Thursday, March 29, 2007

Fabian Bedne holds fundraiser tonight for Metro Council run

Miguel Torres sent this invitation to a fundraiser for Metro Council candidate Fabian Bedne:

We would like to make sure everyone knows that Fabian Bedne is a candidate for Metro Council. Fabian was a founding board member for National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) chapter in Middle Tennessee and was integral in its formation and structure. He was our Secretary and worked endless hours for the organization. He has a strong heart for helping the Latino community.

Bedne is a native of Argentina and has a background in architecture.

Artists from around the world to perform at second annual "Seeking Music" event this Saturday night in Brentwood

Chinese, Latin-Reggae-Cumbia, Andean, Indie/Pop/Acoustic, Appalachian, Arabic, Mexican, Navajo, Puerto Rican, Egyptian music, dance, and visual art

Hosted by Dr. Ming Wang and Demi Escudero of Colombia

"How many artists are there in Nashville that no one knows about because they are from other countries?"

Dr. Ming Wang, an internationally known LASIK eye surgeon, and Ms. Demi Escudero from Columbia, South America, will host the 2nd annual multi-cultural music diversity event “Seeking music, seeking vision, seeking voice” on Saturday, March 31, 2007 at 6pm in Brentwood, TN.

This unique, multi-cultural event will feature music performances from several continents and from many different countries from around the world. Dr. Wang and Ms. Escudero organized the first “Seeking” event last year and it was a sensational success with artists from 19 countries represented. While preparing for this year’s “Seeking music” event, the overwhelming response from artists and the public made the organizers move the venue to a new location with larger space to accommodate the musicians and artists from the various countries.

“A unique, multi-cultural artistic event like this is in its range of diversity”, Dr. Wang said, who together with Ms. Escudero are the founders of the “Seeking music, seeking vision, seeking voice” annual event. Dr. Wang explained: “Artistically, it is so much more fun to compare and to experience the range of different artistic expressions among the artists from different cultures and countries. Music for example is an art of contrast, namely, the very essence of music lies its contrasting themes, rhythm, tempos and musicality. The strength of multi-culture art lies not in its singular prominence like many European works of art, such as those of Da Vinci and Michelangelo, but in the range of different expressions by different cultures. When we enjoy and contrast the artistic styles and expressions of artists from different cultures and people, we truly experience the best in all of us as human beings.”

“In February 2006, I was introduced to Dr. Wang at a small gathering of musicians and artists. At once, there was a connection to the doctor. We shared many of the same views on cultural art”, co-founder Ms. Escudero said. She continued: “Dr. Wang asked: ‘How many artists are there in Nashville that no one knows about because they are from other countries? The barriers of segregating artists must be removed’. This statement from Dr. Wang caught everyone's attention immediately. That evening, ‘Seeking music, seeking vision, seeking voice’ was born. I realized that here was a visionary who saw that the barriers between cultures had to be removed in order for acknowledgement of a multi-cultural society to take root and bloom in a city of newly found cultural diversity such as Nashville.” The purpose for "Seeking music, seeking vision, seeking voice” is to collectively explore and support the talents of our multi-cultural artists through music, the visual arts and dance.

Musical performances at this year’s “Seeking music” event will include music and dance and other forms of art shows from several continents and a large number of countries. The evening will begin with a performance of the Chinese violin (er-hu) and classical guitar by Dr. Wang and Mr. Carlos Gonzales, Latin-Reggae-Cumbia by Danny Salazar, traditional Andean performance by Jaime Chavez and Calixto Cordova, photography and jewelry by Melissa Lea Albuquerque, Mexican folk art by Danny Salazar and Mexican fine art paintings by Lupita Martinez, tranditional Egyptian oriental dance by Jennifer, Chinese folk dance by Lucy Lan, Indie and pop dance by Samantha lu, Applalanchian dark folk dance by Aimee Wilson and Arabic dance by Hussam AL-Aydi. The evening will also include Rex Begaye from Sarasota, Florida, Puerto Rican fine art by Betsy Nieves, fine art show by Mike Quinones Zongzalez and traditional Columbian dance and salsa dance performed by Xiomara.

Dr. Wang described the broader significance of such a multi-culture art event in today’s society. He said: “In today’s tumultuous and warring world, there are much misunderstanding among countries and people. We increasingly realize that the most precious thing in all of our lives is peace, security, love and happiness. I firmly believe that the best way for people to live peacefully on Planet Earth and truly enjoy the spirit of the human experience is to be sensitive to and respect each other, and to truly value each human being for who he or she is, and not for who she or he should be based on what another person thinks. A multi-cultural artistic event such as this one is truly timely and much needed. It will help break the barrier among people and connect people through common interest and appreciation of art and common aspiration for happiness and joy”.

Dr. Wang, Ms. Escudero and Ms. Melissa Lea Beasley are founders of the “Seeking music” annual event and they plan to form a non profit organization that supports and exposes multi cultural artists and brings awareness of the beauty and diversity of the human race through the arts to Nashville.

For information about this year’s “Seeking music” annual event, contact Ms. Demi Escudero at and Dr. Ming Wang at $5/person (to support Seeking Music Foundation). RSVP to Ms. Escudero or Dr. Wang or call Don and Maxine Dearman at (615) 776-7262.

For more information click on the flyer below:

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Charlemos Spanish April and May speakers

Sister Cities of Nashville’s Spanish chat group, Charlemos Spanish, announces speakers for April and May. Charlemos meets the second and fourth Thursday of the month from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Palette Gallery and Cafe at 2119 Belcourt Avenue in Hillsboro Village. All levels of Spanish-speakers, from beginner to native, are invited. The event is free and open to the public.

