Thursday, April 16, 2009

Dos Noticias de Chicago

For Immediate Release:
Leo Suarez, 773.392.9697,

Join us for our second installment of Raices (Roots) Fridays, a night of Afro-Latin music and culture with a philanthropic cause

This weekly showcase of some of Chicago’s finest traditional Afro-Latin music ensembles and will benefit a different charity every month. The entire month of April benefits the Chicago AIDS Marathon and The American Red Cross of Greater Chicago has joined the effort to host every Friday in May.

Proceeds of every Friday night over the course of the month will go to the pre-selected charity, including every sale of Las Tablas’ famous sangria, widely acknowledged as one of the tastiest sangrias in the city.

This Friday, 4/17:

OgundaMasá is a performance group committed to preserving and performing various African influenced musical traditions from Cuba. They are the only Afro-Cuban The group is comprised of musicians, educators, and cultural affiliates working as a collective to continue and promote these traditions in Chicago. The group performs folkloric genres such as Rumba and Güiro; which are the musical root of Salsa music.

Next Friday, 4/24:

OgundaMasá will be joined by Nuestro Tambó (1st and 3rd Fridays), a Chicago-based group that 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 Afro Puerto Rican genres of Plena and Bomba. They are unique in Chicago in that they represent Bomba as a living musical form rather than a folkloric tradition. They will also be celebrating the upcoming release of their debut CD.

Raices Fridays:

Every Friday starting April 3rd

2942 N. Lincoln Ave, 9:30 pm – 1:30 am$5 Mojitos, $5 Donation
$4 Cuba Libre, $5 Donation
All Sangria sales benefit Chicago AIDS Marathon in April and Red Cross of Chicagoland in May
Nuestro Tambó: 1st and 3rd Fridays
Ogunda Masá: 2nd and 4th Fridays

Casa Aztlán

Casa Aztlan is an educational and social center providing cultural activities, community service, leadership development services for teenagers and kids, adult education, citizenship, emergency services and community organization. Casa Aztlan is also on the vanguard of the human rights movement and immigrant's civil rights.

Since its foundation in 1970, Casa Aztlan has participated in organizing the power of the Pilsen community; it has fought for bilingual education, amnesty for undocumented workers, health services for the immigrant community, construction of the Benito Juarez High school and the West Side Technical Institute, development of adult education programs, program Circulo de Lectura Padre e Hijo which was converted into the Telpochcalli pre-school; and has helped create the alphabetical Hispanic council since 1980.

Casa Aztlan has developed an effective after school program for children between 7 and 14 years of age. This program offers kids academic help, sports, recreational activities, and cultural development through music classes and art. During the summer, Casa Aztlan provides community youth with work and safe place to spend free time.

Casa Aztlan also collaborates with many other community and educational organizations in order to better serve the Mexican Latino populations. An example of one such collaboration is the partnership between Casa Aztlan and the Chicago ENLACE program of Northeastern Illinois University which focuses on raising the percentage of Latino student enrollments and graduations in schools.

Casa Aztlan has also also developed a partnership with CALLIE and the Colaborativa Latina de Ciudadania, both of which help people in the Mexican community obtain United States citizenships through soliciting services and through Civics and English classes.

Casa Aztlan also sponsors annual events that incite community participation in the Pilsen neighborhood and immediate area. These annual events include, The Candlelight Dinner, The Viva Aztlan Festival, and La Posada. Aside from the above community events, groups of ceremonial Aztec dancers such as the Nahui Ollin and Quetzal-Yolotl, the Teatro Cuerda Floja, and the master of Folkloric dance Rene Cardoza were based out of Casa Aztlan.

Casa Aztlan also helped organize the largest Latino march in the history of the United States; the historic National March for Civil and Human Rights for Latinos in Washington D.C. in 1996. This event led to other activities in Chicago, New York, Washington D.C., and San Antonio, Texas.

Casa Aztlan also works with the Pilsen Alliance. The Pilsen Alliance is a community project focused on questions regarding public transportation, employment development, and other aspects of life that are important to the community.

All donations are tax exempt.
Visit Casa Aztlan at 1831 S. Racine Ave., in the heart of the Pilsen community.

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