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¡Fiesta! at Metropolitan Museum Celebrates Hispanic and Latin American Cultures With Full Day of Programs and Performances
September 29, 2012

Event Time:  Noon – 5:00 p.m.
Location:  The Metropolitan Museum of Art,
Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street, Manhattan

¡Fiesta! Celebrating Hispanic and Latin American Cultures—a museum-wide cultural celebration held during Hispanic Heritage Month with an emphasis on family programming—will be presented on Saturday, September 29, at The Metropolitan Museum of Art by the Museum’s Multicultural Audience Development Initiative and the Museum’s Education Department. The Metropolitan’s fifth annual ¡Fiesta! will feature programs for all ages from noon until 5 p.m., offering visitors art-making activities, talks with renowned artists, music performances, and other exciting activities related to Precolumbian, Spanish, and Latin American art from the Museum’s collection. All of the ¡Fiesta! events are free with Museum admission.

This program is made possible by the Great Circle Foundation. Additional support is provided by The Goodman Memorial Foundation and the Barbara and Paul Krieger Education Fund.

Events and Programs
The festivities will begin at noon on the Museum’s front steps with a dance performance by Ballet Hispanico’s BHdos. From there, visitors can follow the performers inside and participate in one of the many programs taking place throughout the Museum’s galleries and spaces. Bilingual Storytime will begin at noon and 12:30 p.m in the Nolen Library, with stories read by artist and educator Gema Álava in Spanish and English.  Mariachi Real de Mexico and students from the Mariachi Academy of New York will perform at 12:30 p.m. and again at 3:00 p.m. in The Charles Engelhard Court, part of the Museum’s recently renovated American Wing.  At 1:00 p.m., visitors may learn about the cuatro, a unique stringed instrument, during a demonstration in the Emma and Georgina Bloomberg Arms and Armor Court by J. Kenneth Moore, the Museum’s Frederick P. Rose Curator in Charge of Musical Instruments.  In a special collaboration with El Museo del Barrio, visitors are invited to join artists Zachary Fabri and Elia Alba at 1:30 p.m. in the Vélez Blanco Patio as they lead a walk showcasing works from the Museum’s collection that have inspired them.  The walk culminates in a discussion with the artists led by El Museo del Barrio curator Rocío Aranda-Alvarado in the Uris Center for Education. At 2:00 and 3:00 p.m., visitors can experience a lively, interactive demonstration of merengue and salsa with Ballet Hispanico’s BHdos in the Vélez Blanco Patio. At 2:00, 2:30, and 3:00 p.m., local TV newscasters will host a special Bilingual Storytime inside the Emma and Georgina Bloomberg Arms and Armor Court. New York City-based Latin-funk collective YerbaBuena will close out the day at 4:00 p.m., blending Caribbean music traditions with contemporary sensibilities in a performance in The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium.  Additionally, there will be a number of ongoing activities for families from 12:30 to 4:00 p.m., including the Illustrate a Book Art Activity, during which visitors can design a booklet and illustrate a story inspired by Precolumbian art in the Museum’s collection; Cloud City Art Activity, which invites visitors to create layered cityscapes inspired by Argentinian-born artist Tomás Saraceno’s majestic roof garden installation; and Talavera Pottery Art Activity, where visitors can decorate ceramic tiles with motifs inspired by the Met’s collection of Mexican-made Talavera pottery.

Special Menu Items
The Museum will offer special menus in its Public Cafeteria and American Wing Café during the event.  The Public Cafeteria will serve tilapia fillet with chili and lime pico de gallo; chipotle marinated chicken; and black beans and rice at its Main Course Station.  The American Wing Café’s Hot Sandwich Special will be a chipotle marinated chicken burrito with rice, beans, and guacamole; churros will be available as a sweet treat.

General Event Information
¡Fiesta! program information and directions to events throughout the Museum will be available at the Information Desk inside the main entrance at Fifth Avenue and 82nd  Street, and in the Uris Center for Education, which is reached from the ground-floor entrance at Fifth Avenue and 81st Street. All ¡Fiesta! programs are free with Museum admission. Recommended Museum admission is $25 for adults, $17 for seniors (65 and over), and $12 for students. Children under 12 accompanied by an adult are free.

About the Metropolitan Museum
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the world’s largest and finest museums, with collections of nearly two million works of art that span more than 5,000 years of world culture, from prehistory to the present and from every part of the globe.  Located at the edge of Central Park along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, the Metropolitan Museum welcomed 6.28 million visitors last year.

The Multicultural Audience Development Initiative began more than 10 years ago at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.  It reflects the Museum’s founding mission to educate and inspire by reaching out to all of its constituencies, including the many diverse communities of the New York Tristate area. Its objectives are to increase awareness of the Museum’s global collections and programs, to diversify its visitorship and Membership, and to increase participation in its programs.

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September 25, 2012

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