Fiesta Cultural celebrates Latinx arts, culture, heritage in Lane County


COVID-19 inspires new programming for the sixth annual Fiesta Cultural

Sept. 9, 2020 — Fiesta Cultural is Lane County’s largest celebration of Latinx arts and culture, featuring in-person and virtual programs and events happening throughout Lane County from September to December. An initiative led by Lane Arts Council, Fiesta Cultural engages the community in welcoming multicultural programs, activities and events that highlight the rich diversity of Latinx arts, culture, and heritage in Lane County.

Fiesta Cultural was created to integrate communities through the arts. Last year, Fiesta Cultural did just that, featuring a kick-off event with almost 2,000 attendees, and engaging the public in over 40 multicultural events.

Lane Arts Council Interim Executive Director Stacey Ray said, “Community members have shared how much they appreciate that Fiesta Cultural creates welcoming opportunities to bring people of different cultures and backgrounds together. Even though we can’t gather together in the same way as usual, we came up with new ways for folx to connect through the arts and celebrate Lane County’s multicultural diversity. This feels especially important right now.”

Despite challenges presented by COVID-19, Lane Arts Council, City of Eugene Cultural Services Division and Fiesta Cultural co-leaders have pivoted to provide events and programming online, in person, and sometimes both. Many events now include live-stream components on Facebook and Zoom, and in-person experiences will require attendees to practice social distancing and wear a face mask.

“Just as we hit our groove for planning Fiesta Cultural, COVID-19 changed everything!” said Lane Arts Council’s Fiesta Cultural Coordinator Jessica Watson. “In prior years, almost all of the programming throughout the four-month festival was based on in-person experiences. We knew this year had to be different and began completely re-imagining the festival. We are excited that Fiesta Cultural is still able to highlight the breadth of Latinx arts and culture offered in our community, and that many of these programs are now even more accessible virtually.”

Fiesta Cultural’s kick-off week is Sept. 4 to 13. The sixth annual kick-off is now a week long, with family friendly events and activities, presented by Lane Arts Council in partnership with City of Eugene Cultural Services. Highlights include:

  • Sunday Slow Roll featuring DJ Jill Torres
  • Live music by Ricardo Cárdenas, Piel Canela and more
  • Artist takeovers of Lane Arts Council’s Instagram
  • Youth arts and culture packets
  • Artist interviews

Following the week-long kick-off, Fiesta Cultural will feature dozens of virtual and in-person cultural events throughout the fall highlighting Latinx artists and celebrating the diversity of Latinx arts and culture. Events include art exhibitions, theatre, art kits, music and dance performances, classes and workshops, presentations, conversations, and cultural celebrations such as Día de los Muertos. New events will be added continuously throughout the fall.

Some highlights include:

  • A new mural designed by Latinx artist Rodolfo Serna in downtown Eugene
  • Bilingual story time and bilingual story walk at Eugene Public Library
  • Virtual dance lessons and dance parties through Salseros Dance Company
  • 27th Annual Día de los Muertos Exhibit at Maude Kerns Art Center
  • Calavera Take & Make Kits at Bring Recycling

For more information and to view the full listing of Fiesta Cultural events, visit lanearts.org/fiesta-cultural.

Fiesta Cultural is presented by Lane Arts Council with the partnership and support of numerous community businesses, organizations and artists. Special thanks to Fiesta Cultural sponsors: OregonHealthCare.gov (Title Sponsor), Law Offices of Lourdes Sánchez, Collins Foundation, City of Eugene Cultural Services, Oregon Arts Commission and Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. Thank you to our community partners: La Qué Buena, La E-Kiss, Centro Latino Americano, Huerto de la Familia, Downtown Languages, Eugene Arte Latino, League of United Latin American Citizens of Lane County and Salseros Dance Company.

Lane Arts Council works to cultivate strong and creative arts communities in Lane County, by supporting local artists and arts organizations, providing arts education programs in schools, and coordinating the popular First Friday ArtWalk.

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