Students gathered around in the Tempe Multicultural Communities of Excellence space, decorated with papel picados, and put together collages of images representative of Latin American culture as part of one of ASU's events for Hispanic Heritage Month.
Students had the opportunity to listen to a lecture from Jose Bernardi, an associate professor for The Design School, who spoke about the importance and impact of Latin American culture and civilization on design. Following it, students were free to connect with their peers and create collages using pictures of Latin American images and motifs.
Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the contributions and influences such as the history, culture and achievements of Hispanic Americans, from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.
The Culture and Access Department at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, El Concilio, the Multicultural Communities of Excellence, Cultural Connections and Design Justice Initiative hosted the event, titled "Collage Night: Design in Latin America," on Sept. 21 as a part of Hispanic Heritage Month.
As students bonded over crafts and snacks, Stephanie Martinez Ramos, a sophomore communication major and El Concilio member, said it was important to not only give a voice to students but also enjoy activities and discover new things.
"Latin America, and everyone, it's kind of like a collage of people and cultures, and everything that just comes together makes a perfect mural or picture," Martinez Ramos said.
The Culture and Access Department at Herberger is taking part in a series of events creating cultural connections. The department started partnering for cultural events to celebrate heritage last spring for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and Pride Month.
"The Herberger Institute, you know, we are made up of artists, and not all artists, but a lot of artists are connected with diversity and that's an important aspect," said Rhett Etherton, program coordinator of the Culture and Access Department at Herberger.
Herberger decided to get more involved in creating events to celebrate culture because of their students, faculty and staff.
"A lot of our students are very active," Etherton said. "When some of those issues became more front and center, I think our students got even louder about wanting to create initiatives to help diversity and help support people."
Etherton said that Herberger setting up these events is not the ultimate solution for social issues but it is something that helps contribute to change.
Leo Pardo, marketing and communications manager for The Design School, said the goal of the event was to educate the public and students about different kinds of design in Latin America.
"The Design School is constantly trying to figure out new ways of integrating diversity into our education and to our outreach programs," Pardo said.
The department plans to continue participating in celebrating cultural events and heritage months, Etherton said.
Martinez Ramos also said that the collages were to help students find a little bit of themselves being represented through their artwork.
"Looking around, everybody has a different way of expressing, you know, rearranging the photos," Martinez Ramos said. "It's just like a representation of what makes an identity or what makes a group of people."
Edited by Jasmine Kabiri, Wyatt Myskow, Sophia Balasubramanian and Grace Copperthite.
Andrea Ramirez is a part-time reporter at The State Press. She has previously worked for The State Press for Spring ‘23.