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Community Comes Together At Annual Southwest Key Posada

By Southwest Key on 01/09/2014 @ 06:54 AM

Tags: Children's Promise, Community Empowerment, Cultural Arts, EA College Prep, East Austin, Education, Events, Southwest Key

On December 19, 2013, over 200 community members gathered at Southwest Key’s el Centro de Familia to celebrate a traditional Latin America Posada, a musical dramatization of Mary and Joseph’s search for lodging in Bethlehem.

This was Southwest Key’s fifth annual Posada and community members came out to celebrate Christmas at the event that included ballet folklorico performances, bilingual theater, mariachis, a piñata, Santa Claus and much more. Staff also handed out healthy snacks and new books for the kids, many of which were donated by JPMorgan Chase.

“We are providing a space for families to create new memories,” says Cultural Arts/Community Coordinator, Melissa Villareal. Villareal heads up Southwest Key’s Latino Arts Preservation Program (LAPP). LAPP put on a spectacular performance of “Historias de la Navidad” (Christmas Stories) with the help of Southwest Key partner Proyecto Teatro directed by Luis Ordaz. Southwest Key’s ballet folklorico dancers performed “El Portrillo”, El Mexquiton”, and “El Pavido Navido.

“I was raised going to posadas,” says actress Brianda Camps. “As a performer, you have to be able to adapt to change any second. The performances are my favorite because once I am on stage, I am someone else.”

LAPP performers and mariachis then led community members through the Govalle/Johnston Terrace neighborhood. The children sang at the doors of neighborhood homes as they commemorated St. Joseph and the expectant Virgin Mary’s search for lodging in Bethlehem.

“It was a new experience for me but I really enjoyed it. I wish more people would come and take part of this free event. It’s a very nice experience,” says Ana Hernandez, community member.

Seventy-five children from the community received books donated by JPMorgan Chase and distributed by East Austin College Prep cheerleaders. The books that did not receive a home will be donated to the EAPrep library and will also be used in the Books for Breakfast program that promotes reading throughout the school year. “I love this event, it is one of my favorites because we get such a huge crowd!” says Villereal.

For more photos, check out our Facebook album.

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