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Amanda Gorman's poetry shows why spoken word belongs in school

 Kathleen M. Alley, Mississippi State University; Mukoma Wa Ngugi, Cornell University, and Wendy R. Williams, Arizona State University

Editor’s note: Not long after Amanda Gorman recited one of her poems at the inauguration of President Joe Biden on Jan. 20, three of her forthcoming books skyrocketed to three of the top four spots on Amazon. She was also selected to recite an original poem for Super Bowl LV. Here, three scholars of poetry explain why the writings of the 22-year-old Gorman – who became the country’s national youth poet laureate at age 17 – and her rise to fame represent a prime opportunity for educators to use spoken word poetry as a lively way to engage students.

Why being stuck at home – and unable to hang out in cafes and bars – drains our creativity

Korydon Smith, University at Buffalo; Kelly Hayes McAlonie, University at Buffalo, and Rebecca Rotundo, University at Buffalo

While the pandemic has caused thousands of small businesses to temporarily close or shutter for good, the disappearance of the corner coffee shop means more than lost wages.

It also represents a collective loss of creativity.

Researchers have shown how creative thinking can be cultivated by simple habits like exercise, sleep and reading. But another catalyst is unplanned interactions with close friends, casual acquaintances and complete strangers. With the closure of coffee shops – not to mention places like bars, libraries, gyms and museums – these opportunities vanish.

Of course, not all chance meetings result in brilliant ideas. Yet as we bounce from place to place, each brief social encounter plants a small seed that can gel into a new idea or inspiration.

By missing out on chance meetings and observations that nudge our curiosity and jolt “a-ha!” moments, new ideas, big and small, go undiscovered.

It’s not the caffeine, it’s the people

Famous artists, novelists and scientists are often seen as if their ideas and work come from a singular mind. But this is misleading. The ideas of even the most reclusive of poets, mathematicians or theologians are part of larger conversations among peers, or are reactions and responses to the world.

As author Steven Johnson wrote in “Where Good Ideas Come From,” the “trick to having good ideas is not to sit around in glorious isolation and try to think big thoughts.” Instead, he recommends that we “go for a walk,” “embrace serendipity” and “frequent coffeehouses and other liquid networks.”

Just as today’s freelance writers might use coffee shops as a second office, it was the tea- and coffeehouses of London in the 18th century that spurred the Age of Enlightenment. Then, as now, people intuitively knew they were “more productive or more creative when working from coffee shops,” according to David Burkus, author of “The Myths of Creativity.” As research shows, it’s not the caffeine; it’s the people. Simply being around other people who are working can motivate us to do the same.

A painting of a cafe with tables and people closely packed together. 1200w, 1800w, 754w, 1508w, 2262w" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px">

Crowded, chaotic – and brimming with inspiration.
Heritage Images via Getty Images

In other words, creativity is social.

It’s also contextual. The built environment plays a hidden but crucial role. Architectural researchers in the U.K., for instance, found that classroom design impacts the speed at which students learn. They found that classroom features, such as furniture and lighting, have as much impact on learning as teachers. Similar aspects of cafe design can enhance creativity.

Designing for creativity

Buildings influence a wide range of human functions. Temperature and humidity, for example, affect our ability to concentrate. Daylighting is positively linked to productivity, stress management and immune functions. And air quality, determined by HVAC systems as well as the chemical composition of furnishings and interior materials like carpet, affects both respiratory and mental health. Architectural design has even been connected to happiness.

Likewise, a well-designed coffee shop can facilitate creativity – where the unplanned friction between people can ignite sparks of innovation.

Two newly completed coffee shops, the Kilogram Coffee Shop in Indonesia and Buckminster’s Cat Cafe in Buffalo, New York, were designed with this kind of interactivity in mind.

Ceiling-to-floor windows and compact tables are features of the cafe. 1200w, 1800w, 754w, 1508w, 2262w" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px">

Buckminster’s Cat Cafe in Buffalo, N.Y.
Florian Holzherr, Author provide

Each has open, horizontal layouts that actually encourage congestion, which fosters chance encounters. Lightweight and geometric furniture enables occupants to rearrange seating and accommodate groups of various size, such as when a friend unexpectedly arrives. There are views outside, which promote calmness and offer more opportunities to daydream. And there is a moderate level of ambient noise – not too high or low – which induces cognitive disfluency, a state of deep, reflective thinking.


Restoring the soul of the coffee shop

Of course, not all coffee shops have closed. Many shops have reduced indoor seating capacity, limited patrons to exterior seating or have restricted services to takeout only as a means to stay open. All of them have faced the difficult task of implementing safeguards while retaining the atmosphere of their establishments. Some design elements, like lighting, can easily be retained amidst social distancing and other safety measures. Others, like movable seating for collaboration, are harder to achieve safely.

While these tweaks allow businesses to stay open and ensure the safety of customers, they sap spaces of their souls.

Philosopher Michel de Certeau said that the spaces we occupy are a backdrop on which the “ensemble of possibilities” and “improvisation” of everyday life occur.

When social life fully transitions into the digital realm, these opportunities become limited. Conversations become prearranged, while the side chats that take place before or after a meeting or event have been quashed. In video meetings, participants speak to either the whole room or no one

For cafe owners, employees and customers, the post-pandemic era can’t come soon enough. After all, while customers ostensibly stop by their local coffee shop for a jolt of caffeine, the true draw of the place is in its haptic and hectic spirit.The Conversation

Korydon Smith, Professor of Architecture and Associate Director of Global Health Equity, University at Buffalo; Kelly Hayes McAlonie, Adjunct Instructor of Architecture, University at Buffalo, and Rebecca Rotundo, Associate Director of Instructional Design, University at Buffalo

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.


What are emergency use authorizations, and do they guarantee that a vaccine or drug is safe?

 Tony Potts, a 69-year-old retiree, removes his face mask for a temperature check just before receiving his first injection in a phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial sponsored by Moderna. Potts is one of 30,000 participants in the Moderna trial.

Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty ImageS


Christopher Robertson, Boston University and Jeremy Greene, Johns Hopkins University


In coming days, the Food and Drug Administration is likely to authorize new COVID-19 vaccines based on applications submitted by two companies. These authorizations have happened very fast in a process called “emergency use authorizations,” or EUAs.



Does this swift action mean that products are proven safe and effective? Not exactly. But it suggests that they may present a reasonable balance of risks and benefits.



We are a physician and a lawyer, and we also study drug development from the perspectives of history and philosophy. The longer view is helpful to understand the differences between full FDA approval and EUAs.



The peculiar nature of medical products



When you decide whether to buy a television, you can tell whether it turns on and you can assess its visual clarity. But for a medical product, without the FDA, it would be impossible for you or even your doctor to discern whether it is safe and effective. For that, the American public needs clinical trials, with thousands of patients randomized to receive the treatment or placebo.



Accordingly, for more than a half-century, the principle guiding access to the pharmaceutical marketplace is: proof before profits. In 1938, Congress required companies to submit proof of safety data to the FDA, and in 1962 it extended the principle to proof of efficacy, or the ability to produce a desired effect. Yet this process of sorting good medical products from bad ones can take five years or more.






A short history of EUAs



Emergency use authorizations are a relatively new pathway that the FDA can utilize when there is a declared public health emergency, like a pandemic or bioterrorism attack.



The first time the FDA issued an EUA was in 2005 for an anthrax vaccine, but just for military personnel. In 2009, the FDA issued the first EUA for civilians, so that Tamiflu could be given to infants during the H1N1 pandemic.



The basic principle behind the EUA, however, originates from an earlier pandemic: HIV/AIDS, which first became visible in North America in 1981. The approval of the first treatment regimens that successfully transformed HIV/AIDS from a uniformly fatal disease into a manageable chronic condition, however, did not occur until the late 1990s. Instead, the first two decades of the HIV/AIDS pandemic were characterized by the urgent need for new drugs on the one hand, and the FDA’s slow pace of evaluating them on the other.



AIDS activist groups staged “die-in” events at the FDA’s headquarters, and they threw fake blood on government officials to protest the delay in access to potentially lifesaving drugs. Their actions made visible the human cost of delay in the middle of an epidemic and fundamentally altered the role of patients in FDA regulatory processes as well.



AIDS activists successfully secured a new “parallel track,” which helped lead to the approval of ddI, or dideoxyinosine, in 1991. This same sense of urgency also led to accelerated approval of another drug, ddC, or zalcitabine, which turned out to be “rotten” in the words of AIDS activist and researcher Mark Harrington. Patients had “no data” that the drug “in fact saved lives,” but it was “expensive, inconvenient and toxic.”



Emergency use authorizations can be seen as a form of scaling up these earlier pathways to accelerate approval. Since 2009, the FDA has since issued dozens of EUAs for drugs, devices and diagnostics based on the best available evidence for prevailing public health crises.



Different standards for different times



Once an emergency has been declared for a serious or life-threatening disease, federal law gives the FDA broad discretion in deciding whether to issue an EUA for a particular product. There are three guideposts.



First, “the totality of scientific evidence” must make it “reasonable to believe that the product may be effective.” As for safety, federal law requires a weighing of risks and benefits, taking into account the “material threat” posed by the emergency. Finally, an EUA can be granted only when “there is no adequate, approved, and available alternative to the product.”



In contrast, traditional drug approvals require proof of safety and “substantial evidence” of efficacy, typically based on two well-controlled trials.



In a July 28, 2020 news conference, President Trump stresses his support for hydroxychloroquine, which received an EUA that was later revoked.



Public perceptions matter



An EUA is less reassuring than the standard FDA approval, but at the same time it takes into context the increased risk, during a public health crisis, of not making a given product available for use.



