Tuesday, October 4, 2022
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Latin American Cultural Center opens in Pittsburgh

The Latin American Cultural Center opened its doors to the public Tuesday.Take a look inside: Watch the video above.The building itself has a lot of history. It was built in 1912 for the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania on Bigelow Boulevard. The Latin American Studies Association bought it in 2019.Bill DeWalt is the senior advisor for the Latin American Studies Association that has now created the new Latin American Cultural Center. The cultural anthropologist has traveled back and forth to Latin America since 1970.“Very few people in the United States know a whole lot about Latin America despite the fact that about 18% of our population has their roots in Latin America. Even the Latin Americans, I would say know a lot about their own particular country, but they really don’t know about the region. They don’t know about the other countries of Latin America and the Caribbean,” DeWalt said.The new center highlights the region’s geography, history, religion and the arts, among other things.For example, DeWalt said the Maya villages have their own styles of clothing. “They do their own forms of weaving, and then the embroidery is really unique to each village. You will immediately know where a person is from by the clothing that they are wearing,” DeWalt said.Whether it’s clothing or art, the Latin American Cultural Center gives guests an inside look at a different part of the world.Sandra Budd is assistant director and curator for the Latin American Cultural Center. “It’s the only Latin American cultural center in the United States that focuses specifically on the peoples and cultures and arts of Latin America,” Budd said.When guests go downstairs, they will find the museum’s permanent collection featuring a series of touch-screen displays, artifacts and a music collection.“We have selected a few instruments that are featured in some of the Latin American music and dance,” Budd said. Upstairs is the Grand Gallery, which DeWalt says will feature special, temporary exhibits, like Maya Spirituality.“These artists have produced these beautiful paintings that you see around us. They were initially selling those to tourists. Eventually as they got better at their craft, it was picked up by collectors around the world,” DeWalt said.The experience is eye-opening for visitors like Floyd Smith, one of the first to explore the new center. He’s visiting Pittsburgh from the San Francisco area.“It’s a big part of the world, and we can’t all travel everywhere and check everything out ourselves, so this brings things to us and lets us see where we might want to go if we are traveling in the future,” Smith said.Right now, the center is open Tuesday through Thursday each week. Visits are by appointment. For more information, click here.

The Latin American Cultural Center opened its doors to the public Tuesday.

Take a look inside: Watch the video above.

The building itself has a lot of history. It was built in 1912 for the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania on Bigelow Boulevard. The Latin American Studies Association bought it in 2019.

Bill DeWalt is the senior advisor for the Latin American Studies Association that has now created the new Latin American Cultural Center. The cultural anthropologist has traveled back and forth to Latin America since 1970.

“Very few people in the United States know a whole lot about Latin America despite the fact that about 18% of our population has their roots in Latin America. Even the Latin Americans, I would say know a lot about their own particular country, but they really don’t know about the region. They don’t know about the other countries of Latin America and the Caribbean,” DeWalt said.

The new center highlights the region’s geography, history, religion and the arts, among other things.

For example, DeWalt said the Maya villages have their own styles of clothing.

“They do their own forms of weaving, and then the embroidery is really unique to each village. You will immediately know where a person is from by the clothing that they are wearing,” DeWalt said.

Whether it’s clothing or art, the Latin American Cultural Center gives guests an inside look at a different part of the world.

Sandra Budd is assistant director and curator for the Latin American Cultural Center.

“It’s the only Latin American cultural center in the United States that focuses specifically on the peoples and cultures and arts of Latin America,” Budd said.

When guests go downstairs, they will find the museum’s permanent collection featuring a series of touch-screen displays, artifacts and a music collection.

“We have selected a few instruments that are featured in some of the Latin American music and dance,” Budd said.

Upstairs is the Grand Gallery, which DeWalt says will feature special, temporary exhibits, like Maya Spirituality.

“These artists have produced these beautiful paintings that you see around us. They were initially selling those to tourists. Eventually as they got better at their craft, it was picked up by collectors around the world,” DeWalt said.

The experience is eye-opening for visitors like Floyd Smith, one of the first to explore the new center. He’s visiting Pittsburgh from the San Francisco area.

“It’s a big part of the world, and we can’t all travel everywhere and check everything out ourselves, so this brings things to us and lets us see where we might want to go if we are traveling in the future,” Smith said.

Right now, the center is open Tuesday through Thursday each week. Visits are by appointment. For more information, click here.



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