WHAT IS ESPACIO CULTURAL?
FLYNNDOG has inspired some collateral art installations and cultural events…
Established in 2007, Espacio Cultural was a means of recognizing FLYNNDOG as a multicultural community resource, in addition to more simply being a community arts space.
Intentional arts/events worked to connect the local Hispanic community by providing venues and opportunities for cultural events where Hispanic culture is featured and Spanish is the primary language of choice.
Typically initiated by Ursula Georgeoglou or Bren Alvarez, one way of celebrating the Hispanic community through Espacio Cultural was by hosting monthly community potluck suppers. This encouraged the Latin-American community (as well as others) to unite and celebrate having a space to speak Spanish and share traditional dishes with one another. Locations and times varied.
ARTE, EXPOSICIÓNES Y CULTURA
Latitud | Longitude ~ an exhibition
Madres por Tina Escaja ~ A bittersweet, comedic drama translated from the original Spanish by Leonora Dodge.
IN THE PRESS
“SE HABLA ESPAÑOL” AT THE FLYNNDOG HISPANIC COMMUNITY INAUGURATES CULTURAL SPACE
May 5, 2007 by Mariana Lamaison Sears (Burlington Free Press Staff Writer)
Members of the Burlington-area Hispanic/Latino community gathered Friday evening at the Flynndog for the opening of Primavera 2007, an exhibit featuring Hispanic artists and celebrating the spring spirit.
With the exhibit, the fourth showcasing Hispanic art at the Burlington gallery, the community also celebrated the inauguration of the Flynndog’s new Espacio Cultural Hispanico. Two women with Hispanic ties introduced the project, which intends to provide a space for cultural exchanges, educational opportunities and language learning.
“Our goal is to connect the local Hispanic community and interested people by providing venues and opportunities for cultural events where Spanish is the predominant spoken language,” said Ursula Georgeoglou of Colchester, who is originally from Uruguay.
Georgeoglou and Bren Alvarez of Flynndog put together the exhibit and developed the idea of a cultural space.
Georgeoglou, 35, moved to Vermont in 2003 from Brazil after earning her Master’s degree in biology. She came in support of her husband’s graduate studies in ecological economy at the University of Vermont and now cares for her 18-month-old daughter at home.
Many local people are interested in learning Spanish and having their children learn it as well, Georgeoglou said. There is also a lack of knowledge regarding the many countries of Hispanic/Latino culture, she said. “We are all different,” she said. Finally, she is interested in providing environmental education opportunities through the space. “I thought I can do everything together,” she said.
Alvarez, of Burlington, is a full-time architect. Her father’s parents were originally from Spain and she lived in Venezuela as a child. She is interested in bringing back to life her Hispanic roots as she and her husband are in the process of adopting a 5-year-old boy from Ecuador.
“Our hope is that he will have the opportunity to communicate, socialize and learn in both English and Spanish. We would like for him be able to maintain connections to his culture and heritage in a meaningful and consistent way,” Alvarez said.
Through Flynndog, Alvarez is helping to provide a physical identity and space to the cultural space. “I love the idea that we will be able to say ‘se habla Espanol’ at Flynndog,” she said.
About 60 people gathered for the opening reception. They enjoyed the music of an Argentine traditional instrument, the bandoneon, played by Hugo Martinez Cazon of Burlington. People walked through the gallery admiring the portraits, watercolors, mosaics and other pieces, all from Hispanic artists and engaged in lively conversation.
“This is a very good idea,” said Jimena Haza, a University of Vermont student originally from Mexico. “There are few local spaces for Latino people to socialize,” she said while she talked to South Burlington artist Danilo Gonzales. Originally from the Dominican Republic, Danilo has been in the United States for about 20 years and had one of his mosaics and six of his portraits showcased at the exhibit.
“This is a great idea,” agreed artist Edinelson Ramirez, originally from Puerto Rico. The local Hispanic community is not very large but is not invisible, he said. The space will provide an opportunity for Hispanics to get exposure of their cultures and artwork, he said.
The exhibit continues until the end of the month and today there will be a children’s reception and Cinqo de Mayo celebration at 2 p.m. Georgeoglou will sign songs in Spanish and play with children.