The FDA is a science-based regulatory agency that wields its strongest power not as a gatekeeper but as a standard-bearer. The FDA can persuade scientists, physicians and consumers worldwide because its assessments carry the weight of careful scientific deliberation. This form of power is based on reputation. And with reputation, every present act affects credibility in the future.



The FDA’s reputation has suffered during the pandemic. Americans saw the FDA provide an emergency approval for President Trump’s pet drug hydroxychloroquine, and then withdraw it a couple months later, once efficacy and safety claims had been debunked. Similarly, in August, the FDA revoked an April 2020 EUA for a coronavirus antibodies test, in part because of false test results.



Now only six in 10 Americans say they will take a new vaccine if is authorized by EUA. Of those resisting, those in the largest group say they lack confidence because of the accelerated time line. Indeed, even the word “emergency” can be misread to suggest that the product may be “risky,” “suspicious” and “desperate.”



A trade-off between continued testing and access



EUAs present another problem if they short-circuit the clinical trial process. Why sign up for a 50% chance of receiving a placebo if you can have a 100% chance of receiving the same product through an EUA? Thus, an overly broad EUA can stymie ongoing participation in vaccine trials such that we may never really learn whether the product is safe and effective.



These fears are not new, and can be seen in the earliest debates around parallel-track designations for AIDS drugs. But they weigh more heavily in the scalar logic of pandemic-issued EUAs. Pandemics drive massive shifts in consumer demand that cause enormous supply and logistic problems (remember back when you had a hard time getting toilet paper?). In the short run, we will not have sufficient amounts of vaccine manufactured to support broad access to meet the full demand for new vaccines.



Traditionally, the FDA has restricted its judgments to the evaluation of safety, efficacy and quality, and left broader questions of pricing, allocation and access to other private and public actors, like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. But for an EUA, allocation is a critical question for the FDA to consider when weighing the balance of risks and benefits, which vary from person to person.



Accordingly, the FDA could initially issue a narrow EUA, allowing access only to those, like health care workers and nursing home residents, whose elevated risk merits earlier (and riskier) use of a plausible intervention. The FDA could subsequently issue a somewhat broader EUA for older Americans with comorbid conditions and others at elevated risk. For everyone else, trials would continue in the meantime.



The EUA plays an important role in mobilizing COVID-19 vaccines as promising new tools in a rapidly unfolding public crisis, but it is only one step in making a safe and effective vaccine supply available to the broader population. Hopefully by early summer there will be both sufficient knowledge and sufficient supply to support a traditional FDA approval of the vaccines, based on the best available evidence. We are hopeful about the new vaccines, and confident in the FDA’s ability to engender trust in those vaccines, when it is deserved.The Conversation



Christopher Robertson, Professor of Law, Boston University and Jeremy Greene, Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University



This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.


At GALA Theatre:

            The first thing that stands out when you mention Gala Theatre's new production of Lope de Vega's classic comedy, "El Perro del Hortelano", (translated as, 'The Dog in the Manger', but better described as the 'gardener's' dog, the one who doesn't eat or allow others to partake), performing live now through Nov. 22, is the unprecedented act of bravery it takes to produce a live theatre piece at this dangerous juncture. Not easy, yet GALA has done it with care and caution under safe conditions and, remarkably, with a delightfully fresh comedy, a welcome antidote to our gloomy, lugubrious times.

            The gazebo-like scenario encased in transparent acrylic plastic transforms into an attractive and relatively unnoticed staging vehicle. Everything occurs quite naturally for a 16th century comedy of errors from one of the Spanish speaking world's most iconic authors.

            Of course with only 50 people in the audience (25% of the theatre) and everyone wearing masks you are constantly aware of the altered circumstances and the ever present health hazard. Nevertheless, bravo to the little theatre that could!

            Lope de Vega was a contemporary of Shakespeare and his place in the literature of Spain runs parallel to the Master of Stratford on the Avon, although with his theatrical comedies in particular, he is most often compared to the Frenchman Moliere. 'El Perro...' is a farce of envy, double entendre's and hidden identities. It concerns a well bred noblewoman named Diana, played expertly by the visiting Soraya Padrao, who is attracted to her lowly Secretary, Teodoro, while at the same time being courted by two well off noblemen. Teodoro is stricken with love for another of Countess Diana's servants and the jealous noblewoman plots to separate them all the time misleading her lowly suitor and the two nobleman, there are twists and turns and ultimately no one ends up satisfied with the results.

            Director Jose Zayas has done a remarkable job with a compact, modernized conception of the play as has the young Spanish playwright/actor, Paco Gomez, who was commissioned by GALA to create this version simplifying the language and structure of Lope de Vega's story. The GALA ensemble is, as usual, remarkable in its depiction of the various (combined) roles. Just watching Luz Nicolas and Carlos Castillo play their various roles is enough to make the evening a worthwhile theatrical event.

            If you can get a seat and are satisfied you will be safe and healthy after (they actually take temperatures at the door) it is a magical evening of theatre, in particular for those of us who love the shows and have suffered without for some time now. Be safe, take care and if you're a theatre lover and adventurous enough... go see the play at GALA! All the information is on their website;


The PARADIGM Shift, like everything else is simple to
understand if you start with the root of the problem.
OK let’s say that In the Macro and the Micro We lost our way and are
embarked on an internal journey from the mindset of LOVE to the mindset
of FEAR ... What does this mean in human behavior? It means we are
going... From the Mindset of CONTROL back to the Mindset of allowing
the heart to TRUST!!!
Now, let’s elaborate on Fear which as we know is the consequence of
the root of the problem, duality, the black snake mindset. Fear is the
virus of the mind planted to separate us from Love and destroys the
Trust we inherently were born with, getting us further into Separation
activating Control as the seemingly only optional response to survive.
Trust is broken by Control, Control is designed to plant the seed of Fear,
leaving the individual with the disease of the heart, in other words a
broken heart and no compassion for himself/herself or others. This
serves the purpose of the model of patriarchy. It is easy to control people
who lost compassion for themselves because they were not given the
gift of compassion from their elders. According to Dr. Alice Miller, Hitler
could have not done what he did if he didn’t have a whole generation of
German boys raised in patriarchy supporting him...Herman Hesse the
German master in literature talks a lot about that.
I always say that compassion is the glue to oneness and if you don’t
have it for yourself you will not have it for others. Same as Trust. It
starts with Trust. It starts with YOU.
This is why restoring trust activates compassion inside out and is the
number one most effective and impactful thing to do now for each
one of us if we want to change the world .
When people realize that change comes from within and ask me what is
the little grain of sand they can plant inside of themselves that will
contribute to changing the world outside in an effective way, I always
Restore Trust ! First in your SELF and then in Humanity much so
that every particle of your cellular body becomes capable of modeling
its Powerful Meaning to guide each other in the path of remembering
our way back to LOVE AND ONENESS... from fear and separation.
The thing is, it is not possible to reach
our full potential in separation, it’s
divine nature soars only in Oneness.

The Medrano's Legacy

What GALA Theatre Means to our Community

           GALA Theatre is a local treasure. For close to 50 years Hugo & Rebecca Medrano have fulfilled their passion for bringing the performing arts to the Latino community of the Washington metropolitan area. Rebecca's ceaseless passion for organizing and Hugo's exquisite esthetic for the mise-en-scene have created a community masterpiece, the crown jewel of the creative arts for Spanish speaking Washington. 

Michelle Obama's Profile in Courage

           In these trying times with so much upheaval, where negative and tragic news seem to continually bombard us on so many levels, it was uplifting and inspiring to hear the remarks of ex-First Lady Michelle Obama on the dangers of depression in our lives; how difficult it is to maintain our hope and mental health as we look toward an uncertain and feral future. With her usual eloquence and elegance she described what she termed, 'low-grade' depression, and how it affects our lives. It felt very much like a bellwether in the storm; calm, soothing and wise.

Twitter posts show that people are profoundly sad – and are visiting parks to cheer up

Joe Roman, University of Vermont and Taylor Ricketts, University of Vermont

The COVID-19 pandemic in the United States is the deepest and longest period of malaise in a dozen years. Our colleagues at the University of Vermont have concluded this by analyzing posts on Twitter. The Vermont Complex Systems Center studies 50 million tweets a day, scoring the “happiness” of people’s words to monitor the national mood. That mood today is at its lowest point since 2008 when they started this project.

Parents with children forced to do school at home are drinking more

Susan Sonnenschein, University of Maryland, Baltimore County and Elyse R. Grossman, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

The Research Brief is a short take about interesting academic work.

The big idea

We found that parents who are stressed by having to help their children with distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic drink seven more drinks per month than parents who do not report feeling stressed by distance learning. These stressed parents are also twice as likely to report binge drinking at least once over the prior month than parents who are not stressed, according to our results. Binge drinking, which varies by gender, is when women consume at least four, or men have at least five alcoholic beverages (which includes beer, wine, or liquor) within a couple hours of each other.

COVID-19 Unmasks Inequality in Health Care, Economics and Criminal Justice Among Youths

This is the first in a two-part series about low- and moderate-income youth. Part two will focus on the efforts of youth serving organizations in a COVID-19 world.

Events in 2020 are exposing deep-seated inequality in our systems: the COVID-19 pandemic revealed inequality in our health care system, the ensuing financial fallout revealed the inequality in our economic system, and recently, the malicious killing of George Floyd at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers renewed the focus on a racist and classist criminal justice system.

