Mexico 2010 Celebration Comes to Arkansas

Central Arkansas will join 50 other metropolitan areas across the U.S. and approximately 160 locations around the world in hosting celebrations to commemorate the bicentennial of Mexico’s Independence movement and the centennial of its 1910 Mexican Revolution.

Representatives from the Arkansas Mexico 2010 Project gathered at the William J. Clinton Presidential Center and Park to unveil plans for the Arkansas Mexico 2010 Celebration and the array of events and activities planned for August 2010 through January 1, 2011.

Among plans for the five-month celebration will be a visit by the Mexican Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan Aug. 31 at the Clinton Presidential Center and Park; an Arkansas Arts Center exhibition of “A Century of Revolution: Mexican Art Since 1910” beginning Sept. 1; a family-center Mexican Independence Day Festival at the Clinton Presidential Center and Park on Sept. 12; and the Winthrop Rockefeller Distinguished Lecture Series with Enrique Krauze at the UALR Performing Arts Center Oct. 28.

In conjunction with the celebration, the Mexican Restaurant Association will hold its second annual !Viva Mexico! convention in North Little Rock at the Wyndham Hotel Sept. 27 to 29 with a food festival open to the public on Sept. 27 at Dickey-Stephens Park.

The Arkansas Mexico 2010 Project is a university-community collaboration between the Mexican Consulate in Little Rock, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, the cities of Little Rock and North Little Rock, and the William J. Clinton Foundation. The goal is to encourage and coordinate local events that highlight the history of Mexico and United States-Mexican relations and to encourage the discussion of present and future bi-national development.

Arkansas Mexican Consul Andres Chao Ebergenyi, UALR Chancellor Joel Anderson, Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola, North Little Rock Mayor Patrick Hays, and Stephanie S. Streett of the William J. Clinton Foundation are honorary chairs of the project.

“In 2010 the world will get a glimpse into the richness of Mexico’s history; the Mexico 2010 commemorations in Little Rock are expected to provide a fresh boost to the ties between Mexico and Arkansas in the cultural, social, economic and political spheres,” said Consul Chao.

Chancellor Joel Anderson said Little Rock is fortunate to be among the cities involved in the celebration. “The relationship between Arkansas and Mexico is of rising importance. As a university, UALR has a constructive role to play in enhancing United States-Mexican relations and bi-national development. Through the Mexico 2010 celebration, Arkansas will take the lead nationally in bridging the cultural gap by providing opportunities to learn about important events in Mexican history and how this population has contributed to U.S. development and the history of our state.”

The major cultural institutions in central Arkansas have coordinated their fall events to provide Arkansans with quality art, music, dance, and theater offerings. Events and activities will also be sponsored by the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History, the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, the Museum of Discovery, Historic Arkansas Museum, William H. Bowen School of Law, Central High School National Historic Site, the Old State House Museum, and Arkansas Repertory Theater. A complete list of activities can be found at the Arkansas Mexico 2010 website.

In addition, students and teachers throughout central Arkansas will learn more about Mexican history and culture through teacher workshops, classroom education, university courses, and library materials.

The anniversaries of the bicentennial of the 1810 Mexican Independence Wars and the centennial of the 1910 Mexican Revolution will be celebrated this fall throughout Mexico, but also in the approximate 110 countries where Mexico has developed cultural and economic partners. All 50 cities in the U.S. that have Mexican consulates have joined in the celebration.

Click here to see the YouTube video of the press conference.

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