The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) is celebrating Mexico’s diverse culture through live music, dancing, arts and crafts, storytelling and a menu that reflects the food of Mexico. “Experience Mexico” will take place Sept. 28 and 29 and the weekend of family friendly activities will have something for everyone. The event takes place in part with MIM’s “Unity Through Diversity” and their partnership with PetSmart®, the goal of the program is to celebrate cultural diversities and reinforce the museums message that ‘music is the universal language’.
Throughout the weekend at MIM there will be different events taking place on both Saturday and Sunday.
In the morning visitors to MIM can experience traditional mariachi music with the all-female group Mariachi Pasión. Following the mariachi music renowned valley artist and musician Zarco Guerrero will be presenting “Lalo Guerrero’s most well-known parodies”. Then in the afternoon there will be a performance by Primavera Folklorico, the dance company will be demonstration traditional Mexican foke dancing. The last live music performance of the day is Banda La Maciza, the 13-member brass band will be performing in “banda dance style”.
“We actually had some help from the Cultural Collation, they are an umbrella group for Latino art organizations and artists in the Phoenix area. We told them the sound of music that we were looking for and they found local artists that matched our sound,” says Celina Chiarello, MIM’s public program manager.
Visitors will also have their own experience to ‘bring Mexican culture to life’ with family friendly activities through out the day. Visitors can make their own papel picado (pierced paper), which are colorful banners that are hung during holidays and events. Members of the Arizona State University Spanish Language and Cultures Club will be doing face painting. There will also be a chance for visitors to make their own music, on MIM’s second floor there will be a variety of Mexican stringed instruments that visitors can play.
MIM Curator Dr. Daniel Piper will lead a multimedia presentation that focus on the global influences that are in Mexican and Mexican-American music. Piper will lead visitors through the Mexico and Arizona galleries; he will be leading both a Spanish speaking tour as well as an English tour. The gallery tour will examine the roots of Mexican and Mexican-American music and how it has evolved from traditions to the popular music of today.
The live music, arts and crafts and educational events are included with museum admission. There will be items for sale in the Museum Store including CD’s, handmade Mexican crafts and jewelry for those who want to bring “Experience Mexico” home.
For hungry gets there will even be flavors of Mexico. Café Allegro will have a number of different Mexican dishes available for purchase. On the menu is a vegetarian posole soup with hominy, menudo rojo (red menudo), pipián de chuletas de puerco (pork chops with mole verde) served with black beans and rice; Mexican chicken tinga with potatoes, avocado, fresh cheese and tortillas; and tres leches cake.
MIM will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. General admission is $18 while admission for children ages 13-19 is $14, ages 4-12 is $10 and children 3 and under are free.
“I hope that [people] walk away with a little more context of the music that you hear in Phoenix. Mexican music is very popular in Arizona, but people don’t always know the root of it,” says Chiarello. “This has been in the works for a few months now, we’ve been expanding it from a one-day event into a two-day thing.”