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150 Years of Impact

"Pa' La Calle/ To the Streets" Celebrates Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month

Sep 5, 2019 — Article by: Diana Napolitano


Celebrate Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month and beyond with La Casita Cultural Center’s new exhibit, “Pa’ La Calle” (To the Streets), featuring the work of Syracuse artist Bennie Guzmán. The exhibit and related programs explore the Latino community’s relationship with and influence on hip-hop and street culture through curated paintings by Guzman and community dialogues.

Pa’ La Calle sets the theme for La Casita’s 2019-2020 programming, which explores urban culture, life in the barrio, street art, graffiti, hip-hop and reggaeton (a music genre popularized in Puerto Rico in the 1990s). It also features Guzman’s portraits of prominent Syracuse-area Latinos/Latinas, including Gregorio Jimenez, executive director of the Near Westside Initiative; Bea Gonzalez, vice president of community engagement and special assistant to the Chancellor at Syracuse University; and others.

The exhibit, which opened September 13, is free and open to the public. It runs through March 2020. La Casita Cultural Center is located at 109 Otisco St, Syracuse. On-site parking is available.

“I believe that art is the best way to start a conversation,” says Guzmán. “And I believe that for the youth in this community, where hip-hop, reggaeton and graffiti art are so prevalent, this is the language we need to use in order to have that conversation.”

Guzman also collaborated with The Spanish Action League’s One Team-One Dream youth group to create a mural inspired by their lives. “This project is about engaging with our community in new ways,” says Guzman. “I want the people in this community to see themselves like never before.”

Guzman, a native of San Antonio, Texas, graduated from Colgate University with a B.A. in Art and Art History. He currently serves as La Casita’s director of media outreach and communications.

Contact Information

Tere Paniagua