How DC Mayor Bowser used graffiti to protect public space


Rebekah Modrak, University of Michigan

When President Donald Trump sent heavily armed federal law enforcement officers and unidentified officers in riot gear into Washington, D.C. during the height of protests recently, Mayor Muriel E. Bowser responded by painting “BLACK LIVES MATTER” directly on the street leading to the White House.

While many spoke of it as a daring political act, for artists like me, it was also an act of urban intervention, an artistic act intended to transform an existing structure or institution, that reclaimed public space back for the public. And she accomplished this with little physical matter at all.

Her action – expressing dissent by marking an oppressive environment – references graffiti, which has been called the “language of the ignored.”

Art scholars note that most types of graffiti are meant to claim or reclaim territory by those who are systematically excluded. “Writers” often work quickly and at night, when they are less likely to be seen and arrested for painting on others’ property without consent.

Bowser’s action would likely be considered vandalism if not for the fact that it was carried out by the city’s Department of Public Works, using city funds. She wielded municipal services as artistic tools to condemn another state-sanctioned action, the violence perpetrated against Black people.

Muriel Bowser attended a press conference about COVID-19. Win McNamee/Getty Images

Dissent by night

With a few thin layers of paint, the city now loudly and clearly proclaims to assembling protesters, the public and Trump’s official helicopter lifting off from the White House that BLACK LIVES MATTER, presenting that message in the voice of civil authority: “safety color” yellow.

Bowser is the public face of the work. Acting Deputy Mayor John Falcicchio said, in an email to me that explained how the work evolved, that Bowser was inspired to “make a statement at the site where peaceful protestors were attacked to create a photo op on Monday, June 1, 2020.” The “photo op” was the destination of Trump’s walk from the White House, across Lafayette Square, to a nearby church damaged during protests, where he was photographed holding up a Bible.

The idea took form during a brainstorming session with eight artists, Falciccio said, brought together by the Department of Public Works on Thursday, June 4, and who were assigned the job of creating a design to assure protesters of their safety.

The artists and DPW staff began measuring and sketching the letters under cover of darkness at 3 a.m., using the night as a constructive opportunity at a time when cities normally view darkness with anxiety and, in recent weeks, have imposed curfews.

The words BLACK LIVES MATTER emerged from this nocturnal culture. The text was only partially expressed in the early morning light at 6:30 a.m. when onlookers came upon the sketched outlines – the “bubble letters” of graffiti terminology – and pitched in to complete the letters.

Bowser was inspired to do something after Trump’s photo op at St. John’s Church. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP

Bowser boxes with shadows

Ownership of this collective and democratic work is credited to Bowser, an African American woman and an elected official whom President Trump belittled as “incompetent” on Twitter after she criticized his choice to occupy D.C. streets with federal guards.

Finding herself metaphorically in a spot between armed agents and barbs launched in the Twittersphere, Bowser seems to have answered cultural critic Mark Dery’s question “How to box with shadows” by adopting the tactics of culture jamming, a range of creative practices that include hacking and altering the messages of advertising or urban signs to expose or subvert their meaning.

Like a seasoned culture jammer, Bowser challenged the system by liberating the space from domination. She turned the streets into a canvas.

Bowser situated the phrase BLACK LIVES MATTER as an arrow pointing to Lafayette Square, the one-time marketplace for hundreds of enslaved Black people. The square was the backdrop for Trump’s Bible-brandishing performance and the tableau where Attorney General William Barr directed that law enforcement clear out peaceful protesters to set the stage for Trump’s poorly conceived expedition, which they did with rubber bullets and tear gas.

Symbolic pavement

In graffiti, the location you choose to mark is as important as the content and style of writing. In “Spot Theory,” graffiti writers Jeff Ferrell and Robert Weide point out that the ability to select culturally significant sites and to insert language with precision is an esteemed skill set among street artists.

By making a point of the asphalt’s surface, Bowser’s artwork highlights the street as a site of domination, rebellion and politics: the pavement on which George Floyd’s face was pinned for 8 minutes and 46 seconds by former officer Derek Chauvin; the site of hundreds of thousands of global footsteps marching in solidarity; the turf on which more and more people take a knee to call for an end to racism and police brutality. The yellow street visibly vibrates now.

Bowser’s action is an appeal to reinterpret seemingly utilitarian structures in ways that protect democratic spaces. In a cycle reminiscent of the “call, response, release” championed by author and poet Estella Conwill Májozo, Bowser is “called” by her experiences, and responds creatively. In the “release,” Bowser turns the power of engagement over to the public, entrusting them with future actions.

The day after Bowser caused anti-racist words to be painted on the streets of our nation’s capital, a group of activists showed up with paint and buckets. Commandeering Bowser’s municipal language of “safety color” yellow, they added: DEFUND THE POLICE.

[You’re smart and curious about the world. So are The Conversation’s authors and editors. You can read us daily by subscribing to our newsletter.]The Conversation

Rebekah Modrak, Professor, University of Michigan

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

jonetta rose barras: COVID-19 and the arts — past and future — in DC

With Mayor Muriel Bowser set to begin reopening DC after the city’s weekslong closure amid a public health emergency, there are legitimate concerns about the future of our arts and culture industry, including artists and other personnel. Much attention has been paid during this pandemic to the plight of hotels, restaurants and small businesses. However, for the uninformed, nonprofit arts organizations are also businesses. They seem to have been treated as superfluous institutions or fillers to the economy.
They are much more than that, explained George Koch, who has been a leader in the arts and creative economy movement for more than 30 years. He argued the “theater industry” and the “performance industry” are “two important drivers that bring people to a community.”

Uprisings after pandemics have happened before – just look at the English Peasant Revolt of 1381

In this 1470 illustration, the radical priest John Ball galvanizes the rebels. The British Library

Susan Wade, Keene State College

As a professor of medieval Europe, I’ve taught the bubonic plague, and how it contributed to the English Peasant Revolt of 1381. Now that America is experiencing widespread unrest in the midst of its own pandemic, I see some interesting similarities to the 14th-century uprising.

The death of George Floyd has sparked protests fueled by a combination of brutal policing, a pandemic that has led to the loss of millions of jobs and centuries of racial discrimination and economic inequality.

“Where people are broke, and there doesn’t appear to be any assistance, there’s no leadership, there’s no clarity about what is going to happen, this creates the conditions for anger, rage, desperation and hopelessness,” African American studies scholar Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor told The New York Times.

Medieval England may seem far removed from modern America. And sure, American workers aren’t tied to employers by feudal bonds, which meant that peasants were forced to work for their landowners. Yet the Peasant Revolt was also a reaction brought on by centuries of oppression of society’s lowest tiers.

And like today, the majority of wealth was held by an elite class that comprised about 1% of the population. When a deadly disease started to spread, the most vulnerable and powerless were asked the pick up the most slack, while continuing to face economic hardship. The country’s leaders refused to listen.

Eventually, the peasants decided to fight back.

Clamoring for higher wages

Surviving letters and treatises express feelings of fear, grief and loss; the death tolls from the 14th-century plague were catastrophic, and it’s estimated that between one-third to one-half of the European population died during the its first outbreak.

The massive loss of life created an immense labor shortage. Records from England describe untilled fields, vacant villages and untended livestock roaming an empty countryside.

The English laborers who survived understood their newfound value and began to press for higher wages. Some peasants even began to seek more lucrative employment by leaving feudal tenancy, meaning the peasants felt free to leave the employment of their landowning overlords.

Rather than accede to the demands, King Edward III did just the opposite: In 1349, he froze wages at pre-plague levels and imprisoned any reaper, mower or other workman in service to an estate who left his employment without cause. These ordinances ensured that elite landowners would retain their wealth.

Edward III enacted successive laws intended to ensure laborers wouldn’t increase their earning power. As England weathered subsequent outbreaks of the plague, and as labor shortages continued, workers started to clamor for change.

Enough is enough

The nominal reason for the Peasant Revolt was the announcement of a third poll tax in 15 years. Because poll taxes are a flat tax levied on every individual, they affect the poor far more than the wealthy. But similar to the protests that have erupted in the wake of Floyd’s death, the Peasant Revolt was really the result of dashed expectations and class tensions that had been simmering for more than 30 years.

Things finally came to a head in June 1381, when, by medieval estimates, 30,000 rural laborers stormed into London demanding to see the king. The cohort was led by a former yeoman soldier named Wat Tyler and an itinerant, radical preacher named John Ball.

Ball was sympathetic to the Lollards, a Christian sect deemed heretical by Rome. The Lollards believed in the dissolution of the sacraments and for the Bible to be translated into English from Latin, which would make the sacred text equally accessible to everyone, diminishing the interpretive role of the clergy. Ball wanted to take things even further and apply the ideas of the Lollards to all of English society. In short, Ball called for a complete overturn of the class system. He preached that since all of humanity constituted the children of Adam and Eve, the nobility could not prove they were of higher status than the peasants who worked for them.

With the help of sympathetic laborers in London, the peasants gained entry to the city and attacked and set fire to the Palace of Savoy, which belonged to the Duke of Lancaster. Next they stormed the Tower of London, where they killed several prominent clerics, including the archbishop of Canterbury.

A bait and switch

To quell the violence, Edward’s successor, the 14-year-old Richard II, met the irate peasants just outside of London. He presented them a sealed charter declaring that all men and their heirs would be “of free condition,” which meant that the feudal bonds that held them in service to landowners would be lifted.

The Peasant Revolt was one of Richard II’s first tests. Westminster Abbey

While the rebels were initially satisfied with this charter, things didn’t end well for them. When the group met with Richard the next day, whether by mistake or intent, Wat Tyler was killed by one of Richard’s men, John Standish. The rest of the peasants dispersed or fled, depending on the report of the medieval chronicler.

