raised East of the Los Angeles River, Las Cafeteras are a sonic explosion of Afro-Mexican rhythms, electronic beats and powerful rhymes.
Los Enanitos Verdes (Nov 19 at the Moore) – Enanitos Verdes is a rock trio from Argentina, formed in 1979 in the city of Mendoza.
Caifanes (Dec. 10 at the Paramount) – A rock band from Mexico City.
Activities and Events to Celebrate Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month:
Bailadores de Bronce – Mexican folkloric dance group that performs around Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. They have also performed at STG's DANCE This.
El Centro de la Raza – A center that offers multi-ethnic services for the Latinx community in Washington. The center also offers educational and cultural programs. On Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022 the center is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Building the Beloved Community Gala. Community members can come to the live event at the Washington State Convention Center or join through virtual viewing.
Read a book from Latinx authors – Oprah Daily offers readers a detailed list of favorite books for Hispanic Heritage Month from the founders of the Latinx Read-a-Thon.
Latino Community Fund of Washington State – Organization investing in the Latinx community and offers community engagement, outreach and education services. On Saturday, Sept. 24 Latino Community Fund and Alianza leadership Program invite Seattle youth to help change the community! South Seattle Youth Mobilizing Summit invites students ages 15-24 to a day of community-building and leadership skill-building through workshops and activities.
Cook traditional Latin American meals with your friends and family – Growing Up Bilingual offers a list of ten mouthwatering easy recipes to bring people together and start conversations about the Latinx culture. While making one or more of these recipes, dance around the kitchen with music from Latinx artists.
MEXAM Northwest Festival – Enjoy a vibrant celebration of Mexican culture with food, music, art, community and more with this muti-venue and multi-event festival happening from Sept. 15 – Oct. 10.
Seattle Latino Film Festival – Oct. 7 – Oct. 15 celebrate movie magic from the Hispanic community with Seattle Latino Film Festivals' 14th annual edition. SLFF includes international filmmakers, producers and actors with the purpose of engaging and educating the Seattle community with cross-cultural perspectives.
The Sea Mar Museum of Chicano/a/Latino/a Culture – A museum in Seattle's South Park neighborhood showcasing the history of Chicanx and Latinx people from post-war immigration to now. The museum is open to the public Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Bahia in Motion – Offering dance classes and various events to bring the joy of Afro-Brazilian culture to the community.
Latinx/Hispanic educational resources:
Terminology: Hispanic, Latinx:
Please Don't Call Us Latinx | Medialuna Magazine
Arts & Culture:
7 Latinx-Owned Brands at Target to Shop During Hispanic Heritage Month (Style Caster)
7 Queer Latinx TikTokers You Should Be Following (Pride)
34 Latinx-Owned Fashion Brands You Should Know About | Teen Vogue
Latinx/Hispanic-owned shops, restaurants and more:
Nepantla Cultural Arts Center – Founded in October 2018 by Jake Prendez & Judy Avitia-Gonzalez, The Nepantla Cultural Arts Gallery is a multi-use multi-cultural accessible arts gallery grounded in the Chicana/o Latinx arts traditions. We are located on the border of West Seattle and the White Center neighborhood.
Lazy Cow Bakery– Lara de la Rosa's mission is to bring joy through pastries and cakes to the Fremont area while highlighting worker's rights — workers even have partial ownership of the bakery and make decisions about their wages and work hours.
Corre – Get your shop on at Corre where both high profile and diverse brands are sold!
Resistencia Coffee – On your way to work stop at this South Park neighborhood coffee shop owned by Coté Soerens and her husband Tim.
Linden Park Whisk – Get a beautiful cake made from scratch in a 100% gluten-free kitchen with gluten-free tools and amazing decorations – even edible gold!
Salua – Founded in 1993 this lingerie and loungewear boutique expanded from Santa Marta to Seattle in 2009. All pieces are ethically manufactured at two family-owned workshops in Colombia.
Flower service/Floral design:
Forget Me Not Plants and Décor – One spot stop for everything from plants to home décor!
Millsweet Flower Co. – Floral designs from Jacki Lee, a first-generation U.S. citizen born to Cuban and Argentine parents. Lee blends the PNW and her Latin roots with her designs.
Ricky Styles Studio – Madrona salon offers coloring and styling services from Jose Zerpa and Ricky Barragan.
Birrieria Tijuana – Burien spot serving birria tacos, burritos and quesadillas from Fredy Zavala and wife Genoveva Arias, offering a unique Mexican fiesta experience!
Pink Salt – Candlelight ambiance with mouthwatering Peruvian food.
La Palma Family Mexican Restaurant - Astrid and Pedro Perez have owned and operated La Palma Family Mexican Restaurant since 1976 and their Lakewood location since 1981!
Frelard Tamales– A small, family-owned tamaleria shop and Mexican food caterer providing authentic handmade food.
Fulcrum Café – Get you morning coffee from fifth-generation Costa Rican coffee farmer Blas Alfaro along with partners Lee Falck, Brian Jurus and Bobby Holt. Shop Latinx and shop local!
Señor Carbón Peruvian Cuisine – This restaurant specializes in Nikkei cuisine, a unique fusion of Peruvian and Japanese flavor.
Salvadorean Bakery and Restaurant – Modest, family-owned find in White Center for Salvadorean dishes & baked goods, plus a market with Hispanic products.
El Legendario – Fremont spot for amazing tacos, burritos and drinks. Nothing better than authentic Mexican food with recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation!
Gold Bar – Trendy neighborhood bar to get craft cocktails and flavorful Latinx food.
La Carta De Oaxaca – Ballard locals favorite spot serving Oaxacan food. Owned and operated by three generations of the Dominguez family.
Ravenna Brewing Company – Handcrafted beer in Ravenna from Elise and Tommy Ortega. Ravenna is open for reservations, private events and offers food trucks and public events.
Rancho Bravo Tacos – With locations in Wallingford, Capitol Hill, Fremont and now on the Ave near the University of Washington, most of our menu is made from scratch, from our salsas to our tamales, from our horchata to our pozole.