Category: culture

Day of the Dead brings families together in Pilsen

Day of the Dead brings families together in Pilsen
It almost felt like being in a cemetery in Mexico. More than 75 families built ofrendas, or shrines, in memory of their loved ones outside the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood Sunday. El Día de los Muertos,  or the Day of the Dead, celebrated on November 1 and 2, is a... Read more »

Andina: An opera by Chicago's first Hispanic composer

Andina: An opera by Chicago's first Hispanic composer
Two years ago in a box in his aunt’s basement, Arlen Parsa found a musical score. Crumpled and faded, it was an opera written by his late great grandfather in the early 1930s. Eustasio Rosales came to the U.S. from Colombia as a young man. Parsa had heard stories that his great grandfather was a... Read more »

We're Americanos: Share your Latino story

We're Americanos: Share your Latino story
Today marks the start of Hispanic Heritage Month. I suggest we celebrate by sharing our own stories and the contributions Latinos have made in the U.S. Let’s not let certain politicians demonize us. Let’s not let them popularize the narrative that we are “criminals and rapists.” So I’ve created a Twitter account @wereamericanos and I’m... Read more »
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Ruben H. Vazquez: 1930-2015, a mariachi with a heart of gold

Ruben H. Vazquez: 1930-2015, a mariachi with a heart of gold
In the 1950s Ruben H. Vazquez joined some of the first mariachi bands in Chicago, Mariachi Jalisco and Mariachi Potosino. Mariachi Potosino went on to play for President Johnson, Nixon, and Kennedy as well as for both Mayor Daleys. Photos of Vazquez and his mariachi band are in the book “Mexican Chicago” and also have... Read more »

Cinco de Mayo parade in Pilsen

Cinco de Mayo parade in Pilsen
Cinco de Mayo is celebrated more in the United States than in Mexico. In Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, there were bands, vaqueros, bikers and lowriders in a parade Sunday along Cermak Road. Cinco de Mayo marks the 1862 Battle of Puebla where Mexico defeated France under Napoleon. In most of Mexico, May 5 is a regular... Read more »

Saturday Night Live: Where are the Latinos?

Saturday Night Live: Where are the Latinos?
I grew up watching Saturday Night Live and along with millions of others was eager to see the 40th anniversary show. I laughed at Emma Stone’s homage to Gilda Radner. As a kid I used to say it along with Radner, “Roseanne Rosannadanna!” I smiled at Wayne’s World. Party on! I loved the Weekend Update... Read more »
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Chicanísima Cultural Calendar December 2014

Chicanísima Cultural Calendar December 2014
Check out these cultural happenings in Chicago this December: Latino Music Festival with Fareed Haque’s Math Games, Elbio Barilari & Volcano Radar, Gustavo Leone, December 4, 8 p.m. Mayne Stage, 1328 W. Morse Ave. $15 “Paintings, Prose & Poetry” event features award-winning Chicago Chicana writer and artist Ana Castillo with a rare display of her... Read more »

Caras de los Muertos: Faces of the Dead

Caras de los Muertos: Faces of the Dead
Pilsen was a great place to be muertos this weekend. From the Carrera de los Muertos, or 5k Race of the Dead, to the annual #muertosdelarisa procession by ElevArte, the face of death was everywhere in this Chicago neighborhood and along 18th Street. For Día de los Muertos, a fusion of Catholic and indigenous traditions... Read more »

How to make a Day of the Dead altar

How to make a Day of the Dead altar
In Mexico, parts of Central America and the U.S., Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead is time to remember those we have lost. There are vigils in cemeteries where graves are cleaned and decorated with cempasúchil, a type of marigold. Many families also build ofrendas (offerings) or altars in their homes or... Read more »
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18th Street Pilsen Open Studios showcases more than 80 artists

Prospectus Gallery group exhibit Made in Pilsen IX
The 18th Street Pilsen Open Studios continues Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. It was started in 2003 by a group of local artists who live in, work in or have a strong historical connection to Pilsen. In addition to mural walks, there are guided studio and van tours. See map. Among the artists featured... Read more »