Scheduled speakers are:

* John Lamb, Editor, Hispanic Nashville Notebook, 12 April
* Dr. Philip Rasico, Vanderbilt Spanish Professor, 26 April
* Diana Holland, President of Tango Nashville and CEO of Hispanic Link Consulting, 10 May
* Martin Cadieux, Bi-lingual Educator, Frist Center for the Visual Arts, 24 May.

“Charlemos Spanish is truly fortunate to have such dynamic and qualified speakers”, said Elizabeth Worrell Braswell, president of Charlemos Spanish.

Charlemos Spanish is a social conversation group created in December 2006 by the Spanish Committee of Sister Cities of Nashville, a nonprofit organization, founded in 1990, dedicated to the promotion of global understanding through educational, professional and cultural exchanges.

Mayor Bill Purcell is the Honorary Chair for Sister Cities of Nashville.

Charlemos Spanish is for persons who wish to:

* Speak Spanish on a regular basis
* Make bilingual friends
* Learn more about Hispanic culture.

Founding members of Charlemos Spanish include—

* Claudia Villavicencio, Spanish teacher at MBA, Montgomery Bell Academy
* Kim Sorensen, Online Producer at CMT, Country Music Television
* Diana Holland, President of Tango Nashville, and a Hispanic cross-cultural consultant
* Elizabeth Worrell Braswell, online Spanish instructor for Austin Peay State University, president of Charlemos Spanish.

For directions and more information on the gallery go to:

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Nissan's Hispanic PR moves to Cartel Group

Nissan North America has selected Cartel Impacto of the Cartel Group as its Hispanic public relations agency of record (AOR). In this press release, Nissan also named B&C Associates as its African-American AOR.

Fred Standish, director of corporate communications at Nissan North America, said the scope of the agencies' work has yet to be totally defined, but most of it will involve "non-product" matters.

The firms will also work on Infiniti, Nissan's luxury brand. "They will assist on [some] product promotions as well," he said.

B&C has handled African- American community relations for Nissan for the past six years, but this is the first time the carmaker has worked with Cartel. The IW Group handles Asian PR for Nissan, who moved its headquarters to Nashville in July 2006.

Standish would not discuss any details of the selection process.

Lagrant Communications has handled African-American national media relations for the past 11 years, and Hispanic media and community relations for the past five years.

Kim Hunter, president and CEO of Lagrant, said he was "extremely surprised" by Nissan's decision.

Nissan North America is based in Nashville, Tennessee.

Trafficking, health, and cinema: today's agenda of the Nashville Task Force on Refugees & Immigrants

The Nashville Task Force on Refugees & Immigrants will be meeting today. This is not the same event as today's Tennessee New American Day on the Hill sponsored by the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition. Anyone interested in this subject but not going to the Hill event is welcome to attend:

Nashville Task Force on Refugees & Immigrants Meeting Agenda

The monthly meeting of the Nashville Task Force on Refugees and Immigrants will be held Tuesday, March 27, from 2:00pm-3:30pm at West End United Methodist Church, 2200 West End Ave, Nashville, TN 37203, Room 318. There is free parking behind the building.

Presenting at the March Meeting:

Amber Beckham, World Relief, Network of Emergency Trafficking Services (NETS) Coordinator

Amber Beckham will update members on the NETS Program and introduce a new national and local effort in combating human trafficking.

Richard Lessner, Capital City Partners/ US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Rescue and Restore Victims of Human Trafficking Campaign

Richard Lessner will discuss HHS's Rescue and Restore Victims of Human Trafficking campaign and opportunities for local partners to collaborate.

Tony Halton, Metro Public Health Department

Tony Halton will inform members about Metro Public Health Department's upcoming Public Health Week (April 2nd – 6th) activities, focusing on Emergency Preparedness, including Train the Trainer opportunities for organizations that serve refugee and immigrant populations.

Representatives of the Nashville Film Festival

Representatives of the Nashville Film Festival will announce this year's upcoming schedule and highlight international films.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Tamale treasure

Mack at Coyote Chronicles visited a Middle Tennessee tamale kitchen and found treasure in the time spent with his neighbors:
Through the goodness of the Gods, I met an angel in the grocery store. Her and her mother were buying groceries, and from their selections I just knew momma was a first rate cook. I engaged them, and soon we agreed on a price for home-made tamales. (my current tamale connect is reliable, but the product has been sub-standard of late) So, yesterday, I arrived at their home with a good friend of mine in tow. The area of town that they live in isn’t particularly nice. It is mere steps from the railroad tracks, and this road is chock full of renters so many of the houses and yards are in a constant state of dis-repair. We knocked on the door, and Maria opened it, smiled broadly and invited us into the kitchen, where her mother and Aunt were just removing tamales from a large pot on the stove. There was food everywhere. The sights and smells were at once familiar and comforting. I was in my mother’s house again. There were four children present, sitting in chairs by the open back door, and speaking a beautiful mixture of Spanish and English, drawing or coloring and laughing most of the time. Their girls had their jet black hair brushed and braided and they had shiny things holding it in place. Their faces were scrubbed clean, their clothes pressed. The house was orderly and chaotic at the same time. The women smiled at us and made us sit at the table, and sample the tamales. Alicia took hers, freshly “shucked”, and sprinkled it with chopped lettuce, then ladled some fresh salsa over it and handed it to my friend. She warned that it was “hot.” I though she meant “stove hot,” but no, as my friend soon discovered, she meant hot in the way that hot can hit your stomach, then work it’s way back up through your lungs and ultimately engulfs you in a perfect capsicum laden cloud, causing your metabolism to accelerate, sets your heart to racing, and ends with you wiping your brow on your shirtsleeve. That kind of hot. Perfect. As I was enjoying this dish, I was struck by those faces over by the door. Each of them had the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen. Large, oval and it may sound corny, but I saw the whole world in them. The oldest was born in Mexico, but came here when she was one yr old. Her brother and sisters were born here in the States. I was glad that my friend Andy was there, but I so wanted Kleinheider to be there as well. I wanted him to see this family. I wanted him to taste this food, I wanted him to gaze at these children, and then, I wanted him to explain to me what would be gained by him “walking them back over the border.” The preservation of the rule of law? Unjust laws are, and have been challenged throughout this Nation’s history. It’s intrinsic to the American experience. Welcoming and celebrating the presence of these people seems intrinsic to the Christian experience. I so want to challenge Adam to accompany me to this home, talk to this family, share a meal, and learn about what its like to live in the shadows...
Full story here

Photo by Steve Bridger

Ray Suarez of PBS' NewsHour to speak at Vanderbilt Tuesday March 27

"The Politics of Faith in America"

Update: watch video here

Ray Suarez, a senior correspondent for The NewsHour on PBS will speak on "The Politics of Faith in America" at Vanderbilt on March 27.

