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Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates with live music at the public library



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Dagoberto Eliseo Toledo Bermudez sings in the band Mariachi Zelaya on Oct. 13 at Monroe County Public Library on East Kirkwood Avenue. Mariachi Zelaya performed as part of the library’s Hispanic Heritage Day event. Joy Burton Buy Photos

Hearing the echoes of live music at a library is unusual. However, it draws a curious crowd. 

This Sunday, the Monroe County Public Library celebrated Hispanic Heritage Day with performances by the Mariachi Band Zelaya, El Ballet Folklórico de IU and other dance companies. 

The audience consisted of Bloomington families, IU students and library visitors of all ages.

A caricature artist drew sketches of families and couples. Young children were read to in Spanish, and completed crafts inspired by traditional forms of Latin American art.

This celebration was organized by Bobby Overman, nonprofit central specialist at the MCPL in collaboration with the City of Bloomington, La Casa Latino Cultural Center, El Centro Comunal Latino and La Escuelita Para Todos.

Overman commented on how events like these help to enact the library’s mission.

“Diversity and inclusivity play a huge part in what we do here at the library,” Overman said.

Some of the youngest spectators joined the Mariachi Band Zelaya on stage to dance. Others ate Pan de Muerto, or Mexican Day of the Dead bread, as they listened and watched the performances.

Among the performers was El Ballet Folkórico de IU, consisting of undergraduate and graduate students. Holding the hems of their long purple skirts, the group danced to music from Sinaloa, a Mexican state.

Sophia Crespo, a high school student, danced Seville flamenco.

Bloomington resident Dania Reyes came to hear Latin music.

“I liked the Ballet Folklórico, the mariachi; I liked it all,” said Reyes.

The event came to a close with a final salsa dance company performance.

Overman says that events like these at the library help residents to realize all the contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans on local and international levels.

“Honestly, who cannot enjoy a mariachi band in the atrium?” said Overman.

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