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Exhibition Celebrates Living Latin History of Washington Heights, Inwood, Oct. 25

On Tuesday, Oct. 25, Community Works will debut the exhibition, Latin Roots: Washington Heights/Inwood, at 7 p.m. in the Alumni Auditorium, New-York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center ( 650 West 168 th Street between Broadway and Fort Washington). The event will include the unveiling of the exhibit, a tribute to three community honorees and musical performances celebrating the rich Dominican heritage by honoree Edilio Paredes and his group Super Uba y su Conjunto as well as Alianza Domincana's Conjunto Folklorico, Pa' Lo Monte and JR. Inc y para los rumberos.

Latin Roots: Washington Heights/Inwood celebrates the diverse cultural and historical importance of Washington Heights and Inwood by honoring three remarkable local heroes: Edilio Paredes, master bachata musician; Moises Perez, public advocate, community leader, and founder of Alianza Dominicana, and Rosita Romero, pioneering feminist, community leader, and founder of the Dominican Women's Development Center. Their dedication to supporting and encouraging the development of Washington Heights and Inwood has had a major impact on Northern Manhattan and beyond.

"Their lives and pioneering achievements in advocacy, institution-building, music and community service symbolize the spirit of the Washington Heights and Inwood communities," says Barbara Horowitz, founder and president of Community Works, whose programs serve more than 200,000 youth and community members through performances, workshops, exhibits, mentoring and other model programs.

Latin Roots: Washington Heights/Inwood tells the story of the important migration of Dominicans to this significant community that has been home to several waves of immigrants over the past century -- from the Irish, Greeks and Armenians in the early 20 th century, to the European Jews fleeing the Nazi regime, to Puerto Rican and Cuban immigrants in the mid-century, to the Dominicans who left their country freely after the assassination of their dictator in the 1960s. Today, Washington Heights and Inwood are bustling neighborhoods that are 75 percent Latino and have a spirit and a vitality that permeates their streets, their religious and cultural institutions, their schools, and nightspots. The exhibit will tour communities across Washington Heights and Inwood as well as citywide.

This model intergenerational public art and education exhibit pays homage to Washington Heights and Inwood by telling its story through the lenses of New York City public school students who researched, interviewed and documented these honorees. The Latin Roots: Washington Heights/Inwood exhibit features, on larger than life panels, photographs of the honorees and the writings and art work of the Washington Heights/Inwood public school students who interviewed them. It also includes a comprehensive timeline of Washington Heights/Inwood history starting from the late-1800s and comprising some 70 entries. The 18-foot timeline presents historic archival images from such illustrious institutions as Museum of the City of New York, the New York Public Library and The Loeb Library at Harvard University as well as striking contemporary photos by renowned documentary photographer Ruth Morgan.

Latin Roots: Washington Heights/Inwood is the third exhibit in the Latin Roots! Series that celebrates -- through exhibits, music, dance and spoken word -- New York City neighborhoods rich in Latino culture and the individuals who have made them what they are. The Latin Roots! Series is a major initiative within Community Works' Making a Difference program, in which young people honor local heroes and commemorate and document the multicultural history and traditions of their neighborhoods.

Latin Roots: Washington Heights/Inwood educational components include guided tours, performing arts presentations and a public program series.

The programs of Community Works, a leading arts and education organization founded in New York City in 1990, build community and celebrate diversity in cities across the U.S. through art, education, and shared history, culture and dialogue.

"Helping to make life better in the local communities where we do business is the foundation of our community commitment at Citibank," said Hector Ramirez, vice president and director of community relations for Citibank in New York City. "We are pleased to strengthen this commitment by supporting Latin Roots: Washington Heights/Inwood, which celebrates our neighborhoods rich in Latino culture and the individuals who have made them what they are."

The event is sponsored by Citibank in association with the Audubon Partnership for Economic Development and produced by Community Works (Barbara Horowitz, founder and president) in collaboration with New Heritage Theatre Group (Voza Rivers, executive producer).

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Published: Oct 03, 2005
Last modified: Oct 24, 2005

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