For the authorities, this was their chance to pounce. They sent judges into the countryside of Kent to find, punish and, in some cases, execute those who were found guilty of leading the uprising. They apprehended John Ball and he was drawn and quartered. On Sept. 29, 1381, Richard II and Parliament declared the charter freeing the peasants of their feudal tenancy null and void. The vast wealth gap between the lowest and highest tiers of society remained.

American low-wage laborers obviously have rights and freedoms that medieval peasants lacked. However, these workers are often tied to their jobs because they cannot afford even a brief loss of income.

The meager benefits some essential workers gained during the pandemic are already being stripped away. Amazon recently ended the additional US$2 per hour in hazard pay it had been paying workers and announced plans to fire workers who don’t return to work for fear of contracting COVID-19. Meanwhile, between mid-March and mid-May, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos added $34.6 billion dollars to his wealth.

It appears that the economic disparities of 21st-century capitalism – where the richest 1% now own more than half of the world’s wealth – are beginning to resemble those of 14th-century Europe.

When income inequalities become so jarring, and when these inequalities are based in long-term oppression, perhaps the sort of unrest we’re seeing on the streets in 2020 is inevitable.

[You need to understand the coronavirus pandemic, and we can help. Read The Conversation’s newsletter.]The Conversation

Susan Wade, Associate Professor of History, Keene State College

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

5 ways eating in a pandemic is improving your relationship with food – and why you should stick with them

In some households, children have been learning to cook and bake while parents are home during the pandemic. Catherine Delahaye via Getty Images

Stephanie Meyers, Boston University

It’s 5 p.m. on who can tell which day, and instead of rushing from work to kids’ activities, I’m unpacking a box of produce while my 7-year-old peels carrots beside me. Rather than grab what we can from the fridge on the way to soccer practice, my family is all sitting down together to a homemade vegetarian meal. On the menu tonight: cauliflower lentil tacos.

Before you get the wrong impression that everything’s going swimmingly at my house, it’s not. But as a registered dietitian and a mom, I’m noticing a few noteworthy patterns amid the pandemic, both in my own family and in what my clients report every day. Some of these food-related behavior changes have the potential to become new habits with long-term benefits. Here are five eating-related behaviors I hope endure beyond the pandemic.


$50 feeds one person for 2 weeks
$100 feeds a family for a month
$300 feeds a family for 3 months

            Our Immigrant Food Project has already begun and the first gift certificates are being distributed as you read this.

            Our construction companies have been blessed that most are still working. Let's be generous and help those who are struggling to cover basic expenses and have nowhere to go for help.

            We have raised $3,000 over the past week and have another $3.5 committed. Our goal is to feed 100 families for 3 months, so we still have a ways to go.

Este experiodista de Radio Martí fue un luchador de campana a campana. Ahora nos dijo adiós para siempre

por Luis F. Sánchez Especial/el Nuevo Herald

Para Hugo Marino Romero no había imposibles. La palabra desafío era como un imán para su audacia. Su gran curiosidad y entrega le permitieron transitar sin sobresaltos del linotipo a la computadora. Era optimista, luchador y tenaz, como un boxeador de campana a campana. En la madrugada del miércoles último dejó de existir por un paro cardíaco en Miami y el 25 de abril hubiese cumplido 80 años de edad.
Durante cerca de 20 años integró el plantel de periodistas de Radio Martí, primero en Washington, D.C. y luego en Miami, cuando la agencia mudó sus operaciones a esta ciudad. También colaboró con el Nuevo Herald de 1980 a 1985, entre otras muchas labores que realizó.

How to Prepare a 'Guiso de Lentejas' (Lentil Stew)

            Given the time we all now have at home, cooking has become a central activity for most of us. Among the many dishes I prepare is a lentil stew whose recipe was handed down to me by my mother (and I have now handed it down to my son!). It's a pretty free form recipe that depends on whatever ingredients you have around the house, but it was a distinctively Galician recipe I learned from my mother and have embellished over time. When I prepare it for me and perhaps one other person, it can last 3 or 4 days. When my son is around we don't mind eating it for a few meals. So let me share the recipe with everyone here.

The Agony and Exquisite Ecstasy of GALA's Latest Production

            The current production of "Exquisite Agony" is a dense, searing, original play expertly written and directed by the current prodigy of the American theatre world, Nilo Cruz. It's difficult to imagine how this author sat down and attempted to write a story about a man who has a heart transplant and the donor's wife who becomes obsessed with the man who has the new heart and wants to attribute to him the characteristics of her dead husband. Although the themes are universal; the fear of death, the longing for lost love, the difficult diva. the abuse of unloved children in a dysfunctional marriage, the theatrical device to express these themes is oddly served by the story of a heart transplant.  

GALA Receives 8 Helen Hayes Awards Nominations!

Washington, DC – GALA Hispanic Theatre has received eight nominations for the 2020 Helen Hayes Awards, which celebrate excellence in professional theatre in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. FAME The Musical received 7 nominations, and The Old Man, the Youth, and the Sea received one nomination.

GALA Theatre's next show opens February 6th

            Exquisite Agony           
Written and directed by Nilo Cruz, this poignant and witty story explores a woman's obsessive quest to find the recipient of her late husband’s heart. Her journey of self-discovery will unleash emotions and revel dark family secrets that will change their lives. Nilo Cruz Returns to GALA Triumphant

             Exquisita Agonía
Escrita y dirigida por Nilo Cruz, esta conmovedora e ingeniosa historia explora la obsesión de una mujer en la búsqueda del joven a quien se le trasplantara el corazón de su esposo. Su camino de auto-descubrimiento desatará emociones y revelará oscuros secretos familiares que cambiarán sus vidas. Nilo Cruz Returns to GALA Triumphant

A Trip to the Spain of my Dreams

            This summer I'm making a trip to Spain with a few select friends. I'm calling it my Spanish 'dream' journey and invite those of you interested to come along. Let me share the highlights with you.

            The trip is planned for August 14th thru 28th, precisely 14 days and 13 nights. The journey starts with 6 nights in Galicia, on the rugged northwestern coast of Spain above Portugal with the best seafood in the world, a breathtaking coastline and dozens of beautiful beaches with cold, rich waters that chill the body and refresh the soul!


Eddie PalmieriJust a couple of weeks ago, on Sunday, December 9th, I was able to attend a jazz concert in Baltimore at the new Keystone Corner Jazz Club and listen to the incomparable Eddie Palmieri and his Jazz Sextet. It happened to be the day of Eddie's 83 birthday and he was in fine spirits and even better form. We celebrated together backstage since my good friend, Rene Lopez, a close Eddie friend for more than 40 years, had come down from NYC to attend the concert as well.
Eddie Palmieri is the last remaining great salsa and Latin Jazz planer of the golden era of New York salsa. Gone is his brother Charlie Palmieri, Machito, Tito Rodriguez, Tito Puente and Celia Cruz, all great musicians who lit up the salsa scene from New York City from the early 50's through the new century. Palmieri remains a working musician who tours with his Sextet. He also performs with his big band salsa orchestra when the occasion permits and continues to travel the world (he is booked here in DC in June of 2020).Jonathan Powell He has surrounded himself with a tight, highly skilled group that includes the gifted trumpet player Jonathan Powell and saxophonist Luis Fouché, he of Late Show with Colbert fame. His percussionists are always famous top of the line guys (Jerry Rivero and Luisito Quintero in this case) and his offerings mostly self compositions. He began the evening with a jazz version of 'Adoracion', one of his most classic tunes and extended into a piano solo riff that all of us who know the tune and follow his music could understand and relate to. The group played everything from bossa nova to Cal Tjader and Thelonious Monk.
Louis FouchéIt was my second visit to the Keystone Corner Club (both times to see Eddie) and we were very pleased to see a thriving new jazz club down in the new neighborhood of Baltimore they call Harbor East. Palmieri is one of those 'swinging' music legends like Tony Bennett or Willie Nelson who just dazzles the public with his virtuosity, joy and sense of humor eon stage.
Eddie recently put out an album with Gilberto Santarosa and Carlos Santana. Still going strong, with a fabulous sense of humor and strong chops, it's a wonder to just watch him play. Generations of Puerto Ricans were influenced by his recordings such as; 'Muñeca', 'Vamonos P'al Monte', 'Nada de Ti', 'Oyelo que te Conviene' and many, many more. Music that has defined our times as Latinos living in the U.S.


           Paso Nuevo, GALA’s Youth Program, is proud to present Intimate Revelations/Revelaciones Íntimas, an evening of original works on Friday, December 6, 2019 at 8 pm at the GALA Theatre, 3333 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC. Intimate Revelations explores the feelings, problems, and idiosyncrasies that occur in the daily lives of our youth. Performed for the public in English and Spanish, the presentation is a culmination of a three-month intensive performing arts training program provided by GALA. Admission is free.

           “Paso Nuevo,” states Paso Nuevo director Guadalupe Campos, “has provided a safe space for Latinx and multi- cultural youth to engage in creative writing, movement, and performance workshops, and learn about the technical, production, and administrative aspects of theater. For more than a quarter of a century, the youth participants have used their creativity to explore issues they and the community face. The fall semester had over 50 participants and 43 of them are participating in Intimate Revelations.”

           “Intimate Revelations,” Campos added, “is the result of the dedication and countless hours of work by Paso Nuevo participants. In a world that is often stacked against them, they choose to channel their emotions and energy into art filled with laughter, love and Latinx pride.”

