(Photo/Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Houston)

Essential Culture: Weekend of July 27, 2012

What to watch, read and enjoy this weekend in Latino USA.

Theater

“When I was Puerto Rican” at the Black Swan Theater (Ashland, Oregon)

Nearly everyone has a story about the definitive experiences that’s defined their cultural identity and Puerto Rican playwright and actress Tere Martinez has created her successful one-woman show on that very premise. On Saturday, she’ll discuss her work at the Ashland Branch Library as part of a series of events for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Festival Latino and on Sunday will be performing the play.

“Montera” presented at the Performing Arts Festival at Baruch Performing Arts Center (New York, New York)

Spice things up this weekend with a comical play by Colombian actress and ballerina Loren Escandon that examines one of the oldest professions in civilization.

Museums & Art Exhibits

Modern and Contemporary Masterworks from Malba in the Museum of Fine Arts (Houston, Texas)

Delve into some of the artwork by Latin America’s finest painters – including Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera – in this introspective exhibit of pieces on loan by the Malba museum in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

 “Nuestros Maestros: The Legacy of Abad E. Lucero” (Albuquerque, New Mexico)

New Mexican art legend Abad Lucero is the subject of this fascinating, multi-media exhibit featuring his love of traditional New Mexican art forms.

Books

Sierra Storytelling Festival featuring author Olga Loya (Nevada City, California)

Oral history has pass down cultural mores and folk tales in a manner unlike any other and esteemed story teller and authoress Olga Loya will deliver an interactive performance in her dramatic and whimsical, Spanglish-style this weekend at the Sierra Storytelling Festival.

 “Love, Amalia” by Alma Flor Ada and Gabriel M. Zubizarreta (Atheneum Books for Young Readers)

Summer is the perfect time to bond with your children over a fun read and this new release by children’s author and educator Alma Flor Ada and Gabriel Zubizarreta is a touching tale of a young Mexican girl who sues her culture to cope with the loss of her beloved grandmother.

Movies

“Step Up Revolution” (Opens in theaters nationwide Friday)

Check out Hollywood’s hottest newcomer Ryan Guzman, a 24-year-old from Texas who is making his big-screen debut in the feel-good dance flick, “Step Up Revolution.” Check out our interview with the mixed martial arts fighter and model here.

“Mosquita y Mari” at the Museum of Fine Arts (Houston, Texas)

Yolanda “Mosquita” and her sidekick Mari are the lead characters in this heart-warming film about friendship and the drive to succeed despite the gritty streets of their predominantly Chicano neighborhood in Los Angeles. It’s being screened at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston this Sunday.

Cultural Events

Fiesta del Sol (Chicago, Illinois)

Get ready to enjoy yourself at the largest Latino festival in the Midwest, featuring a dynamic lineup of entertainment and musical events. An Arts & Culture Pavilion and a children’s area round out the weekend’s attractions at this annual event.

The 19th Annual Oxnard Salsa Festival (Oxnard, California)

Love salsa? Get into the groove at this event featuring salsa music and a salsa tasting tent along with stellar performances, children’s activities, chef demonstrations and much, much more. Read about the festival’s dynamic history and get some of the award-winning recipes here.

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