UW-Green Bay wins second Latino grant: The Culture of Fusion

Associate Prof. Gabriel Saxton-Ruiz of Humanistic Studies shares word of a sizeable grant from the Wisconsin Humanities Council to help fund “The Culture of Fusion” project organized by UW-Green Bay. The $10,000 award will support activities during the first half of calendar year 2016, including:

  • A concert and lecture on Latin Jazz with Chilean saxophonist Aníbal Rojas and UWGB faculty members Adam Gaines and Clif Ganyard
  • A talk and performance by Dominican singer/songwriter Roxiny, fusing Latin sensibilities with a global electro/dream pop aesthetic
  • A special screening of the new documentary “Rubble Kings” followed by a Q&A with director Shan Nicholson in which he’ll talk about the ways that the rise of hip-hop defused the street gang anarchy that defined the South Bronx through much of the 1970s
  • A presentation on urban planning, food sustainability and the heterogeneity of Peruvian cuisine (along with a cooking demo and the screening of Finding Gastón) hosted by architect and planner Manuel de Rivero, a founding member of the urban think tank Supersudaca and professor at the Catholic University of Peru.

Saxton-Ruiz says the second-semester events will be a logical extension of this fall’s “Latino Americans: 500 Years of History” programming, funded by a separate $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association. “Our thought is that after the community has had an opportunity to learn about the historical background of the various Latino groups who have immigrated to the United States, we would now explore personal stories expressed in music… in the culinary arts… and in art.” (Also among the spring programs will be a previously scheduled youth workshop on Latin American and Latino painting and collage art to be led by Cuban artist Eduin Fraga.) “The unifying element,” Saxton-Ruiz says, “is that all of these diverse manifestations of culture have in common the idea of fusion, or how the contact of different groups creates new cultural expressions. It is our hope that the community members will then get inspired to reflect on, create and/or seek out local and regional examples of new cultural forms whether they’re Latino-influenced or not.”