           “I continue to be amazed and proud of the creativity of the participants in GALA’s Paso Nuevo youth program. They demonstrate how the arts can truly transform lives,” comments Jackie Reyes, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs, which provides ongoing support for Paso Nuevo. “We celebrate their commitment as young leaders in their schools and community to grapple with issues that affect us all.”

           GALA Theatre is located at 3333 14th Street, NW in Washington, DC. Parking is available behind the theater in the Giant Food garage on Park Road, NW. The theater is one block north of the Columbia Heights Metro station on the Yellow and Green lines. For more information, call 202-234-7174 or visit



           The GALA Paso Nuevo Youth Program is an intensive performing arts program that immerses participants in writing, acting, dance, and music classes. Skilled teaching artists guide students ages 13-18 through the process of creating a performance, starting with an idea, through the rehearsal process, and concluding with tech week and opening night. Through exposure to a wide range of artistic practices, students explore issues of identity and cultural differences, articulate their values, increase self-esteem, and gain bilingual skills that will enhance their academic performance and future career opportunities.

Iré - A Cuban Smorgasbord

There is an exuberance of talent in the cabaret; "We Have Iré", showcased this past weekend at GALA Theatre. An abundance of powerful artists who dance, sing, recite poetry, perform hip-hop, play jazz and timba and typical Cuban music... A dizzying whirlwind of rich, cascading voices. It was almost too tiring to watch.

quotedirectorThe project originates with Paul Flores, a west coast Cuban poet at the heart of the concept. It revolves around two stories one of a Cuban woman and family trying to escape the island and the other of a Cuban émigré returning home. Add to that a 'kick-ass' jazz band headed by the incomparable Yosvany Terry, a major Cuban contemporary jazz artist; Christin Eve Cato a soulful sister who sang 2 beautiful ballads, DJ Leydis who transforms into the Goddess Yemaya and a sexy, provocative dance group that does a mix of Cuban folk dance, modern jazz and Brazilian capoeira. Oh, and did I mention Ramon Ramos Alayo and Denmis Bain Savigne who very capably danced and recited. Whew! So much stuff!

With less than one half of the show presented here at GALA on Friday and Saturday night you could build a full Broadway musical. It was too much!! Just when you enjoyed a sax solo from Yosvany it was gone. When Ms. Cato finished her ballad you wanted to hear another. When Paul Flores spoke of his experiences you wanted him to slow down and tell you more. When you watched the dance numbers you wanted them not to stop.

The Director, Rosalba Rolon has some experience with this type of show. It is similar to the recent, 'Dancing in my Cockroach Killers' which premiered at GALA that she directed a while back. 'Iré' seems to me to be in need of some editing, perhaps a few less intriguing talents and a more focused approach. Mind you it was a glorious fun filled night and this reviewer enjoyed himself immensely, but there were too many loose strings, you couldn't take them all in.
Am always so amazed at the versatility and challenges GALA Theatre takes on. They are truly becoming a National Performing Center. 'Iré' follows a week of movies from Latin America and in less than a month comes the traditional 3 Kings celebration. The Theatre is always on the move and deeply involved in the community.

It's such a shame that more people don't know about GALA and don't attend. It is a cultural jewel here in the nation's capital and produces enough enjoyment for one to visit more than 36 times a year. We should begin a 'Fundme' campaign to raise money for GALA so they can market their product stronger and farther. This theatre is glorious!


The Legacy of Casa Patas at GALA Theater Flamenco at its Finest

It has been 15 years now since the experiment of presenting, on a yearly basis, the finest flamenco in the world began at GALA Theater in Washington DC. Conservatorio Flamenco Casa Patas, the renown center for the study and promotion of the authentic expression of flamenco, has been at the center of this initiative from the very beginning. This Madrid based foundation is among the most serious and dedicated preservationists of the folkloric music of Andalusia. The study of the art form is limited to a few highly distinguished performance sites throughout Madrid, Barcelona and southern Spain. The roots of the music trace back to Moorish Africa, gypsy populations of eastern Europe and the Middle East and as far as India. Each year the Casa Patas performing group tours the United States and Latin America with performances that test the limits of flamenco expression and expand the range and artistry of the music.
On this tour the performers, led by Director / Choreographer and dancer Rafael Peral, dig deep into the origins of the music with a traditional ensemble that includes a female dancer, guitarist, two singers and a percussionist. In prior journeys to the new world the Casa Patas ensemble has included violin, clarinetist, saxophonist and multiple and sundry percussion players. This year "Raiz de 4", title of the performance, is a much more classic and basic flamenco ensemble, one you might find in the 'tablaos' of Madrid, Seville or Cadiz.
There are, nevertheless, interesting features to this latest work. What "Raiz de 4" does is pare back flamenco to its most basic elements and break them down. Each performance within the show highlights a different aspect of this beautifully passionate, emotional and inspiring music. They begin the show with two dancers swaying and swirling to the guitar, the singers and percussionist. They proceed with a solo guitar performance and then the 2 singers and percussionist take turns at their own solos. Mr. Peral returns by himself doing a breath taking pieces without the singers and then Marisa Adame, the female dancer, performs alone on the stage as well. Then at the end of the show all of these elements are fused back together once again and the company leaves the stage in one boisterous, cheering finale.
The presentations of flamenco at GALA Theater, including its own repertory company headed by the remarkable Edwin Aparicio, represent a rare and highly qualified opportunity to preserve and present the artistry of flamenco to local audiences. They enrich and amplify Spanish culture and make Washington DC what it is, a truly international urban center. It is a remarkable effort achieved under great strain. GALA not only stretches to bring a company such as Casa Patas to Washington DC, but through its local work attempts to popularize the art form in our community. The partnership with Casa Patas guarantees a top quality result.

'Pepe' El Polifacético Lujan, Hijo de Nuestra Comunidad

Pocas son las personas que se identifican en la imaginación popular por un solo nombre como por ejemplo, Messi' o 'Madonna'. En el pueblo de Washington DC, y en particular el barrio de Adams Morgan, por los últimos 50 años con decir 'Lujan', o simplemente 'Pepe', ya todos; blancos, Afro-Americanos y Latinos, sabían que se trataba del inconfundible Pedro Lujan.
Ha muerto nuestro Pepe!
Era hijo de Peru, pero en realidad era un padre nuestro. Trajo a toda su primera familia desde Perú a DC y empezó otra aquí. Era hombre de familia. Convivió con nosotros en el barrio capitalino de Adams Morgan gran parte de su vida. Compró casa en la Calle Lanier, abrió su primer comercio, la heladería 'The Scoop' en la calle 18, estuvo entre los fundadores de la Corporación Latina de Desarrollo Económico (también situada en la calle 18) y por unos años fue el dueño del famoso Café Avignone Freres en Columbia Road. Y por supuesto su inolvidable (y larga) temporada frente a Havana Village, también en Columbia Road.
Pero sobre todo en un principio asistió a Sonia Gutierrez en el Programa de Instrucción en Ingles para Latino Americanos (PEILA por sus siglas en Ingles) lo cual se convertiría en la Escuela Rosario del día de hoy. Ayudar a la población Hispana a superarse a través de la educación sería quizás el legado más importante de su vida. Sin embargo, Pepe era un hombre polifacético.
Lujan dedicó buena parte de su vida a la obra social. Fue de los mejores 'organizadores' que se hayan visto en esta ciudad. En los años 70, te llenaba un salón o una protesta en la calle con cientos de personas en cuestión de horas. Fue la mano derecha de Carlos Rosario, el primer gran líder de esta comunidad, y compañero y amigo de todos los líderes Latinos de su tiempo. Pepe ha sido instrumental en los movimientos pro-Hispanos de DC. Incluso, a nivel internacional, fue operativo de la campaña de Mario Vargas Llosa en Estados Unidos cuando corrió para Presidente de Perú, tal era su valor como organizador. En un tiempo, Pedro y su esposa Jeannie fueron representantes del Cuerpo de Paz en Costa Rica. Lujan fue exitoso a todos los niveles.
Pepe también fue un gran empresario. No solo su compañía de construcción, su heladería, Avigñon, Hellers Bakery, etc., pero su tiempo al frente de lo que es todavía el 'night club' Latino preeminente del barrio de Adams Morgan; Havana Village. Por cerca de 15 años casi todos los fines de semana a Pepe se le encontraba en una mesa frente a la puerta donde llegaban un sin número de amigos, compañeros de negocio, lideres políticos y personalidades comunitarias a tomarse un trago o discutir algún proyecto, pedir consejo o referencias o simplemente reírse con el gran Pepe y bailar salsa en el segundo piso. Havana Village, como Avignone anteriormente, se hizo el sitio más reconocido y famoso de la noche Latina en DC!
Mi amistad, y mis choques, con Lujan empezaron desde un principio cuando yo era Director del Centro de la Juventud. A veces tosco -y terco- Pepe siempre se comportó con honor, honestidad e integridad conmigo. Muchas son las referencias que me hizo y los consejos y apoyo que me dio. No puedo contar la cantidad de cafés, mojitos, ceviches, pasteles y helados que me tomé con él. Siempre amable y jocoso, Pepe fue un gran amigo y lo he de extrañar el resto de mi vida.
Grande Pepe, ahora a discutir con los ángeles y ver el legado de tus acciones y los éxitos de tu familia. Lo hiciste bien "Cholo". Siempre te recordaremos. Tu muerte trae a mi mente un verso de Machado:

"Algunas veces encuentras en la vida una amistad especial:
ese alguien que al entrar en tu vida la cambia por completo.
Ese alguien que te hace reír sin cesar;
Ese alguien que te hace creer que en el mundo existen realmente cosas buenas.
Ese alguien que te convence de que hay una puerta lista para que tú la abras.
Esa es una amistad eterna..."