Suarez, the former host of Talk of the Nation on National Public Radio, will speak at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 27, in Benton Chapel on the Vanderbilt campus. The lecture will serve as both the spring lecture of Vanderbilt’s Center for the Study of Religion and Culture and the Vanderbilt Divinity School’s annual Howard L. Harrod Lecture.

The lecture is free and the public is invited. Video of the lecture will be posted on the Web site of the CSRC at, and at VUCast, the Web site of Vanderbilt News Service, at

Suarez has been the Washington-based senior correspondent for The NewsHour since 1999. His books include The Holy Vote, published last year, which examined the tightening relationship between religion and politics in America. He is also the author of The Old Neighborhood: What We Lost in the Great Suburban Migration.

The CSRC Annual Spring Lecture brings to campus scholars doing creative and distinguished work at the intersections of religion and culture. Howard L. Harrod was the Oberlin Alumni Professor of Social Ethics and Sociology of Religion at Vanderbilt Divinity School. He taught for more than 30 years at Vanderbilt, and the annual Howard L. Harrod lecture was established to honor his distinguished legacy of scholarship and university service.

Puerto Rico business summit sends Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber to NYC

"Doing Business in Puerto Rico" is the topic at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel on March 27

NAHCC will represent Tennessee

U.S. Hispanic Chamber Annual Convention will be hosted by Puerto Rico in September

The Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce its participation in the 1st Summit "DOING BUSINESS IN PUERTO RICO".

Taking place March 27th, 2007 at New York City's Waldorf Astoria Hotel, this Summit organized by the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce will showcase not only the clear advantages of doing business in Puerto Rico, but also will offer an invaluable opportunity to hear from major corporations currently investing in the island.

The financial capital of the world, is the site for this first ever stateside conference to promote business investments and opportunities in Puerto Rico.

At this summit, representatives from the public and private sectors, investors, analysts, and business executives will convene to address the myriad of opportunities that Puerto Rico offers.

The NAHCC participation in support of the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce will continue to strenghten relationships in our region.

The Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will represent Tennessee at the Summit. The NAHCC is part of the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Region VI which includes the territories of Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Missisipi, Tennessee and Puerto Rico.

This year the USHCC Annual Convention will take place in San Juan, Puerto Rico September 19-22, 2007

NAHCC members wishing to attend the upcoming convention are encouraged to contact Loraine Segovia or Alejandra Rodriguez by phone at 615-216-5737 or via e-mail at

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Music of the People: call for photos

The Tennessean posted two photos of yesterday's Music of the People event. Did anyone else take pictures? If so, e-mail them to me or upload them to the Hispanic Nashville Scrapbook on Flickr.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Para bocas sucias

Weekend Spanish lesson

For an English translation, click the photo and read the comments.

Photo by Arturo de Albornoz

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Tennessee New American Day on the Hill is March 27

Participants to speak directly with legislators

Emergency call seeks last-minute registrants

Forty immigrant-focused bills in play

The Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition sent out this call for attendance at the "TN New American Day on the Hill":

Emergency Call to Action!

Please Attend the TN New American Day on the Hill
(Register today for this March 27th event!)

Tennessee state legislators are attempting to pass some of the harshest legislation against immigrants and refugees in the nation. They've proposed over 40 bills designed to instill fear in all immigrants, a piecemeal approach to immigration enforcement certain to break down communities and damage quality of life for all Tennesseans.

Should noncitizens be charged an immigrant tax for certain services, regardless of their immigration status?
Should our Japanese, Korean, and Spanish-speaking neighbors undergo special security checks to get driver's licenses?
Should landlords, church bus drivers, even car salesmen be turned into immigration enforcement agents?
Does preventing 50,000+ immigrant drivers from obtaining driving safety documents or insurance make our roads safer?
Do rules that prohibit adult immigrants from studying English help them integrate into our communities?
Should all Tennesseans be forced to provide proof of citizenship anytime they interact with a public employee?
Should immigrant parents have to worry that they will never see their children again every time they drive on TN highways?

(Click here for a complete list of anti-immigrant bills)
(Click here for a shorter list of the most dangerous bills)
Please join us for Day on the Hill to defeat these bills!
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
We will be visiting Tennessee legislators in two shifts.
Please join us for one or both shifts. There will be a brief training before each shift.
1st Shift: 8:00am-12:30pm
2nd Shift: 12:00pm-4:30pm
Please note that you must register in advance and arrive
promptly if you would like to meet with your legislators.
If you would like more details about this event, or to serve as a volunteer,
please contact Kasar Abdulla, Administrative and Events Specialist,
at or 615.833.0384 x11.
If you have any questions about legislation, or would like to more involved on a weekly basis, please contact Stephen Fotopulos at or 615.833.0384.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Father killed at cookout

March brings violent death second year in a row

The Tennessean and WSMV Channel 4 report on the shooting of Nashville resident Jose Flores at a cookout at his home in East Nashville. The crime comes one year after three Hispanic businessmen were shot and killed in separate incidents in Middle Tennessee (story here), and nine months after the murder of Clarksville civil rights leader Juan Vasquez and his son Thomas (story here).

