Ethnic Heritage Museum celebrates Arts Week

Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich has proclaimed Oct. 16-22 as Illinois Arts Week 2005 to signify the importance of this annual statewide celebration of the arts. This year, the Hispanic Gallery of the Ethnic Heritage Museum will host “Hispanic Heritage Month celebration” from 2 to 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 22.

The Ethnic Heritage Museum, 1129 S. Main St., Rockford, is a six-room house built in the 1850s. A distinct ethnic group sponsors each room or gallery in the house: African American, Irish, Italian, Lithuanian, Polish and Hispanic. A visit to each room gives insight into the values and traditions of each of these groups, and an appreciation of the contributions these groups made to life in Rockford.

“To reach out to the community and beyond, ‘Hispanic Heritage Month celebration’ will be included in the Illinois Arts Council’s (IAC) statewide campaign to promote Illinois Arts Week 2005,” said Amalia Diaz de Leon, celebration organizer for the Museum.

“‘The Arts Are All Around Us’ has become a successful theme for Illinois Arts Week because it captures the important message that the arts are present every day in our lives,” said IAC Chairman Shirley R. Madigan. “Arts Week helps us see the wide variety of arts activities and programs that brings our communities to life.”

“Hispanic Heritage Month celebration” will feature live music by Fernando Zumbado and his group from Costa Rica. Ramiro Ramirez from Colombia, Claudia Ordonez from Guatemala, and Miss Fiesta Hispana 2005, Leslie Montoya, will give special oral presentations. Elias Soria and group will perform their unique style of poetry. The newly crowned Senorita ALERTA 2005, Jennifer Leonardo, and group will preform traditional Dominican dances.

“The Hispanic Gallery of the Ethnic Heritage Museum is pleased to take part in this celebration and join the Illinois Arts Council in their efforts to bring greater visibility to this statewide initiative,” said Diaz de Leon. “Each year the momentum builds, and more people become aware of the arts and the important role they play in our lives. ‘Hispanic Heritage Month celebration’ provides an excellent opportunity for everyone to join in this exciting statewide celebration of the arts.”

The “Hispanic Heritage Month celebration” is Saturday, Oct. 22, but the museum is open every Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. Be sure to visit the unique displays in each of the other five galleries during this celebration. Admission to the museum is free to all members; for nonmembers, the cost is $2 and $1 for children younger than 12.

Tours can be arranged by contacting the Ethnic Heritage Museum at 962-7402. The museum is handicap accessible.

From the Oct. 19-25, 2005, issue

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