Festival Fuego Flamenco en Teatro GALA

6 de noviembre de 2019 (Washington, DC).– El Teatro GALA prosigue su poderosa temporada 20192020 con la décimo quinta edición del Festival Fuego Flamenco, que expone a excepcionales artistas de España y los Estados Unidos en Washington, DC. Reconocido por presentar figuras estelares en un ambiente íntimo que recuerda al tablao, el festival tendrá lugar del 7 al 17 de noviembre en el Teatro GALA, ubicado en el 3333 de la Calle 14, noroeste, a una cuadra de la estación de Metro Columbia Heights (líneas verde/amarilla). Hay disponibilidad de estacionamiento por solo $4 en el garaje del Supermercado Giant en la Park Road.

Con el valioso apoyo de sus productores honoríficos Lynne y Joseph Horning, Fuego Flamenco XV explora el flamenco tradicional, y su amplitud y diversidad, a través de expresiones contemporáneas. El programa de este año incluye: el espectáculo Entresueño de Flamenco Aparicio Dance Company; y el estreno en los Estados Unidos de Raíz de 4, con coreografía e interpretación de Rafael Peral y Marisa Adame, y presentada en colaboración con la Fundación Conservatorio Flamenco Casa Patas de Madrid, España. Entresueño es una nueva versión del aclamado trabajo que representa los elementos esenciales del ser a través del flamenco, mientras Raíz de 4 evoca las raíces del flamenco y sus diversas expresiones.

El programa también abarca el evento gratuito para niños y familias Flamenco en Familia, una demostración interactiva sobre diversos aspectos del flamenco, el 9 de noviembre a las 11 am y 1:30 pm; así como la presentación especial para estudiantes Colores de Flamenco, a cargo de Flamenco Aparicio Dance Company los días 6, 7 y 8 de noviembre a las 10:30 am.

La Noche de Prensa y Recepción para Flamenco Aparicio Dance Company es el viernes 8 de noviembre; y para Rafael Peral y Marisa Adame es el viernes 15 de noviembre.

El Festival Fuego Flamenco XV es posible gracias al apoyo de Lynne y Joseph Horning, la Embajada de España en Washington, D.C., SPAIN arts & culture, Maggio & Kattar, la Comisión para las Artes y Humanidades de DC y el Hotel Normandy.


Fuego Flamenco XV inicia con Entresueño, por la Flamenco Aparicio Dance Company. Entresueño se estrenó en GALA en el 2006, antes de su gira nacional. En esta nueva versión, la compañía explora los sueños como un medio desinhibido para la psicodinámica, un estado en el que el soñador puede desasociarse y experimentar el ser a través de sus fuerzas compuestas, haciendo del entresueño no solo un estado de transición si no también un diálogo entre lo consciente y lo inconsciente.

Dirigido por Edwin Aparicio y Aleksey Kulikov, Entresueño presenta a Aparicio, curador del Festival Anual Fuego Flamenco de GALA, y los bailarines Norberto Chamizo, Alex Milton, y Jeanne D’Arc Casas; a los cantantes Francisco Orozco “Yiyi” y José Cortés; al guitarrista y compositor Richard “Ricardo” Marlow, y a José Moreno en la percusión.

Las funciones son el jueves 7, viernes 8 y sábado 9 de noviembre a las 8 pm, y el domingo 10 a las 2 pm.

Edwin Aparicio (Coreógrafo, Co-director y Bailaor) se formó con los renombrados maestros de flamenco Tomás de Madrid y La Tati, haciendo su debut en la legendaria Casa Patas de Madrid en el 2001. Aparicio se presentó varias veces con la Washington National Opera en el Kennedy Center, incluida su más reciente producción de Carmen, y participó en la obra Hemmingway The Sun Also Rises con el Ballet de Washington (2013). Se ha presentado como solista en todo Estados Unidos, con grupos como el de José Greco Spanish Dance Company, y compartió escenario con las celebridades internacionales Elena Andújar, Carmela Greco, Pastora Galván, La Tati, Ana Martínez y José Luis Rodríguez.

Edwin es el director artístico y coreógrafo de 12 aclamadas producciones, incluyendo “Íntimo” con Carmela Greco, la cual se presentó en Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Chicago, Pittsburgh y Portland; “Entresueño”, la cual marcó su debut como director en Nueva York; y “Flamenco Flamenca”, también presentada en el Instituto Cervantes de Chicago. Es el co-fundador y artista del festival anual de GALA Fuego Flamenco; forma parte de la facultad de la Escuela de Ballet de Washington y fue nombrado uno de los “25 bailaores a ver” por la Revista Dance en el 2009. Aparicio recibió el Premio Protagonista en el 2012 por parte de GALA por sus logros y contribuciones a la comunidad latina, y le fue impuesta la Cruz de la Orden del Mérito Civil del Rey Felipe VI de España en el 2015.

Aleksey Kulikov (Co-director) inició estudios de danza a los 9 años en Kiev, Ucrania. Formado en danza de salón, participó en competencias a escala semi-profesional y se presentó con un grupo infantil de danza de salón hasta que emigró a los Estados Unidos en 1996. Poco después, estudió flamenco con Natalia Monteleón y viajó a España, donde se preparó en Granada con "La Presy" y en Sevilla con José Galván. También estudió con "La Tati," Carmela Greco, Manuel Liñán, Domingo Ortega y Edwin Aparicio. Kulikov ha bailado flamenco en diversos teatros en el área de DC, incluyendo el Millennium Stage del Kennedy Center, y en las producciones “Yerma” y Flamenco Deconstructed de Edwin Aparicio en GALA. Junto a su esposo Edwin, Aleksey ha co-dirigido “One Plus One” (2013), “Flamenco Men II” (2015), “Salvador” (2016), y “Flamenco Extranjero” (2017).

Richard “Ricardo” Marlow (Director musical, compositor, arreglista, guitarrista) fue iniciado en la guitarra por su padre, el eminente guitarrista clásico John E. Marlow. Diplomado por la Escuela de Música James Madison, estudió guitarra flamenca con el maestro Gerardo Núñez en Sanlúcar de

Barrameda, en España. Se ha presentado con la Compañía de Flamenco Danza del Río, Ana Martínez y Paco de Málaga, Anna Menéndez y la Compañía de Arte Flamenco. El señor Marlow también participó en las producciones de Edwin Aparicio Uno más Uno, Bailes Inéditos, Encuentros, Íntimo y Flamenco Men II, donde compartió el escenario con Jesús Montoya, Alfonso Cid, “La Truco” y Carmela Greco. Participó también en “El amor Brujo”, de Manuel de Falla con la Baltimore Symphony Orchestra en Strathmore y la Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall en Baltimore; y en Hemmingway: The Sun Also Rises por el Washington Ballet, en el Kennedy Center.


Fuego Flamenco XV continúa con el estreno en los Estados Unidos de Raíz de 4, presentada en colaboración con la Fundación Conservatorio Flamenco Casa Patas. Esta imaginativa pieza de flamenco está coreografiada e interpretada por Rafael Peral y Marisa Adame, quienes hacen su debut en Washington, DC. Dirigida por el Sr. Peral, la producción tiene como director musical y guitarrista a José Almarcha; los cantantes Trini de la Isla y José del Calli; y a Epi Pacheco en la percusión.

Las funciones son el jueves14, viernes 15 y sábado 16 de noviembre a las 8 pm, y el domingo 17 a las 2 pm.

Raíz de 4 ahonda las más primitivas raíces del flamenco, evocando las convergencias de culturas del folclore de España. La esencia del flamenco -romances, martinetes, fandangos y soleares- son la base de esta presentación, con un impresionante despliegue interpretativo de sus talentosos artistas que transmiten un genuino amor por este arte.

Rafael Peral (Coreógrafo, director y bailarín) hace su debut en GALA. Nacido en Barcelona (España), comenzó su carrera con José de la Vega; fue miembro de la Compañía de Antonio Gades, donde interpreto el rol del “toro” en Torero; participó en Gitano y Bengue, dirigido por Luis Pascual, y fue artista invitado en la producción Serranito, dirigida por Víctor Monge. También ha bailado con las compañías de flamenco de María Pagé, Guito y Manolete, Adrián Galia, Eva la Yerbabuena, Sara Baras, Juan Andrés Maya, y con El Flamenco Vive. Se ha presentado en notables escenarios de España y Tokyo. Junto con Marisa Adame, ha creado Jonda Emoción y Raíz de 4, que se estrenó en el Teatro Nacional de Algiers y presentado sucesivamente en Orán, Constantine y Madrid. El Sr. Peral tiene un diploma en danza española del Conservatorio Profesional de Danza del Instituto del Teatro de Barcelona, y se ha entrenado con maestros como El Toleo, La Tani, La Chana, Manolo Marín y Antonio Canales, entre otros.

Marisa Adame (Coreógrafa, bailarina) nació en Barcelona (España) y ha bailado en Carmen, con la Compañía de Danza-Teatro de Luis Dávila, y como solista en Romeo y Julieta; en Los Tarantos, con la compañía de José Greco; Juana la Loca y Sueños en la Compañía de Sara Baras; Mis Recuerdos y De Madrid a Sevilla en la Compañía de flamenco de El Guito; y 4 Estaciones en la Compañía de Danza Flamenca. Con Rafel Peral creó los espectáculos Jonda Emoción y Raíz de 4. La Sra. Adame ha actuado en números tablaos de España y El Flamenco en Tokyo. Ha recibido el Primer Premio en la Competición de Coreografía de Madrid por su trabajo en Color Danza Española y tiene un diploma en danza española del Conservatorio Profesional del Instituto del Teatro de Barcelona. También se ha entrenado con maestros de flamenco como La Chana, Ciro, La Toná, Manolete, La China, La Yerbabuena, Javier de la Torre, y Adrián Galia.