Photo by topher76

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Belmont U grad students bring physical therapy aid to Guatemala

Missions blog offers first-person perspective

For the first time in Belmont University history, eleven physical therapy graduate students and a clinical instructor spent their spring break on assignment in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

At the Hospital Infantil de Infectologia y Rehabilitacion (Children's Hospital for Infectious Disease and Rehabilitation), home of the only hospital PT wing in all of Guatemala City (population 5 million plus), the Belmont PT graduates worked with children with developmental delays as a result of having gone untreated for normal childhood diseases and also with trauma patients — accident victims or those whose illnesses have led to brain damage. They also taught modern physical therapy to Guatemalan doctors and nurses.

The team posted pictures and narratives of the March 3-10 trip in this Physical Therapy Missions Blog.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Thirteen percent: U.S. citizens from Latin America, Garth fans

From the City Paper: Thirteen percent (13%) of new U.S. citizens in a September 2006 ceremony in Nashville were from Latin America. Almost half of Tennesseans with Latin American heritage are U.S. citizens (story here).

From the Edison Research country music survey: Garth Brooks is popular with thirteen percent (13%) of Hispanics age 12-49 (see page 19 of the Edison Media Research report).

Photo by Morgan Tepsic

Friday, March 16, 2007

Nashville Ballet 2 performs children's ballet with narration in Spanish March 24 and 31

Nashville Ballet 2 (Nashville Ballet’s pre-professional group) will be presenting a new children’s ballet this spring. The ballet, Jump Frog Jump is based on a popular children’s book and will be narrated in Spanish. There are two free performances coming soon:

Saturday, March 24, 2007 at Musica de la Gente time -TBA

Saturday, March 31, 2007 at the Frist Center for Visual Arts 2:30 pm

Presented by the Nashville Ballet, Salta Ranita Salta ("Jump Frog Jump") is a tale about a clever frog who escapes snakes, fish, turtles, and other dangers by leaping away. Narrated in Spanish only, this interactive performance gives children an opportunity to encourage the ranita (frog) to salta (jump) out of harm's way.

This performance is based on the book by Robert Kalan with choreography by Bat Abbit, and is made possible by a grant from the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Country music's Hispanic fans, Margarita, Caliente at B.B. King's, Latin Nights/Talent, March 24 festival, Symphony hosts world music, Del Castillo


Study says country music has potential Hispanic audience

The potential Hispanic audience for country music is explored in this forty-page report conducted by Edison Media Research on behalf of the Country Radio Broadcasters. The report and the results of Edison’s study, “The Hispanic American Relationship to Country Radio and Music,” were unveiled at the 38th annual Country Radio Seminar in Nashville and involved 600 Hispanics nationwide, age 12-49 (press release here and excerpts in green below).

The good news for Country music is that nearly a quarter of Hispanics age 12-49 say that they enjoy listening to Country music (24%) and another 42% say they “do not listen to Country music but they would be open to listening more.” Only one-third of Hispanics say they dislike Country music and would never listen – a number in line with what is seen among whites.

One of the most significant findings points to tremendous untapped potential for growth of Country radios Hispanic listener base: Out of all surveyed participants, 41% agree that “Country radio stations are not interested in appealing to Hispanic listeners.” The results indicate that Country radio would benefit greatly from increased outreach to Hispanics: 56% of those who say they like or are open to Country music say that seeing an ad on Spanish television would lead them to listen more.

Larry Rosin, President of Edison Media Research concludes, “You reap what you sow. Country music only needs to make itself available to Hispanics, and then court them. Listening will almost assuredly go up.”

CRB’s incoming President elect Becky Brenner of KMPS in Seattle adds, “This potential increase in audience for Country radio and Country music is very exciting. We must figure out a way to tap into this rapidly growing demographic. The CRB will be analyzing the research in detail with a view to examining what the next steps will be.”

Margarita: the next Latin country star?

The Edison report above focuses on attracting Hispanic audiences to country music performers regardless of their race or ethnicity. Can there also be Hispanic country music stars? Margarita thinks so:

Margarita, who resides in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas is the niece of the late Tex-Mex superstar Freddy Fender. Margarita has been opening shows for Latin / Mexican Regional artists and groups (including Intocable), throughout Mexico and the U.S. She plans to fuse her Latin roots with country music, building on the musical legacy of her pioneering uncle.

Matt Stevens, a longtime champion of latin country music, stated, "Country music is wide open to a latin female act, as long as the songs are great and the artist is accepted by country fans as well as Latinos. Margarita has a wonderful musical heritage. She's the real deal."

Caliente Nights heat up B.B. King's

The Nashville Rage reported on Caliente Nights, a "weekly series of salsa and meringue shows" at the basement below B.B. King's in downtown Nashville.

The musicians include Carlos Negron and an 11-piece Latin orchestra led by DJ Jay Franco, and "[m]any of the players aren't full-time musicians — they're full-time soldiers at Fort Campbell."

"'Having a family ... for me it's important to be back when the kids wake up in the morning,' says Carlos Betancourt, who works in the headquarters of the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell. He has two sons he's raising to play conga drums, just like their dad."

Nashville Latin Nights / Nashville Latino Talent Showcase

The Nashville City Paper reported on Nashville Latin Nights, in which San Rafael’s bandleader Rafael A. Vasquez is "starting a new venture called Nashville Latin Nights, a six-concert in 36 weeks production (roughly one show every six weeks)." The paper also said that "Vasquez will soon launch a Nashville Latino Talent Showcase, complete with prizes and judges."

