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USU's 2nd Annual Latin American Cultural Extravaganza Welcomes All

Friday, Mar. 16, 2007

graphic illustration for Latin American Cultural Extravaganza

USU's 2nd Annual Latin American Cultural Extravaganza is March 24-30.

A variety of activities and events that celebrate Latin American culture will be held as part of Utah State University’s Second Annual Latin American Cultural Extravaganza. A highlight is an open forum panel discussion, “Speak Out! The Many Faces of Immigration in Utah.” The panel includes a number of guests, including Logan Mayor Randy Watts, Luz Robles, director of the state office of Ethnic Affairs, Salvador Jimenez, the Mexican Consul General from Salt Lake City and others.

All events are presented in conjunction with USU’s Latin American Studies program and take place March 24-30. Most activities are free and all are open to the public.
The week-long schedule of events begins Saturday, March 24, at 8 p.m. at the Haight Alumni Center on campus. An evening of Brazilian poetry set to music featuring acclaimed Brazilian pianist Rubia Santos and vocal soloist Melanie Ohn will be presented.
Monday, March 26, events begin with a lecture by political science professor Bill Furlong and Shannon Peterson, political science professor and director of the Latin American Studies program. They will speak at 4:30 p.m. in Old Main 119. The topic of the presentation is Movimento Sem Terra: The Landless Movement in Brazil, with first-hand observations of the movement from a recent trip to Brazil.
Two critically acclaimed films will be shown at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 27, and Thursday, March 29, in Old Main 121. Tuesday’s film, “FIDEL: The Untold Story,” covers 40 years of the Cuban revolution and includes rare footage of Fidel Castro that gives the audience unique insight into the private life of the complex political figure. Especially timely as Castro nears the end of his life, the documentary will be introduced by J.S. Spicer-Escalante of USU’s department of languages, philosophy and speech communication.
Thursday’s film, “Bus 174,” will be introduced by Cacilda Rego, a native Brazilian and assistant professor in the department of languages, philosophy and speech communication. Rego’s specialty is contemporary Brazilian media. The film, a documentary, depicts what happened in Rio de Janeiro June 12, 2000, when bus 174 was taken by an armed young man, threatening to shoot all the passengers. The event was transmitted live on all Brazilian television networks. The shocking and tragically ending event is highlighted in the documentary that provides a gripping portrayal of the violence exacerbated by extreme poverty in Brazil’s favelas, event organizers said.
Wednesday, March 28, features an open forum/panel discussion, “Speak Out! The Many Faces of Immigration in Utah,” from 7-9 p.m., with 12 state and local leaders, moderated by Lee Austin from Utah Public Radio. Unlike the other campus-based events, the panel discussion will be held in the auditorium at Logan High School, 162 West 100 S. In addition to confirmed participants Mayor Watts, Consul General Jimenez and Robles, nine other state and local leaders, agency directors and public servants will round out the panel. All are invited to this event.
The week’s activities conclude with a celebration Friday, March 30, at Café Sabor, 600 W. Center, Logan. There will be deluxe tapas — hors d’oeuvres — and a dance. Tickets for the dinner-dance are $10 per person, and are available in advance at the Taggart Student Center Customer Service Center (room 212).
Contact: Shannon Peterson (435) 797-3966,

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