West campus fiesta embraces Hispanic Heritage Month

Freshman sociology major Carolina Hernandez and interdisciplinary art and performance senior Shiloh Ashley help paint the Calle 16 Mural Project. The mural will be unveiled at the West campus along with the closing ceremonies for the celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. (Photo by Vince Dwyer)

The West campus will close out Hispanic Heritage Month with a free fiesta celebration Friday at the campus’s Delph Courtyard.

The fiesta will feature performances by a “baile folklorico” dance group, mariachi band and a salsa group, which will also offer salsa-dancing lessons.

Following the lessons, Disc Jockey StarMarz will spin hip-hop and Latin music for a dance celebration.

The event will feature a menu with dishes from four different Latin countries for $5.25 each, and students can use meal plans or Maroon and Gold dollars to pay.

West Campus Artistic Director Jeffrey Kennedy said they expect the event to be one of the larger ones on the campus.

“We have really strong cultural events here at the West campus,” Kennedy said. “We have an active community here. It’s really amazing.”

Calle 16, a community mural group, will unveil its latest mural at the fiesta. The mural, which will feature portraits of Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Sandra Castro Solis and Sitting Bull, is a collaboration between West campus students and the Calle 16 artists.

Calle 16 mural project co-founder Hugo Medina said he has been an artist all of his life.

He joined the Calle 16 project while working at the Barrio Café on 16th Street, where he met other artists who wanted to create a positive environment for the Phoenix area.

“We wanted to build something bigger than ourselves,” Medina said. “Calle 16 allows us to showcase our talents and abilities and promote community involvement.”

Calle 16 artist Thomas “Breeze” Marcus was a graffiti artist before he joined the mural project.

“It was a natural thing to take part in Calle 16,” Marcus said.

The mural projects have attracted local businesses to commission artwork.

“Businesses will contact us and tell us that they have a wall with tagging that they want to cover up with permanent art, Marcus said, “or they just have a blank wall that they would like artwork on.”

He said it takes two to three days to finish a mural.

Interdisciplinary arts and performance senior Elizabeth Lopez said she heard about the mural project from Kennedy.

“He invited all the students to come join in on the project,” she said. “I thought the mural project was exciting and wanted to take part in it.”

Calle 16’s next project, a 1200-square-foot mural painted by 80 artists, will be featured at the Phoenix Festival of the Arts Oct. 8-10.


Reach the reporter at amy.edelen@asu.edu

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