On Friday, October 19th the school opened its doors to the community in celebration of being the new home of the groundbreaking Gateways/Portales exhibition, which was originally presented at the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum.
The Open House included remarks from Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum, Lisa Sasaki, Interim Director and a closing from Dr. Ariana Curtis, the exhibition’s original curator. A soulful performance by Brazilian singer/songwriter Cissa Paz and words of welcome from Director of Special Productions and Initiatives Nicholas Alexander Brown highlighted a new partnership between the school and the Washington Performing Arts, an arts organizations committed to connecting the community with quality performing arts programming. Salvadoran artist Nicolas F. Shi, whose work is featured in the Portales/Gateways Exhibition, presented background about his pieces.
At stations spread throughout the brightly lit halls, guests enjoyed food from Little Bites Catering by Miriam Perlacios, a Carlos Rosario School small business graduate. Stations featuring small business graduates selling artisan jewelry and local foods as well as Day of the Dead-themed crafts also engaged attendees. Student-led tours walked guests through the exhibition nestled among classrooms spanning two floors at the Harvard Street Campus.
“Having this important exhibition reopen in the community, at a school in the nation’s capital, is precisely the type of extended engagement we want to foster through this work,” said Lisa Sasaki, interim director, Anacostia Community Museum. “It presents more opportunities for conversations to be had around some of the most important issues facing the United States today.”
Originally presented at the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum December 2016 through January 2018, “Gateways/Portales” explores the triumphs and struggles of Latinx migrants and immigrants through the lenses of rights and justice, representation and celebration in Washington, D.C., Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham, N.C., and Baltimore; cities that have experienced rapid growth in their Latinx populations. The reframed installation at the school primarily focuses on Washington, DC but also references the other cities.
“We’re honored to partner with the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum and to provide a new home for this innovative exhibition that depicts the complex Latinx stories of immigrants and migrants living in urban cities on the east coast. As an educational institution first and foremost, we welcome the rich conversations that an exhibition like this will spark among people in our community,” said Allison Kokkoros, Carlos Rosario School CEO.
A few highlights from the Gateways/Portales exhibit include
- Festival as Community Empowerment: a series of photos from Fiesta D.C.
- Making Home, Constructing Community: photos and artwork representing hair salons and depictions of beauty in Latinx communities.
- Civil Unrest and Community Change: Photos from the Mount Pleasant riots, which erupted in Washington, D.C. in response to the shooting of a Latino man by an African American police woman during a Cinco de Mayo festival in the early 1990s.