¡CULTURA! Ithaca strives to foster and share Latinx culture with the community through easily accessible, free or low-cost arts-based educational experiences. Each year we organize a variety of series and events centered around a specific artistic discipline such as handicrafts, music, theatre, storytelling, cooking, and dance. We also sponsor film series, art shows, and many other special events.
Community members and college students are invited to coordinate a series or lesson, or simply participate in our events.
¡CULTURA! Ithaca is based out of the Latino Civic Association of Tompkins county.
Our programs are co-sponsored by the Latina/o Studies Program at Cornell University, as well as many other individual departments and programs at Cornell and at Ithaca College.
Many of our programs are made possible (in part or in full) with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by the Community Arts Partnership of Tompkins County.
MEET OUR STAFF
Azucena Campos López
Azucena is a clinical psychologist whose main focus has been prevention and intervention of child abuse and neglect. She was born and raised in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. The oldest of four siblings in a monoparental matriarch household, she was fully educated in Mexico, until she graduated from the Universidad de Sonora with a B.S in Clinical Psychology. After college Azucena became an international Au-Pair in the United States, working for a family of professors at the Champaign-Urbana UIUC campus. She still in touch with the three “kids” she took care of. During her time as an Au-Pair she met her husband, and after moving back to Mexico for one year, she came back to the United States to get married. She has worked mainly in nonprofit organizations involving children’s welfare, and doing Spanish-English interpretation/translation/transcription.
She currently lives in Ithaca, New York with her husband and two sons, and has recently became involved with the Latino Civic Association of Tompkins County, of which she is now one of the codirectors of Cultura.
She is now an employee of TST BOCES Regional School Success Department.
Enrique González-Conty is an Assistant Professor of Spanish in the Department of Modern Languages and Literature at Ithaca College. He was the 2013-14 Pre-Doctoral Diversity Fellow at this same institution. He obtained his PhD in 2014 from The University of Texas at Austin where he also received his MA in Hispanic Literature. Previously, he obtained three bachelors degrees (two BAs and a BS) from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, in Hispanic Studies, Music, and Biology, respectively. His current book project examines the close relationship between post-revolutionary Cuban Literature and Film and their ties to important Cuban state institutions such as Casa de las Américas and the Cuban Film Institute (ICAIC). He is currently teaching a course on World Cinema and is the director of Ithaca's very own Cine Con Cultura Film Festival, now in its fourth year.
On the Web, Enrique currently writes for the film blog cinecero.blogspot.com and has used weblogs in his Spanish courses (pizarronbilingue.wordpress.com) as well as in his Caribbean Literature and Film course (caribbeanidentities.blogspot.com).
To visit his professional website go to: http://egonzalezconty.wordpress.com
Paulina is a visual artist working with diverse media such as installation,
sculpture, drawing, and animation, working with themes related to the body, the biological, and nature in interaction with cultural notions.
She was born in Puebla, México, where she grew up with her family until they moved to her other homeland, Costa Rica, where she obtained a Licenciatura degree in Art and Visual Communication with a focus in Printmaking at Universidad Nacional, Heredia, Costa Rica. She participated in multiple art and cultural projects in the region. In 2010 she obtained an MFA in New Genres from the San Francisco Art
Institute, under a Fulbright and PEO Peace Scholarship. Later she served as curator in Centro Cultural de España in San José, Costa Rica, and curatorial assistant for Abstraction in Action an initiative to promote Latinamerican contemporary abstract.
She is currently lives in Ithaca, New York with her family where she works in her art projects and in collaboration with Travis Johns. She is faculty at the Department of Art at Ithaca College and works with the art collective Franja Centromerica. Her work has been presented in places like Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo, TEOR/éTica and Instituto México in Costa Rica. And she has shown internationally at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum in Taiwan, ExTeresa Arte Actual in México City, Museo de Arte in San Salvador, Torino Contemporanea in Italy, La Casa de las Américas in Havana, Cuba, Museum of the Americas and Rhizome in Washington DC, UCLA Biennial in Los Ángeles, Terrault Contemporary in Baltimore, SUNY Gallery in New Paltz, New York, Mission Cultural Center, Root Division, The Lab and the Berkeley Art Museum in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as various film festivals.
For more information go to:
Carolina Osorio Gil
I've been living in Ithaca for over 20 years and I am a grassroots organizer and Phd student in Development Sociology at Cornell.
I was born in Colombia, where I lived with my mother and my grandmother until I was four. It was at four years old that my mother decided that if I was going to have a life free of violence and fear in Colombia’s treacherous political climate we had to flee our country. Together we braved a perilous journey through the desert of the Mexico-US border and made it to New York City where we started our new life. I spent my first seven and a half years in this country undocumented. I became a Permanent Resident at the age of 12 and as soon as I could, at the age of 18, I was sworn in as a U.S. Citizen.
I haven’t forgotten where I come from. My early immigrant experiences have led me to a deep and profound appreciation for my citizenship. I am proud to be an American and want to use my privilege of being a citizen to help others yearning to join our country.
Debra A. Castillo
Debra Castillo comes from a ninth generation, family-operated, small dairy farm in Wisconsin. From a very young age she was attracted to arts and culture: she wrote her first novel, Brownie, The Horse that Talks (co-illustrated by younger siblings), along with other short novels and memoirs beginning at age seven; her magnum opus, Never Say Dull, based on stories she told her siblings during barn chores and before bed, was written between the sixth and eighth grades. She scripted plays for sock puppets, organized variety shows, was a protective fashion designer for her knock-off Barbie, Andromeda, and took over many cooking duties for her family starting at age nine. Sadly, her artistic ambitions were unaccompanied by any significant talent, except for cooking, which she really is very good at.
As a Cornell professor, she has taught a lot of students, written a bunch of academic books, and has been an administrator for local and international organizations. In addition to her work with Cultura Ithaca, she dabbles in the arts through a longstanding collaboration with Teatrotaller, the Cornell Latino/a theater troupe.
¡BIENVENIDXS TODXS A CULTURA ITHACA!
In The News:
We are delighted to announce that community leader and director of No más lágrimas, Ana Ortiz, has been awarded the prestigious Laura Holmberg award from the Community Foundation for her volunteer work in distributing food and supplies to the needy since COVID.
Latinx Heritage month events coming soon throughout September and October 2020--Keep posted for updates!