Casas Patas es un tablao madrileño de renombre mundial que presenta el mejor y más auténtico flamenco en España. Grupos famosos y jóvenes talentos comparten algunas veces su escenario en memorables presentaciones. La Fundación Conservatorio Flamenco Casa Patas ha crecido tanto que hoy patrocina talleres, seminarios y exhibiciones que promueven el arte del flamenco alrededor del mundo. FLAMENCO EN FAMILIA

Flamenco en Familia es un evento gratuito de demostraciones interactivas sobre zapateo, castañuelas y abanicos flamencos, que se lleva a cabo el 9 de noviembre. La bailaora Sara Jerez y el guitarrista Ricardo Marlow, junto a otros artistas locales, realizan dos funciones: una de 11 am a 12 pm y otra de 1:30 a 2:30 pm en el Teatro GALA.


Los boletos regulares para Fuego Flamenco XV cuestan $45 para jueves, y $48 para sábado y domingo. Las entradas para adultos mayores (65+), estudiantes y militares tienen un precio de $30. Los boletos para las Noche de GALA los viernes 8 y 15 de noviembre cuestan $55 por persona y $95 por pareja. El Pase del Festival, que incluye un boleto para cada una de las producciones presentadas, cuesta $80. Para mayor información o adquirir entradas, llama al 202-234-7174 o visita

The Isle of Ons

Today I visit the Isle of Ons where they fish some of the richest, most savory seafood in the world along w/wonderful beaches and icy waters.

Dunas de Corrubedo

Yesterday visited the 'Dunas de Corrubedo' for the first time ever. The dunes are not of sand but rather grasses and pine forest. Stopped at a fishing port named Aguiño for lunch (some delicious 'pulpo a feira'). Although they didn't know it, the town was made famous by mystery writer Domingo Villar who writes Gallego mystery novels

My first evening in Galicia

My first evening in Galicia, ate at a little 'Chiringuito' on the beach. Couldn't resist the typical grilled sardines and Padron peppers (the real ones since I'm about 30 miles from Padron).

4 Outstanding Poets of Latin Music

Latin music is rich with great singers and composers. I'm partial to songs that combine personal or social poetry with complex rhythms and harmonies. In particular I admire and listen to four favorites who delight me over and over again, they are; Juan Luis Guerra, La Mari, Rosario and Ruben Blades.

Two Pioneering Dominicans in DC's Latino Community.

Recently I had the pleasure of attending the Caobas Foundation dinner and shared an evening with 2 of my favorite people. That evening Daniel Bueno received an award for his lifetime of achievements and Franklin Garcia, DC's Shadow Representative and its most active crusader for DC Statehood, was present as well. The picture that accompanies this feature was taken that evening.

Re-Build the Pool Already!

The East Potomac Park swimming pool is an outdoor, Olympic size pool used by families and lap swimmers since 1937. Located just across from the National Mall, near the Jefferson Memorial, I've used it for over 30 years. I would take my son and his friends there over the summer when they were kids. I also came to use it extensively during the summer for lap swimming as part of my weekly exercise routine. It was an important, vital part of my physical routine.

A Passion for Reading

I consider myself an avid reader. I keep a number of books open and usually read them late into the evening before bedtime. I have friends who've switched to kindle books on a computer screen, but it's my long established habit and a great pleasure to buy a real, printed manuscript, open the cover and begin reading.


I came late to tennis, only starting to play when my son was 11 years old. I had played the game only infrequently during most of my adulthood favoring soccer more than tennis. I was a soccer referee for 14 years and wanted to dedicate time to that, but at some point it didn't fit my schedule. Then I discovered the game of tennis. As the great writer David Foster Wallace said it is, 'the most beautiful sport there is'. At first I would compete with my son (he beats me regularly now when we get the chance to play), then gradually I began to play with friends and in 'leagues' at the courts in East Potomac Park and at Carter Barron.

New Look, New Purpose is a portal that represents the work, ideas and thoughts of Jose Sueiro and those who share common interests and curiosities. Together with partner and collaborator, Omar Cornelio, we've been posting to this site now for over 10 years.

GALA Dances the Night Away With Last Show of the Season

Luis Salgado. Photo courtesy Luis SalgadoGALA Theatre concludes its 43rd season with the U.S. premiere of a bilingual version of the unforgettable FAME, The Musical. Conceived and developed by David De Silva, with book by Cuban writer José Fernández, music by Steve Margoshes and lyrics by Jacques Levy, FAME is directed and choreographed by Luis Salgado. Salgado returns to GALA with the creative team from the theater’s hit production of In The Heights, which garnered nine 2018 Helen Hayes Awards. Foremost in that team is Music Director Walter “Bobby” McCoy, who will lead a nine piece band. The production will be performed in English and Spanish and will have subtitles in both languages.

Fútbol, asado y política: lo mejor de Argentina desembarca en DC

Pilar Ramírez

            ¿Qué hace  que se reúnan un famoso jugador de fútbol como Mario Kempes,  la presentadora de Univisión Arely Pérez, un diplomático de la sección consular de la embajada Argentina o el alcalde de Arlington County, entre otras celebridades, un sábado de mayo en el área metropolitana de Washington DC?


            If for no other reason, you should take in the latest show at GALA Theatre, 'The Old Man, The Youth and the Sea', to witness the tour-de-force performance by Horacio Peña who inhabits the main character of Miguel de Unamuno with authority, grace and charm. The play is a recreation of the 4 month exile in 1924 of the formidable Spanish writer and public figure to the island of Fuerteventura by the Spanish dictatorship of Primo de Rivera.


          GALA Hispanic Theatre continues its 43rd season with the world premiere of "El viejo, el joven y el mar" by Irma Correa, which was commissioned by GALA. Directed by 2016 Helen Hayes Award winner José Luis Arellano from Spain, 'El viejo, el joven y el mar' is performed in Spanish with English subtitles from February 7 through March 3, 2019 at GALA Theatre, 3333 14th Street, NW, Washington, D.C.

The Hidden Mexican Legacy of my Father

            I recently returned from a visit to Mexico City (CDMX) for the first time in over 40 years. I'd lived there for an extended period during my adolescence with my father, Jose 'Pepe' Sueiro. My father emigrated to the United States when he was a young man married, and later divorced, my mother whom he had known since childhood in the town of Pontevedra (Spain) where she was from. Born in the seaside village of Sanxenxo, he was a merchant marine when he arrived in New York City and ended up remaining in the country, based in the United States and Latin America for the rest of his life.

Como agua para chocolate || Like Water for Chocolate

Washington, D.C. – GALA opens its 43rd season with the U.S. premiere of Como agua para chocolate/Like Water for Chocolate, adapted for the stage by Garbi Losada based on the internationally best-selling novel by Laura Esquivel. Directed by Olga Sánchez, Como agua para chocolate runs September 6 through October 7, 2018 at GALA Theatre, 3333 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20010. Parking is available at a discounted rate in the Giant garage on Park Road, NW.

A pinch of Kafka & a Twist of Joe Cuba

Think the energy of West Side Story, the language of the Nuyorican poets with a pinch of Kafka and a twist of Joe Cuba and you get an idea of what the new play at GALA Theatre, "Dancing in my Cockroach Killers", is all about. Six young Puerto Ricans, mostly from the Bronx, dance, sing and recite poetry from the heart of the Boricua repertoire.

Dancing in My Cockroach Killers

            Think the energy of West Side Story, the language of the Nuyorican poets with a pinch of Kafka and a twist of Joe Cuba and you get an idea of what the new play at GALA Theatre, "Dancing in my Cockroach Killers", is all about. Six young Puerto Ricans, mostly from the Bronx, dance, sing and recite poetry from the heart of the Boricua repertoire.

            You will find echoes of West Side Story in the heartbreaking poem about domestic abuse sung by Caridad de la Luz and appropriately titled, 'Maria'. There is the flaming beat of 'Madre de Bomba' performed by master percussionist Nicky Laboy and danced to by Yaremis Felix. In between the 6 member cast cavort around the stage to the sounds of Joe Cuba's 'Bang Bang' and whistle the theme of another great Joe Cuba classic, 'El Pito' (I'll Never go Back to Georgia). It's the mixture of movement, poetry and song that moves the evening along at breakneck pace.

            The blend of old and new, sassiness and sadness brought tears at times and goose bumps throughout. Magdalena Gomez, the poet has captured the essence of the 'Nuyorican hood' with passionate, soaring poetry and dramatic backdrops. She is the poet laureate of Bronx Latin, the sorceress of quixotic Boricua quests. Among the most poignant moments was a plea for the 4,625 islanders dead as a result of Hurricane Maria which became a cry for help and respect for Puerto Rico. The entire night was spent as if in one of those dance halls under the 'Bronx El', where sashay skirts and ultra-high heels abound and salsa erupts from 2nd floor clubs with busy dance floors and plenty of shouting and drama!

            Conceived and directed by Rosalba Rolón in collaboration with Pregones Theatre/PRTT in New York City, GALA concludes its 42nd season with this lively musical that will run Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 pm and Sunday matinees at 2 pm until July 1, 2018. Go see it, you'll have a good time. More information about the show at, or by phone at 202-234-7174.


