La Liga celebrates women at Redhouse

Bilingual lunchtime show hails women:

The West Side may be finding an answer to Eastwood's Palace Theater at Redhouse Arts Center. Branching out from its standard fare, Redhouse hosted La Liga's first-ever observance of Women's History Month last Friday, "Especially For You," a two-hour program of performances followed with a hot, catered lunch.

About 40 people enjoyed the show in a relaxed atmosphere that included several toddlers, happy greetings among friends and enthusiastic applause for each performance.

Rebecca Fuentes, who shared emcee duties with Elisa Morales, coordinated the talent. Fuentes works in La Liga's domestic violence project and also attends SUNY Oswego. There, she met Mexican actress/storyteller Ursula Tania and persuaded her to headline last Friday's program.

An Oswego visiting artist-in-residence, Tania is an award-winning 20-year veteran of Mexican theater, film and television. On Friday she performed her accomplished and humorous monologue, "Frida's Spanglish Letters," portraying legendary painter Frida Kahlo with a backdrop of slide-show images of Kahlo's own paintings and archival photos set to music.

Spoken-word artist Jenny Terrero read from "The Big Apple Turns Brown When You Slice It," new poems about surviving addictions, sexual and domestic violence.

Singer Caroline Kim and Trio Oasis rounded out the program with three songs, accompanied by guitar and violin. Kim also works extensively as an immigrant rights activist, but we hope she'll raise her soaring voice in song more often.

La Liga -- a.k.a. the Spanish Action League -- a long-time social and advocacy anchor for the Central New York Spanish-speaking community, partnered for this event with Vera House and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

La Liga's executive director Rita Paniagua said, "We'll build on this every year now. Redhouse has been working with us since last year. They hosted our staff and new board members at Christmas-time and we're working with them on Redhouse Reads, a program where adult role models and mentors read aloud to neighborhood kids."

Editor's note: Hear poet Jenny Terrero again at Viva La Voz! Open-mic poetry at La Casa del Te, 803 West St., March 28, 7 p.m.. La Liga de Acci n Hispana/Spanish Action League located at 700 Oswego St., 475.6153.

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