Música de le Gente --- Music of the People Festival

Música de le Gente --- Music of the People Festival
American Roots Music Education and Metro Parks and Recreation
celebrate the music of Mexican-Americans

A festive and FREE celebration of Mexican-American music will be presented by American Roots Music Education and Metro Parks and Recreation on Saturday, March 24, 2007.
There will be lots of live music, including Rachel Rodriguez, Incanzable Cheyenne, and Danny Salazar y Los Kuatro during the afternoon. A new children's ballet, based on the folk tale "¡Salta, Rana, Salta!" (Jump, Frog, Jump!) will be presented by the Nashville Ballet at 1:00 pm and there will be a salsa performance by Salseros de todo el mundo. Throughout the afternoon there will be piñatas, dance lessons, and other activities.
Children can participate in crafts such as making paper flowers and cowboy hats, and building small wooden projects. There will also be opportunities for playing homemade rhythm instruments. Food and drink will be available for sale from local vendors.

FREE and open to the public

Date: Saturday, March 24, 2007
Time: 1:00 - 7:00 PM
Location: In the gym at Antioch Community Center
5023 Blue Hole Road (across from Antioch Middle School)
Antioch, TN

For more information & photos (color or B/W) please contact:
Buffy Holton (Director, American Roots Music Education) 385-5998
For further information contact:
Mimi Shimmin (Special Events Coordinator, Metro Parks) 862-8424 x 357
Jose Ochoa (Superintendent of Cultural Arts, Metro Parks)
862-8424 x 347 en Español
For handicapped access call 862-8400

This project is funded in part under an agreement with the Tennessee Arts Commission and National Endowment for the Arts

Target World Music Festival: Music of the Americas

Nashville Symphony to Present
Target World Music Festival: Music of the Americas,
June 6 - 8
Internationally renowned artists to include Sergio Mendes, Jake Shimabukuro and Rick Trevino

The Nashville Symphony will present its first-ever world music festival from June 6-8, 2007 at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. This three-day festival, sponsored by Target, will focus on music of the Americas featuring evening performances by such acclaimed artists as Latin country singer Rick Trevino, ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro and Brazilian jazz pianist Sergio Mendes and his band. (Note: The Nashville Symphony will not perform at this festival).

In addition, the Symphony will provide free world music performances during lunch hours in the Symphony Center’s Garden Courtyard with themed international food selections available for purchase at the Symphony Café. Artists and menus will be announced at a later date.

“The Nashville Symphony has always wanted to present a world music festival to celebrate music and cultures from around the world,” said Alan D. Valentine, president and CEO of the Nashville Symphony. “Now that we have this amazing space and an inaugural line-up of top musicians from all corners of the Americas, we hope this exciting event will be the first of many more to come.”

Wednesday, June 6 at 7:30 p.m.: Hispanic Influences in Country Music
As a nod to the CMA Music Festival, Latin country singer/songwriter Rick Trevino will provide a different twist to the country music activities as he performs Latin-infused country music, produced and co-written by friend Raul Malo. Trevino, a Grammy-award winning Texas native, is recognized for his eclectic mix of musical influences, which is reflected in his forthcoming album Whole Town Blue, a combination of South Texas swing, New Orleans honky-tonk and Spanish bolero.
For more information on Rick Trevino, please visit his web site at:

Thursday, June 7 at 7:30 p.m.: Music and Dance of the Pacific Islands
Known for his lightning-fast fingers and improvisation, 28-year-old ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro shatters all musical boundaries by performing unheard-of feats on his four-string instrument. Shimabukuro has great respect for traditional Hawaiian music but considers it his calling to reveal the true versatility of the ukulele.
Also visiting from Hawaii are slack key guitarist Jeff Peterson, a Hawaii native whose unique instrument dates from the early 19th century, and the Hawaiian music group Kohala, presenting an acoustic blend of island jazz. Enhancing this performance from the Pacific will also be traditional Hula dancers and a native Hawaiian chanter.
For more information on Jake Shimabukuro, please visit his web site at:

Friday, June 8 at 7:30 p.m.: Brazilian Rhythms
One of the world’s greatest ambassadors of Brazil’s signature sound, pianist Sergio Mendes switched from classical to jazz at an early age and started his brilliant music career in the 1960s in clubs around Rio de Janeiro. A 1964 album by Mendes and his band Bossa Rio, arranged by the great Tom Jobim, helped explode the worldwide interest in bossa nova that continues over three decades later. This world music festival’s closing performer and his band will revisit a lifetime of monumental Brazilian music.

Tickets for evening performances of the Target World Music Festival: Music of the Americas are $10-$60 and can be purchased by calling the Nashville Symphony box office at 615.687.6400 or by visiting Parking for all events is free at the SunTrust parking garage located at Fourth Avenue and Commerce.

Del Castillo on Dan Rather Reports

Del Castillo, the legendary Austin-based band that fuses Flamenco, Rock, Blues and World Music, will be featured in the next Dan Rather Reports on HDNet. The program, entitled “Latino Invasions,” debuts Tuesday, March 13, at 8 PM Eastern and will be repeated several times during the course of the week.

The veteran reporter contrasts the immigration issues the country faces with the Latino culture that is now part of the fabric of American life in this installment of his weekly series, the flagship series of the pioneering High Definition TV network. The influence that Latino culture has on television, movies and music is examined in depth with the latter segment keyed to Del Castillo’s philosophy and success.

HDNet filmed the band in performance at writer/director Robert Rodriguez’ SXSW Film Festival celebration that took place Sunday night at Antone’s in Austin. An extensive interview with Del Castillo band members was filmed earlier.

