Monday, April 15, 2024

Immerse Yourself in Latino Culture at Sofia Quintero Art & Cultural Center

Children are invited to explore the diverse Latino culture with Sofia Quintero Art & Cultural Center’s Interactive Cultural Tours.

Private groups of 10 or more are invited to visit the center for a day of fun-filled activities. Attendees will enjoy different activities of cooking, art, music and more that will teach you about the various identities in Latino culture.

Example of art project participants can make. Photo provided via Sofia Quintero Art & Cultural Center.

“I think there’s a misconception that you know, when we talk about a Latino Cultural Center, there is a heavy focus on some countries more than others. And what we hope to do is create an access point here for people to learn about Latin cultures and obviously the similarities, but more importantly, how different we are,” Jessica Vallejo from the Sofia Quintero Arts & Cultural Center said.

Children will have the opportunity to learn about Latino culture while creating art projects or making delicious food inside Nana’s Kitchen.

Groups have various time frames and activity options to choose from that vary in price. Each option includes a tour of the facility and a discussion about Latino culture. The first option is just the 30- to 45-minute tour for $6 per person, option two lasts 90 minutes to two hours and includes the tour and a choice of an art or culinary activity for $16 per person and option three lasts four hours, including the tour and both the art and culinary activity for $22 per person.


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“It’s an immersive experience where there’s no actual teaching happening. It’s much different than a classroom so the children are allowed to experience things firsthand rather than be told about them,” Vallejo said. “Kids can come in and have, I guess, an authentic experience, rather than a teacher trying to recreate that for them in the classroom.”

Toledo also has a rich Latino cultural history that the Sofia Quintero Art & Cultural Center teaches the community about. 

Photo provided via Sofia Quintero Art & Cultural Center.

This spring, on Friday, May 17, the center is hosting “Bailes: A Celebration of Traditional Folkloric Dance.” The celebration will highlight the amazing Latino dancers in the Toledo community. Traditional dance dresses worn by dancers in Toledo’s own Folkloric dance troupe, El Corazon de Mexico will also be on display at the gallery at the event and throughout the spring. One of their culinary artists, Veronica Reynaga, will also serve a traditional Latino meal at the event. Individual tickets for the event cost $40 with discounts offered for purchasing multiple tickets. All proceeds go to supporting the center.

“I think the most important thing that people can learn about Latin culture here in Toledo is that it’s not from somewhere else, is a very strong Latino culture, and the representation of all of those places right here in Toledo and you can find it at the SOFIA Confederate Art Center any day of the week,” Vallejo said.

The center also offers week-long camps throughout the summer for children. This year, they will be infusing discussions and activities about mental health into their weeklong curriculum. 

For more information on the Sofia Quintero Art & Cultural Center’s various programs, visit sqacc.org

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