Latino Culture

Having Their Say The 2000 U.S. census indicated that Hispanics make up 12.5 percent of the population, yet Hispanics make up only 2 percent of prime-time television characters, with stories spotlighting contemporary Mexican American families and neighborhoods remaining dreadfully few and far between. More and more, though, Texas audiences are finding quality Latino productions on the stage and screen. This month the CineSol Latino Film Festival begins a four-week tour of the Rio Grande Valley on South Padre Island, where attendees can sit in on panel discussions and watch a showcase of new work by up-and-coming Latino filmmakers. At the Texas Union Theater in Austin, singer-songwriter Alejandro Escovedo and his collaborators premiere By the Hand of the Father, an original theatrical production exploring family lore that incorporates a seven-piece orchestra with stage acting and video screenings. And emerging voices will be showcased at San Antonio's Guadalupe Theater when the city's teenage Chicano theater troupe, Grupo Animo, performs new, original works written by its members that relay their experiences as young Latinos—a refreshingly direct and personal approach to theater. (See Austin: Theater; San Antonio: Theater; and Elsewhere: Other Events.)

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