Dan Rather Reports: Latino Invasions can be seen as follows (all times Eastern):

Tuesday, March 13 – 8 PM
Tuesday, March 13 – 11 PM
Wednesday, March 14 – 2 AM
Wednesday, March 14 – 7 PM
Saturday, March 17 – 1:30 PM

Photo: Margarita

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Children and families behind lock and key of Corrections Corporation of America

Family detention center alternately called "a model facility" and "a penal detention model that is fundamentally anti-family and anti-American"

Nashville-based Corrections Corporation of America has been in the news a lot lately (but not in Nashville, it seems) because of one of its facilities that is used to hold immigrant families, including children. CCA's T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Taylor, Texas (just outside Austin) has been the subject of controversies in the last few months in regard to the detention of specific families, the amount of education children are receiving in general, whether the conditions are too prison-like, and whether children should be detained at all. To address some of these concerns, Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) led a press tour of the Hutto Center to show how detainee-friendly it is, complete with playgrounds, activities for children, cribs, and unlocked doors.

This facility has the potential of affecting immigrants everywhere. In the high-profile Claudia Nunez case in Nashville, for example, the tug of the story was that Nunez's family faced separation if she were deported (story here). Even detractors of this CCA facility like the fact that it has the potential of keeping families together, at least those with identical immigration status. Nunez's mixed-status family, however, would still presumably be separated, as they were when she was first held for deportation. See below for family separations involving Hutto, and see this story about a recent raid in Massachusetts, which apparently led to mothers and children being separated, with some going to Hutto.

The Tennessean reported in May 2006 that holding more immigrants would be great for CCA stockholders (similar report here), but there doesn't seem to be any Nashville media follow-up on how immigrants are impacting CCA's bottom line. Beyond the business performance of the company, the various Hutto controversies have also been absent from the headlines here, where CCA is headquartered.

Another interesting CCA story that apparently missed the Nashville media is that the company was recently fined for hiring too many Hispanics. My apologies to any local media outlets that covered these stories, but I haven't seen them.

Update 5/5/07: Salon reports here that "Corrections Corporation of America, the nation's largest provider of corrections management services ... announced a 44.4 percent increase in earnings for the first quarter of 2007 in part as a result of federal revenues 'favorably impacted by new contracts from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ('ICE') at our T. Don Hutto Residential Center, our Stewart Detention Center and our Eloy Detention Center.'"

Here are some of the Hutto stories from around the country:

Austin Chronicle: Ibrahim family story and background

ICE fact sheet about Hutto

Latino USA report (audio): "Imagine, you've been arrested and you're an undocumented immigrant. Until recently, the government's policy was catch and release, whereby you would have been quickly released and given a notice to appear before a federal immigration judge. Now, new federal immigration policy mandates illegal immigrants be detained while they await deportation proceedings. At a private facility near Austin, Texas, children are being detained along with their parents under the new rules. It's one of the two facilities in country where families are held on non-criminal charges. Sarah Bush brings us this report on the new, family-style approach to immigrant detention."

News8Austin: lawsuit threatened about children's education

New York Times article: "Responding to complaints about conditions at the nation's main family detention center for illegal immigrants, officials threw open the gates on Friday for a first news media tour. They portrayed the privately run converted prison, open since May, as a model facility" stock analysis: "We're just getting to know the stock, but we think the overall story has legs. We view CXW as a pure play on the detention of illegal immigrants. The Department of Homeland Security's secure border initiative, passed in 2005, calls for at least 1,000 new border patrol agents and approximately $4B in funding for US Immigration & Customs Enforcement, including $90M for detention beds alone. Clearly, this bodes well for prison operators like CXW."

Austin Statesman: CCA ordered to provide state-level education for children

Texas Civil Rights Review: op-Ed piece about children in prison

Texas Civil Rights Review: Ibrahim family released

Texas Observer: op-ed piece "Children Behind Bars in America"

Washington Post: Border Policy's Success Strains Resources: "With roughly 1.6 million illegal immigrants in some stage of immigration proceedings, ICE holds more inmates a night than Clarion hotels have guests, operates nearly as many vehicles as Greyhound has buses and flies more people each day than do many small U.S. airlines. ... About 80 percent of ICE's beds are rented at 300 local and state jails nationwide, concentrated in the South and Southwest, or at eight sites run by contractors such as the Corrections Corporation of America and Geo Group Inc., in places such as Houston, San Diego and Aurora, Colo. ... ICE recently added a 1,524-bed facility in Stewart County, Ga., and a 512-bed center in Taylor, Tex., for immigrant families, both run by Corrections Corp. ... Under fire in Taylor, for example, ICE has expanded hours of daily schooling for children from one to seven hours to meet Texas guidelines."

Washington Post article: "Before the facility opened, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) routinely separated parents from their children upon apprehension by the Border Patrol. Infants and toddlers were placed in federally funded foster homes; adolescents and teenagers were placed in facilities for minors run by the Department of Health and Human Services; and parents were placed in adult detention centers. Despite the change in policy, two national organizations decry the conditions at Hutto and have termed the facility 'a penal detention model that is fundamentally anti-family and anti-American.' The center, which the DHS opened last May, is an unacceptable method 'for addressing the reality of the presence of families in our immigration system,' says a report written by the Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children, in New York, and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, in Baltimore, and scheduled for release Thursday."

CBS 11 video on Hutto tour and detainee family (YouTube)

CBS 11 update on detainee family (YouTube)

Monday, March 12, 2007

Statistics Monday: 37,500 Hispanic Nashvillians


From The Tennessean:

"In 1990, there were fewer than 5,000 Hispanic people in the city, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. By 2005, the Hispanic population had increased more than seven times, hovering around 37,500 that year, Census numbers show."

Immigrants in Nashville, however, totalled 18,000 in 1990 and 84,000 today, according to last week's numbers roundup. The numbers for Hispanics and for immigrants are different because (1) not all immigrants are Hispanic, and (2) not all Hispanics are immigrants - almost half of all Hispanics in Tennessee were born in the U.S.

65,000 / 140,000 (again)

From the Financial Times:

"The US currently limits visas for skilled foreign workers to 65,000 a year, while the number of green cards, required for permanent resident status is limited to 140,000 a year."

