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Latino Books Program

From the very beginning, the INEC Caribbean and Latin American Institute has presented several exhibits of Latino books in various iterations of the Dominican Book Fair in New York. These presentations have been accompanied by educational activities such as lectures, workshops, and audiovisual exhibitions.

During the October 2008 book fair, held in Hermanas Mirabal School, the INEC had a pavilion dedicated to merengue. The INEC also had a pavilion dedicated to the Mirabal Sisters at the October 2010 book fair, held in Boricua College.

 

The INEC in the Fourth Dominican Book Fair in New York

The Commissioner of Dominican Culture in the United States celebrated the 4th Book Fair, October 1-3, 2010. A wide variety of activities were held, including an exposition of books, and artistic and cultural activities. The opening ceremonies were held on Friday, October 1, in Aaron Davis Hall at City College, which forms part of the Harlem Stage cultural complex (Convent Avenue, between 133rd and 135th Streets, Manhattan).

 
Partial view of the Merengue Pavilion. Pictured is dance instructor Xiomarita Perez as she begins a dance workshop.The INEC Caribbean and Latin American Institute presented a bibliographic exhibit, and coordinated audiovisual showings, readings and other activities.

Exhibition halls with book exhibits, lectures and panel discussions were held on Saturday, October 2 and Sunday, October 3, beginning at 9:00 a.m. at Boricua College (Broadway Ave. and 155th street, Upper Manhattan). The closing ceremony of the fair was held on Sunday, October 3, in the auditorium at the Commissioner of Dominican culture (541 W. 145th Street, Manhattan).

 

The INEC hosts the Merengue Pavilion in the Third Dominican Book Fair in New York

The INEC Caribbean and Latin American Institute of New York hosted the Merengue Pavilion during the 3rd Dominican Book Fair held at the Hermanas Mirabal School in Upper Manhattan on October 11-12, 2008. The Commissioner of Dominican Culture in the United States organized the event, which was well received by the public.

The Pavilion included a graphic representation with a chronological history of the merengue, which was illustrated with paintings and photographs by prestigious Dominican artists. Writer Darío Tejeda prepared a display of musical instruments as well.

Activities included three workshops on how to dance merengue given by dance instructor XIomarita Pérez, National Folklore Director of the Secretary of Culture of the Dominican Republic. Pérez travelled from the Dominian Republic to give the workshops, which were very popular and were enthusiastically embraced by participants.

Likewise, a display of books about and recordings of Dominican music were included in the pavilion. Two presentations were shown from the documentary entitled Antes de que se vayan, which deals with typical merengue artists; the documentary was produced by Huchi Lora and Rafael Chaljub Mejia.

Finally, a closing musical presentation was held. Enriquillo Tejada and his band, Los Clarinetes Mágicos, with guest percussionist Marcial Araujo, enlivened the presentation. The closing ceremony also included the young and talented Dominican singer, Cynthia Jimenez, whose songs captivated those in attendance.

As such, the Merengue Pavilion fulfilled its mission of presenting the trajectory of the emblematic musical genre of Dominicans, and of emphasizing its meaning for Dominican identity worldwide.

Dixa D’Oleo, coordinator of the pavilion, stated that the INEC hopes to present the same content in Hispanic schools in New York and in other cities in the future. These cultural and educational activities would serve to preserve Dominican culture in the United States.

Attendees of the Book Fair enjoyed readings from texts, book presentations, lectures and literary discussions, as well as expositions of plastic arts and handcrafts, and Dominican theatrical, cinematographic, folkloric and musical activities.

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