Music, Lectures and Dance Highlight Hispanic Heritage Month

September 14, 2015 – Dutchess Community College will mark Hispanic Heritage Month with events including a salsa dance workshop, lectures and two musical performances, all scheduled from Sept. 15 – Oct. 30. All events are free and open to the public.

The festivities will kick off on Sept. 15 with a salsa dance workshop at 12:30 p.m. in the Handel Dining Room in Drumlin Hall. It will be hosted by dance instructors from the Fred Astaire dance studio in Wappingers Falls.

A performance by Son Pecadores, a group of musicians based in New York City, will take place Sept. 17 at 12:30 p.m. in Dutchess Hall, room 101. The group will play son jarocho, a style of folk music from the state of Veracruz that incorporates African, Spanish and indigenous influences.

On Oct. 6 at 7 p.m., a 20-minute documentary film called “DREAMers Among Us” will be shown in the James and Betty Hall Theatre. The film examines the need for the DREAM Act and its impact on young people. A discussion will follow the screening.

A full listing of Hispanic Heritage Month events follows. All will take place on the main DCC campus in Poughkeepsie. For more information about the Hispanic Heritage Month events, contact Dr. Craig Stokes at (845) 431-8446 or


Library Display throughout September and October
“El Salvador: A Visual Experience” by Michael Sibilia. The photographer will come to campus Oct. 1 at 11:30 a.m. in Hudson Hall, room 226 and give a lecture called “The Role of Family and Community Networking in El Salvador.”

Salsa Workshop
Tuesday, September 15, 12:30-1:45 p.m.
Drumlin Hall, Handel Dining Room
Dance instructors John Mandia and Cassandra King from the Fred Astaire dance studioin Wappingers Falls will lead participants through the basics of Salsa.

Musical Performance – Son Pecadores
Thursday, September 17, 12:30-1:45 p.m.
Dutchess Hall, Room 101
Son Pecadores is a collective of jarana players based in New York City. The group will play in the son jarocho style, folk music from the state of Veracruz that features African, Spanish and indigenous influences.

Bomba Dance Workshop by Los Pleneros de la 21
Tuesday, September 22, 12:30-1:45 p.m.
Dutchess Hall, Room 101
Los Pleneros de la 21 ("LP21") is an organization of professional artists and traditional practitioners regarded as the premier Bomba and Plena group in the U.S. Instructor Nelson Matthew Gonzalez and accompanying percussionists will guide and engage participants through an informative and interactive session of Puerto Rican Bomba dance and its drumming/chants components. By placing the Bomba in a social and historical context, they will highlight the distinguishing characteristics of the music and dance forms. Participants will learn to recognize the melodic and rhythmic interaction between the different drums, the relationship between the dancers and drummers, as well as the role of the call and response songs as a form of social commentary and oral history.

Lecture – “When Language and Politics Converge: The Example of Spain After 1975”
by Pablo Guerra
Thursday, September 24, 12:30 to 1:45 p.m.
Bowne Hall, Room 122
Pablo Guerra is a Ph.D. candidate at the CUNY Graduate Center in the program of Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Languages. He currently is finishing his dissertation about identity-building and language ideologies in the Canary Islands, Spain in the birth of a new model of democracy after the dictatorship of General Franco. 

Lecture – “How Indigenous Communities are Uncovering and Cultivating their Roots Despite the Systematic Threats of the Homeland Security Industrial Complex Since 9/11” by Juan Carlos Ruiz
Tuesday, October 6, 12:30 to 1:45 p.m.
Bowne Hall, Room 122
Juan Carlos Ruiz is an ordained Catholic Priest. He was part of the Catholic Worker (a pacifist, nonviolent movement) and came under the influence and mentoring of the Berrigan brothers. He co-founded the Migrant Ministry of the Diocese of Paterson, setting up two medical clinics for the uninsured and undocumented. Soon after, he began working with humane, human rights and environmental groups in the South Bronx, and in 2007 co-founded the National Sanctuary Movement and was coordinator of the New York Sanctuary Coalition. Based in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, he has worked as the coordinator of the disaster response for the diocese of LI. He has helped to coordinate and organize some of the caravans that have come from Mexico and currently works with Sion Lutheran Church at St. Peter´s in New York City as a pastoral assistant. 

Lyceum – “DREAMers Among Us”
Tuesday, Oct. 6, 7 p.m.
James and Betty Hall Theatre, Dutchess Hall
The documentary film examines the need for the Dream Act and the lives of the students who have not been able to continue their education. These youth and several others learned film-making skills in order to tell their compelling story in this moving 20-minute film. There will be a follow-up Q&A.

Music Show – DCC Jazz Ensemble, Directed by Dr. Christopher Brellochs
Friday, October 30, 12:00 to 12:50 p.m.
Dutchess Hall, Room 101
Hispanic Heritage Month wraps up with a Day of the Dead concert.