The NYT gave that same 140,000 number for the number of employment-based visas available each year (see last week's numbers roundup) which is consistent with this State Department web site (note the requirements for the visas; not everyone can get one.) The 65,000 number appears to be the H-1B category cap (see this interview aboard Air Force One). There is also a country-specific cap: no single country is allowed more than 7 percent of the total visas (see Commerce Secretary Gutierrez' speech).

Not all of the available and applied-for employment visas are issued, however, according to this House report, which said that in 1999 the U.S. issued "less than 40,000 visas because of INS processing delays although demand was much greater."

Photo by Charles Wagner

Hispanic couples seminar in Clarksville this Saturday

Pastor Freddy Valcarcel sent this invitation to a Spanish-speaking couples seminar in Clarksville this Saturday:

Good morning and God Bless...

We at the Faro Luz Baptist Church are going to have a seminar for couples called "Amemonos Siempre," sponsored by LifeWay. We would like to invite the entire Latino community of Clarksville. The seminar will be at Trinity Baptist Church from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm on Saturday March 17th. Lunch, books and daycare will be provided.

The address for Trinity Baptist is 4924 Hwy 41A south (on Madison St. almost in Sango)

The seminar will be $10.00 per person.

If somebody is single, or his/her spouse is not available to attend, they are also welcome to come.

Have a blessed day.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Free immersion in Mexican dance, music and art this Sunday at the Frist

Free Family Day
Sunday, March 11
1:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., FREE

Treat your family to an entire day of art, art making, Mexican music, traditional dances and theatrical performance as we celebrate our current exhibitions.

In addition to the activities listed below, check out Matisse, Picasso, and the School of Paris in the Ingram Gallery, and head upstairs for an unforgettable review of Mexican history, through the prints of artists like Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros, among others, in Mexico and Modern Printmaking: A Revolution in the Graphic Arts, 1920-1950. Top it off with the poetic dreamscapes by contemporary video artist Hiraki Sawa whose work is on view in the Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery.

Schedule of events:

Music Activities
Mexican Folkloric Dancers
1:00 and 3:00 p.m.
Feast your eyes on colorful and dynamic whirlwinds.

Trio Vendaval Strolling Music
1:30 p.m.
Enjoy the unique sounds of Mariachi tunes.

Danny Salazar
2:15 and 3:45 p.m.
Explore other traditional and contemporary forms of Mexican music.

Art Activities
1:00 - 5:30 p.m.
Visit the studios to create still life paintings like Matisse, or try your hand at making a Degas-inspired pastel drawing. Also, be sure and stop by Martin ArtQuest featuring more than 30 art-making and interactive stations.

Story Time
2:45 and 4:15 p.m.
Stop by the Art Library and Resource Center for a special reading of a children's story related to Matisse, Picasso, and the School of Paris. Designed for pre-kindergarten kids and their families.

Thanks to Your Spanish Link for the heads-up.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Nashvillian may have been convicted of murder just because he is an American

Outrage threatens justice

Could "us v. them" mentality have the same effect here?

update 7/3/07: Outside Magazine has this in-depth report about the public outcry in Nicaragua.

The Nashville City Paper reported here and the Tennessean reported here about Eric Volz, a Nashvillian immigrant to Nicaragua who was convicted of murder in that country in circumstances that have led some to believe that anti-immigrant sentiment had more to do with the conviction than evidence of guilt:

Festering anti-American sentiment, biased journalism and the politics of fear all contributed to the unjust murder conviction of Nashville native Eric Volz in Nicaragua earlier this month, Volz’s U.S. attorneys said Tuesday.

In a conference call with local and national reporters, two of Volz’s Atlanta-based attorneys, along with one witness who testified on Volz’s behalf – but whose testimony was thrown out by the Nicaraguan judge who tried the case – explained that the 27-year-old Volz was victimized by the local authorities and press in the aftermath of the murder of a popular young girl who had a prior relationship with the American.

"Americans have come into this little town of San Juan Del Sur and bought up a lot of the land," Reedy said. "And once the papers said it was 'el gringo,' Eric became an easy target."
Could the same problem surface in Nashville? Last year, Men's Health magazine rated Nashville the fifth angriest city in the U.S. (story here), and immigrants have been the target of a weaponized political debate in Tennessee:
"On Web sites, talk radio shows and in interviews, anti-illegal immigration activists describe Hispanic migrants as lawless, disease-ridden 'invaders' waging an undeclared war against the United States." (story here).
Last October, the Tennessean ran a story (linked here) in which criminal defense attorneys wondered whether the violent tone of the political debate about immigrants in the U.S. could derail justice in Nashville:
Passionate emotions surrounding the issue of illegal immigration are forcing criminal defense attorneys to contend with what they see as a growing problem: Can illegal immigrant defendants get a fair trial?

Davidson County's top prosecutor, however, said he had not seen juror bias against illegal immigrants.

"That's not to say that it's not an issue that a defense attorney might want to explore," District Attorney General Torry Johnson said. "But I'm not aware of and have no reason to be concerned that that's a problem in Davidson County."
Photo by Hughes Leglise

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout for string quartet - tonight at Blair School of Music

Wednesday, March 7 - 8:00 pm
Turner Recital Hall, Blair School of Music

With guest artists Amy Dorfman, Carolyn Huebl, Daniel Reinker, and Melissa Rose.


Bernstein: Three Meditations from MASS for cello and piano
Brahms: Trio for horn, violin, and piano
Frank: Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout for string quartet

Tickets are $12, $5 for students w/ID.
Call Brown Paper Tickets at (800) 838-3006 or visit
Proceeds to benefit the Martha O'Bryan Center.

