Spanish club celebrates Latin American heritage

The Missouri Southern Spanish Club will host a Celebración, or celebration, at 7:00 p.m. Monday in Taylor Performing Arts Center.

“Celebración is a show in which community members can celebrate the Latin American and Mexican artforms and heritage through poetry, small plays, dancing and singing,” said Leslie Parker, instructor of Spanish.

There would be groups from Monett, Crowder College, students of the Spanish club and faculty members who will be performing as well as other members of the community.

“We were working in the Joplin community,” said Jimmy Noriega, senior Spanish major. “We thought, why not draw from them.”

Noriega is the president of the Spanish Club and thought the event would be better than the usual club trip.

“We were looking for an activity to do during the semester,” he said. “We usually go on trips, but we never do anything for the community.”

Noriega said the club members thought the idea was worth the while and it grew from there.

The event would also have duets, live music, literature and theater scenes.

Noriega said the night would bring in a conglomerate of different examples of Spanish culture.

“It’s more of a variety type show,” he said. “It’s an exhibition of Latin American and Spanish art and theater.”

Those participating in the show had to buy their own costumes and much of the funding for the event came from the student’s own pockets.

Student Senate allocated $1,000 to help out with the expenses.

Because many of the works in the show are performed by different community groups, there is no chance for a dress rehearsal.

“I’m a littler nervous,” Noriega said. “We’re outreaching in the community. I don’t think there’s been a major event in the area showing off Spanish culture.”

Tickets can be bought at the door or from Spanish Club members. The tickets are $3 for Southern students, $2 for non-Southern students, high school and elementary students, and $4 for adults.

“We have been planning this event for over six months,” Parker said. “It will allow us to showcase our many talents that we are lucky to have in the club.”

Even though this is the first Celebración, the Spanish Club has many other events.

The club holds a conversation night every Thursday in the bottom of the Spiva Library, a movie night, a Spanish dinner night and in the fall, it has an annual dance. Club meetings are every Wednesday at noon in Webster Hall, Room 308.

“We’re hoping it’ll be a lot of fun,” Noriega said. “The audience can enjoy these great works of art created by Spanish people.”