            Regular tickets are $45 on Thursdays through Sundays. Tickets for students, military, seniors (65+), and 30 and Under are $30. Additional discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. To purchase tickets, call 202-234-7174 or visit

FOR TICKETS: Call (202) 234-7174, or visit

The Truth Is Like a Piece of Paper in the Wind

GALA Theatre is presenting its most overtly political play in a very long time. Political in as much as it deals with the real life events of three martyrs of modern Dominican Republic history and their battle against the tyrant Rafael Trujillo. The play 'In the Time of the Butterflies' is based on the novel by Julia Alvarez adapted for the theatre by Caridad Svich. It is the story of the three most famous Dominican women in modern history, the Mirabal sisters, brutally assassinated in November of 1960 on the way back from a visit to their jailed husbands. Months later, after more than 30 years in power, the Trujillo dictatorship would fall as the 'caudillo' was murdered in an ambush.

Argentine Festival 2018

The Argentine Festival is celebrated this year on Saturday, May 12, 2018 from 3:45 - 10:30 PM at Kenmore Middle School Theater (200 S Carlin Springs Rd., Arlington, Virginia 22204)

"Facebook is a Hell for Happy People" Gala's Latest Offering

La Foto: A Selfie Affair is a humorous and entertaining play that touches upon modern themes of technology, privacy, and internet relationships. The selfie, that ubiquitous and vain yet satisfying picture, is the catalyst for a series of events that ends a marriage, drives a daughter to leave her school in shame, and ruins a friendship.

La Foto / A Selfie Affair

“It’s not the world in your hands...It is you in the hands of the world”  

GALA Hispanic Theatre is proud to present the world premiere of the dark comedy La Foto by Gustavo Ott. Directed by Abel López,, La Foto is performed in Spanish with English surtitles from February 1 through February 25,
    “We are delighted to stage our seventh play by Gustavo Ott,” comments Hugo Medrano, GALA Producing Artistic Director and co-founder. “Full of zany characters who seek to navigate contemporary life and all of its absurdities, Ott’s work reflects on our humanity even as we laugh.”

FUEGO FLAMENCO XIII Innovative! Fiery! Mesmerizing!

Nov 3 – 12, 2017 Washington, D.C. – GALA Hispanic Theatre continues its 42st season with the thirteenth international Fuego Flamenco Festival that brings leading flamenco artists from Spain and the United States to Washington audiences. Recognized for the presentation of stellar artists in an intimate tablao setting, the festival will run from November 3 through November 12 at the GALA Theatre, 3333 14th Street, NW, one block from the Columbia Heights metro station on the Green/Yellow lines. Parking is available behind the theater at the Giant Food garage for a rate of $4 with validation at GALA.

The Gastronomic Contextualization of Culture

- This rise in Spanish creativity has immigrated as well ... and America is starting to catch on.

José Andrés____

The simple meaning to this complex looking title is on display at the Former Residence of the Ambassadors of Spain (the mansion at 2801 16th St. NW) as part of a fascinating, month long exhibit titled: #EatSpainUp. Essentially what Spain Arts and Culture, the cultural arm of the Spanish Embassy, has done is present the plain, daily ingredients and elements of Spanish food in an exalted, artistic fashion complete with art exhibit, designer chats and culinary presentations at various Spanish restaurants around town.

The Graham Legacy

    I met him at the Whitman Walker Clinic sometime in the spring of 1997. In typical fashion he had contacted our Spanish language newspaper to ask if we were interested in writing a story about the work of Whitman Walker. They had already opened the Elizabeth Taylor annex across 14th St. three years earlier. Jim had been in the news and was becoming something of a celebrity in the city. The profile of WWC had been heightened and financially they were in the best shape of their 15 year history.

The Mastery of Flamenco/Jazz Pianist Chano Dominguez

Spain Arts and Culture closed out its performance season in Washington DC on Saturday, June 15, 2017 with a lively concert of flamenco tinged, Latin Jazz music with the consummate Spanish jazz pianist Chano Dominguez and his trio. This is the fourth jazz concert of the season at the charming, intimate, 'Former Residence of the Ambassadors of Spain', a long title for a  boutique performance venue that seats barely 100 people at a beautiful ballroom in the rehabilitated mansion along 16th St.
    Produced in collaboration with the DC Jazz Festival and followed by a question and answer session with the artist that was moderated by the inimitable Jim Byers, he of WPFW fame with his Latin Flavor Classic Edition program and his passion for vintage cars. Byers is perhaps the single most influential 'salsa' expert in town, a virtual cultural anthropologist of Caribbean music.

Getting Down In The Heights Latin Style

In The Heights En Español, directed by Luis Salgado, is a bilingual adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s mid-2000’s original musical. Colorful, humorous, and at times somber, the play centers around the struggles and romances of a primarily Latino community in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan. Usnavi (played by Juan Luis Espinal) shoulders the legacy of his parents: a convenience store in “the barrio,” while looking after his younger cousin and his dear “abuela.” Meanwhile Nina (played by Laura Lebron) returns from Stanford to tell her parents that she lost her university scholarship. Once considered a star student, Nina deals with the guilt of having disappointed her parents and her community. Nina and Usnavi grapple with these issues while simultaneously pursuing their respective romantic passions. Usnavi musters up the courage to talk to “popular girl” Vanessa (played by Veronica Alvarez) who works at a beauty salon. Nina develops affection for Benny (Vaughn Ryan Midder), an African-American employee at Nina’s father’s Taxi/Limousine service.

Lilting Melodies, Ballads and Flamenco

I first met Javier Colina in one of those smoked filled jazz nightclubs in Madrid, don't remember if it was Cafe Central, Sala Clamores or the old Whiskey and Jazz. What is certain is I first heard him with Jerry Gonzalez, my friend the trumpet and conga player who has achieved iconic status in Spain as one of the finest jazz, or more specifically Latin Jazz, players on the Iberian peninsula.

Mexican Pepper Spray

The prolific Mexican playwright, Emilio Carballido's, "I Too Speak of the Rose", a forceful montage of realistic and dreamlike sequences wrapped around a multi-layered plot, recently had its Washington DC debut at GALA Theatre where it will be performed through February 26th. It is a fine example of his theatrical legacy and one of his most popular works. In as much as it is stylistically and thematically central to his vision and message it is a key component of modern Mexican theatre, studied and performed with frequency across the country.

Joselito Casa de Comidas new Spanish restaurant on Capitol Hill

There is a new Spanish restaurant on Capitol Hill with the original title of, "Joselito; Casa de Comidas". It is a sparse, airy space with simple marble tables and first hand view of Pennsylvania Ave. The owner is Javier Candon who also owns SER Restaurant in Arlington. The concept is a menu of Spanish staples served in a nouveau cuisine style. Spain's rich culinary scene has given way to a great many modern variations of typical Spanish food. At Joselito there are Sardines in a frothy cream sauce and 'boquerones en vinagre' (small sardines in vinegar) covered in a tapenade which includes mushrooms and olives. We also tasted a very modern version of 'huevos rotos' (broken eggs) served in Spain with french fries, here with grilled baby shrimp.

SOPLA, Lizana's Delightful Jazz & Flamenco Show

Spain Arts & Culture (, a new and rising force in Spain's cultural diplomacy arsenal, is putting together an unprecedented calendar of performances throughout the United States in 2017. Here in Washington they've been active for some time at the 'Former Residence of the Ambassadors of Spain', a distinguished mansion on 16th St. NW which is ideal as an exhibit space and includes an intimate performance venue and lovely patio for cocktail receptions as well. Spain/ has grown into an interesting force for the promotion of cutting edge architecture and design, photography and art exhibits, literary soirees and plenty of classical and popular music from Spain.


Washington, DC – GALA Hispanic Theatre continues its 41st season with the U.S. premiere of the modern Mexican classic of Yo también hablo de la rosa/I Too Speak of the Rose by Emilio Carballido, directed by GALA Producing Artistic Director Hugo Medrano. Yo también hablo de la rosa is performed in Spanish with English surtitles from February 2 through February 26, 2017 at GALA Theatre, 3333 14th Street, NW, Washington, D.C. The theater is one block from the Columbia Heights metro station on the Green/Yellow lines. Discounted parking is available behind the theater at the Giant Food garage.

The Silences of Flamenco: GALA Theatre's Casa Patas Show

It has been twelve years now since Madrid's; "Fundacion Conservatorio Flamenco Casa Patas" began sending flamenco groups to GALA Theatre and on U. S. tours. Each year they design a new project and perform some of the most innovative and ingenious flamenco shows you will ever witness, with brilliant musicians and top notch performers. The shows are always intimate mixtures of polished dancers, fine musicians and the most typical singers of the idiom bringing to life the feeling and passion of Andalucía.

Restoring Human Dignity One Person at a Time

They walk in with a look of lost bewilderment, many of them children searching for family, and all of them with tags indicating they've been through the detention center just a few miles away on the border with Mexico, and suddenly everyone in the room breaks out in thunderous applause. It is a daily ritual. This is what happens each day at the Sacred Heart parish in the small town of McAllen under the watchful eye of Sister Norma Pimentel, a woman who has become a legend in south Texas. These are the most recent refugees crossing the border at the southernmost tip of the United States, dozens of whom get routed daily through this refugee center where they get to wash up, eat some food, find comfortable clothing and manage a few days rest before they're sent on their way to family, friends or resettlement in a new city.

Salvador, The Flamenco Musical

The talented Edwin Aparicio is the closest Washington has to a flamenco master and his yearly productions at GALA Theatre are the equivalent of a flamenco conservatory located and nurtured right here in Washington DC. He has once again created a 'flamenco musical' based on the story of his life. It is astonishing to witness the improvement and maturity of Aparicio's productions over the years and how his shows become more theatrical and less of a concert as he explores his artistic roots.

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