To learn how you can support ALIAS, or to make a donation by credit card, visit

ALIAS is sponsored in part by: the Metro Nashville Arts Commission, The Nashville Scene, The Blair School of Music, Vanderbilt University, and Ventures Public Relations.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Numbers roundup: high seat belt use, 5 years for skill visas, wages depend on skin color, more Spanish-speakers, and mystery Hispanic health "paradox"

33 / 66

From Meharry Medical College's Nathaniel C. Briggs, M.D.:

"[A]mong Mexican American Hispanics, seat belt use was 33 percent more prevalent than among non-Hispanic whites. And Central American-South American Hispanics were 66 percent more likely to use seat belts than non-Hispanic whites."

8 to 15

From Vanderbilt University's Joni Hersch

"[I]mmigrants with the lightest skin color earned, on average, 8 percent to 15 percent more than immigrants with the darkest skin tone."

84,000 / 8,700 / 80

from the Tennessean

"The Nashville area's immigrant population has grown from fewer than 18,000 people in 1990 to an estimated 84,000 today. Foreign-born people make up 7 percent of the metro area's population, up from 2 percent in 1990."

"Spanish-only households — in which no adult can easily communicate in English — jumped more than 15-fold, from fewer than 600 homes in 1990 to nearly 8,700 today."

"[T]he Nashville area remains 80 percent white and overwhelmingly English-speaking..."

140,000 / 5

From the New York Times:

There are "only 140,000 employment-based visas are available each year; skilled workers wait 5 years for one."

19.8 - 18.9 = 0.9

Elsewhere in the New York Times:

"[I]f statistics are any guide, Mrs. Lara has a long life ahead of her, longer than would be expected if she were black or a native-born white woman. It is called the Hispanic paradox, and it is one of the most puzzling discoveries in research on aging."

"For example, a recent analysis by Irma T. Elo, a demographer at the University of Pennsylvania, indicates that a 65-year-old white woman will live, on average, an additional 18.9 years. But a 65-year-old Hispanic woman who immigrated to the United States will live an additional 19.8 years, a significant difference."

"The longevity difference persists even though Hispanic immigrants tend to be like Mrs. Lara, poor and poorly educated and lacking health care. It persists even though, like Mrs. Lara, they get chronic diseases like arthritis and high blood pressure and are often overweight."

"Like Mrs. Lara, Mr. Leos had almost no education. He left school after the fourth grade and came to Texas from Mexico when he was 21, arriving with his wife and children, unable to speak English and afraid of what life would hold for him."

"Now at 78, he has his own custom tailor shop. It is just a few minutes from the modest brick-faced house where Mr. Leos and his wife raised their five children, and where their children and their nine grandchildren still come to celebrate birthdays and holidays."

"'I believe that when you don’t feel happy in your heart or yourself that’s what shortens the life of people,' Mr. Leos said."

"'I am not rich, but I have a full life for myself and my family,' he added. 'That makes me feel happy.'"

10 / 32

From HealthDay News:

"Hispanic women develop cardiac risk factors much earlier than white women, typically exhibiting the heart health of a white woman 10 years older, a new study finds."

"The research suggests that being Hispanic may be an independent risk factor for heart disease, and that these women need to be identified and treated earlier."

"The findings turn the so-called 'Hispanic Paradox' on its head. This medical notion has long held that Hispanics have less heart disease than whites do, despite having higher rates of risk factors."

"Hispanic women had a higher rate of pre-hypertension (32 percent) compared with white women (19 percent). Physical activity levels for Hispanic women were significantly lower and they had a slightly higher rate of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors that predispose a person towards cardiovascular disease."

"Teeters believes that the Hispanic Paradox may have resulted from incomplete data. 'Hispanic patients are less likely to come to care, so there's probably under-recognition of the degree of disease,' Teeters said. 'Many are immigrants and many go home when they become ill. There's also a higher degree of illegal alien status so there's probably underreporting.'"

Photo by rabinal

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Heaven Is for Trailer Trash

Keep clicking through the seven or so pictures, inspired by this story.

See also Jesus Is for Losers by Nashville's Steve Taylor.

Friday, March 2, 2007

El Tejado Mexican restaurant may be too authentic

The Nashville Scene reviewed El Tejado, saying the Mexican restaurant befuddled its gringo customers with authentic dishes not typically seen in more Americanized, Tex-Mex dining rooms:

"El Tejado, a new restaurant specializing in Oaxacan cuisine, does its best to decode the foreign language of Southern Mexican food. But even with a bilingual menu, a gringo can get tongue-tied navigating unusual listings such as grilled cactus, Mexican noodles and a dish known colloquially as “It Kills Mothers-in-Law.” Anyone not fluent in the delicacies of Oaxaca, one of the southernmost Mexican states, is bound to put her foot in her mouth—or, if not her foot, something else that doesn’t taste particularly good."

But the reviewer kept returning, finding the Oaxacan specialties and the friendly service particularly attractive.

Full review here.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Legal bureaucracies and lawyer impersonators trap ordinary expatriates

The Tennessean reported here on the practice of notaries impersonating lawyers and preying on Hispanic consumers, ruining their victim's legal and financial lives. The lure of using notaries for legal work stems from the use of the term "notario" in Spanish-speaking countries to describe a kind of super-lawyer, whereas in the U.S. a notary has no legal function, training, or license to practice law - a distinction unknown to many.

The Nashville City Paper ran this story on a Mexican-born man who is and has been legally present in the U.S. since he was 2 years old, but who was nonetheless processed for deportation, highlighting the bear-trap effect of the U.S. immigration bureaucracy.

The City Paper also reported here about concerns that the bear-trap effect will be exacerbated in Nashville now that the "287(g)" federal/local cooperation program is bringing the immigration bureaucracy into the Davidson County Sheriff's office (interviews with Sheriff and advisory council member here; news of the program's approval here and here).

Photo by Colodio
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