Fiesta Cultural: Fundraiser for Inter-American Magnet School

(RELEASE) INTER-AMERICAN MAGNET SCHOOL is hosting their annual spring benefit, FIESTA CULTURAL, on Saturday, April 24, 2010 from 4 to 8:30 PM at 851 W. Waveland Ave. in Chicago. This year's event features food and entertainment from Spain, Latin America, and Brazil, in support of Inter-American's "Curriculum of the Americas".

FIESTA CULTURAL celebrates Latin America's rich and diverse cultural heritage with live music and dance performances, a savory food fair, children's art auction, artisan bazaar and children's art activities. The mission of the event is to celebrate cultural and artistic diversity while raising much-needed funds for Inter-American Magnet School. The event is bilingual, family-friendly and open to the public. Tickets are reasonably priced for a fundraising event at $10 adults, $5 children. Family tickets for two adults and their children will be available for $25. We have arranged for free parking at several nearby lots. Please pick up a parking map at the door.

Inter-American is a Chicago Public School serving almost 700 ethnically and economically diverse, preschool through 8th grade students from all over Chicago. One of few public schools to be founded by parents, Inter-American is the oldest "dual language" program in the Midwest. This nationally-renown program teaches Spanish- and English-speaking children to read, write and speak fluently in both languages. The innovative school is not only known for its dual-language (also known as "two way immersion" or TWI) approach; Inter-American's "Curriculum of the Americas" integrates studies of the history, cultures and contributions of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, promoting heritage pride and a framework of social justice to build a lifelong love of learning with a global perspective.

Performances will include live professional entertainment from Soul and Duende, Ballet Folklorico Juvenil de Chicago, Son del Viento, Folklore Ballet Pachacamac, Nuestro Tambó, Swing Brasileiro, and Tierra Colombiana Dance Company. Inter-American students will also perform choir, flamenco and Aztec dance. Performances begin at 4:00 PM.

This year's Fiesta food court represents a wide range of traditional, regional dishes from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, El Salvador, España, Guatemala, México, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and more. Food service will begin during an intermission at 5:00 PM and end at 6:00 PM when the performances resume.

This year's entertainment:

SOUL & DUENDE - Soul & Duende is a professional Spanish Dance Company founded by Azucena Vega in Madrid in 1991 and incorporated in Chicago in 1994 as a not-for-profit organization. Soul & Duende and its dancers have performed in numerous venues throughout the world and bring a true taste of Flamenco and other Spanish styles to this event. Student performances: Azucena also has been bringing the magic of flamenco to Inter-American's afterschool activities. Other children's performances will include the school choir, as led by Chicago Children's Choir master Donnie Wallenberg and Aztec dance with Inter-American middle school teacher Claudia Bravo.

SON DEL VIENTO –This Chicago based Son Jarocho group uses acoustic instruments including Harp, Jaranas, and Cajon and will also present the Mexican dance style of Zapateo.

FOLKLORE BALLET PACHACAMAC – Pachacamac is a traditional dance troupe with a show called Shungo or Heart in the Kichwa language and encompasses dances from the coastal, Amazonian and mountainous regions of Ecuador.

NUESTRO TAMBO – Nuestro Tambó is comprised of second and third generation Puerto Rican men and women who hail from the inner-city of Chicago and have committed themselves to the promotion and celebration of the AfroPuerto Rican genres of Plena and Bomba.

BALLET FOLKLORICO JUVENIL DE CHICAGO ¬– This troupe, under the direction Veronica Sales, features a number of students at IAMS and has been promoting cultural identity and awareness through the traditional music and dance of Mexico since 2002.

SWING BRASILEIRO – Swing Brasileiro, under the direction of Marcos Oliveira is a high-energy group that specializes in Samba, Batucada, Pagode and other Brazilian styles. They will be performing with carnaval style dancers.

TIERRA COLOMBIANA - Tierra Colombiana is the Midwest's premiere Colombian Folkloric Dance Company. Founded as a nonprofit dance organization in 1992, Tierra Colombiana presents Colombian music, dance and theatre representing all regions of Colombia. They have performed throughout the region and at Chicago's most prestigious events and festivals.

The event is run by FELE (Familias en la escuela), the school's parent volunteer organization and 501(c)3 nonprofit. All proceeds benefit Inter-American Magnet School, commemorating over 30 years of multilingual, multicultural public education. For more information, go to

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