August – November 2008

Join us for opening of the exhibit. It will be an afternoon of food (Tres Leches cake and Pan Dulce), music and an interactive presentation of traditional Latino paper arts. Herminia Albarrán Romero, a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship Award honoree, will travel from San Francisco to teach the art papel picado (paper-cutting) for Dia De Los Muertos altars.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008
12:30 pm – 2:30 pm
Main Library
North Exhibition Hall

The “Community, Education, Family, Tradition: Latinos in Iowa” exhibit is a documentation and celebration of the history of Latinos in Iowa. By emphasizing four aspects of the Latino experience the exhibit shines a light on a community that is experiencing a historic growth in the state. The Latino population in 2006—nearly 120,000—represents an increase of 30% since 2000.

Few people realize that Latinos began arriving in Iowa as early as the 1880s and that by the 1910s and 1920s boxcar communities had grown up near railroad yards in towns such as Fort Madison, Davenport, and Bettendorf. To further explain this history the exhibit features selected items from Mujeres Latinas, an Iowa Women’s Archives initiative to document the lives of Iowa Latinas, their families and the history of their communities.

The exhibit also highlights the Latino Native American Cultural Center (formerly the Chicano Indian American Cultural House, established 1971) which has been central to political activism at the University of Iowa for many years. The LNACC was founded in the summer of 1971 by three students: Tony Zavala, Ruth Pushetonequa and Rusty Barceló. At the 25th anniversary of the LNACC, Rusty Barceló explained the importance of the LNACC by saying, “It was because of the cultural center that I and others survived as students, because of the important space we were provided with—a space which embraced who we were without explanation.”

Latinas in IowaThe University of Iowa Latino students, faculty and alumni, as well as a look at the current Latino community in Iowa are another feature of the exhibit. The exhibit will be displayed from late August to November which coincides with two Latino celebrations. Latino Heritage Month begins on September 15, the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries—Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico declared its independence on September 16 and Chile on September 18. The Day of the Dead is celebrated November 1st and 2nd. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and relatives who have died. To commemorate the Day of the Dead an altar will be built as part of the exhibition.

The “Community, Education, Family, Tradition: Latinos in Iowa” exhibition committee hopes you enjoy the exhibit and learn something new about the history of the Latino community in Iowa.

Exhibit Planning
Rachel Garza Carreón (Chair), Gabriel J. Duque, Von Yeager, Angela Murillo, and Evelyn Acosta-Weirich

Installation Assistance
Bill Voss and Kristin Baum

Graphic Design
Rachel Garza Carreón

Exhibition Poster
Jesse Garza Carreón

Display photos and materials for the Latino Native American Cultural Center portion of the exhibit are from the University of Iowa Archives, Department of Special Collections: Records of the Latino-Native American Cultural Center (RG 02.03.07)

Display photos and materials from the Mujeres Latinas Project and LULAC portion of the exhibit are from the Iowa Women’s Archives.

Special Thanks
Teresa Garcia, Preservation, Special Collections and University Archives, Iowa Women’s Archives, Latino Native American Cultural Center, Facilities, Map Collection, Council on the Status of Latinos, Association of Latino’s Moving Ahead, Latino Law Students Association, and Latina/o Graduate Student Association , Kristi Robinson-Bontrager, Jamblyn, Claudia Espinoza, Daniel Mendez, and Olga Rua

For questions or comments please contact at Rachel Garza Carreón.