September 11, 2002
02-359

VSU organizes Hispanic Heritage Month activities

Valdosta State University is hosting a number of activities in observance of Hispanic Heritage Month, including a special focus on Latino farm workers in Georgia with funding from the Georgia Humanities Council, the National Endowment of the Arts and the Southern Arts Federation.

Dr. Laurie Sommers, of the South Georgia Folklife Project, said that the core of events focuses on issues of Hispanics in this region of Georgia, farm workers in particular. ?There is a need for some cross-cultural information sharing about the Hispanic farm workers in this region; their work and their culture,? she said. ?This is the largest ethnic group to locate here since the settlement of this region, and it is the most marginalize and misunderstood ethnic group.?

Sommers? partner in this effort is Susan Wehling, associate professor, Modern and Classical Languages Department. ?Susan initiated a service learning project with her students, who work with migrant workers, so she has connections in this area,? Sommers said.

Hispanic Heritage Month is observed nationally. Following is the list of activities offered through VSU. The public is invited to all events, which are free unless otherwise noted.

* Sept. 23-Oct. 4: ?The Last Harvest: A Tribute to the Life and Work of Farm Workers? exhibition, Biology/Chemistry Building first floor foyer.
* Sept. 26: Performance by ?Los Bandits,? a five-piece, bilingual Tex-Mex band from Kalamazoo, Mich., headed by former farm workers Ren�� Meave and Guillermo Martinez, uses original and traditional compositions and humor to address issues such as ethnic labels, cultural values and the farm worker struggle. Performance is at 7:30 p.m. in the Biology/Chemistry Building Large Auditorium.
* Oct. 1: ?The Last Harvest: A Tribute to the Life and Work of Farm Workers,? exhibition opening reception with a gallery talk by Dr. Laurie Sommers in the New Biology/Chemistry Building Large Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. This Florida Humanities Council traveling exhibit features recent photos and text about the history and culture of Florida and South Georgia farm workers. The exhibit will be in the University Center foyer Oct. 5-31.
* Oct. 8: ?Special Topics in Higher Education in Belize: Diversity, Refugees and Education,? Brown Bag Series lecture by Louie Brown visiting scholar Israel Cano; 3035 Nevins Hall at 12:15 p.m.
* Oct. 10: ?Traditional Arts and the Politics of Culture in Georgia's Newly Settled Hispanic Community,? an illustrated slide-talk on applied folklore in Dalton and Whitfield County in northwest Georgia by Martha J. Nelson, former director of the Traditional Arts Program at the Creative Arts Guild in Dalton. Presentation is in the University Center Theater at 7:30 p.m.
* Oct. 11: Field trip to Coggins Farm in Echols County, one of the largest employers of Hispanic farm workers in the area. Participants are asked to meet at 10:30 a.m. at Christ Episcopal Church parking lot on Patterson Avenue (across from West Hall fountain). Please register with Linda Simmons or Susan Wehling, 333-5948, in case re-scheduling is necessary.
* Oct. 15: ?Que he hecho yo para merecer esto?!!?, 7 p.m. at the University Center Theater. Carmen Maura stars in this 1984 Spanish film as a housewife and cleaning woman hooked on No-Doz (Spanish, with English subtitles). Luis Bejarano will introduce the film and conduct a brief discussion afterward. For more information, contact the Office of International programs at 333-7410.
* Oct. 18: Boston Flamenco Ballet, Mathis Auditorium, Teatro Hispano Americano Program, 9:45-10:50 a.m.; Fantasia Espa?ola-Spring in Spain Program, 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Cost is $9 for one show or $14 for both shows, if tickets are purchased in advance via the Modern and Classical Languages Department. Contact Linda Simmons or Susan Wehling at 333-5948 for tickets.
* Oct. 22: Forum on local and state Hispanic community work, University Center Theater, at 7:30 p.m.
* Oct. 29: ?Music in Florida Farm worker Communities? a talk using photos and field recordings with Bob Stone, Outreach Coordinator for the Florida Folklife Program. Program is at 7:30 p.m. in the University Center Theater.