It is fitting that San Pancho-based Entreamigos is celebrating its 4th Annual Children’s Art Festival and Auction on March 8 with one of Mexico’s most popular traditions as its theme – La Loteria Mexicana. What better way to express the good fortune won by the children of San Pancho in 2006 when Entreamigos founder Nicole Swedlow swept into town with her young son and daughter and began dreaming about building a Spanish language library.
That dream, large enough by itself, has evolved from the rickety kitchen table on Main Street where Swedlow taught free arts and crafts classes into an impressive, sustainably designed 16,000 square foot facility with a 5000-book bilingual library, a computer center, a Spanish Language School, a sports center, a Recicla Shop, an art gallery, year-round educational programming for students and adults, a scholarship program which serves 60 students, a social assistance program supporting 44 families, a community garden, massive recycling program and its own currency.
Last year’s 300 attendees were entertained by Entreamigos students who, trained by volunteer instructors sponsored by Gilles Ste-Croix of Cirque du Soleil, put on an astonishing aerial ballet. This year, La Loteria Mexicana will take center stage. Though called Mexican Bingo, La Loteria differs in several ways from bingo. Rather than numbers, each La Loteria player buys a card with 16 of a possible 54 iconic cultural images. Instead of a caller, La Loteria employs a cantor who sings out riddles for each picture. “The blanket of the poor,” sings the cantor and Mexican players who have The Sun on their card place a bean on it.
In addition to dozens of other items, this year’s silent auction will include 54 La Loteria images – each one redesigned from the imagination of Entreamigos students.
Regular attendees of EA benefits, accustomed to outrageously creative and inventive events, will not be disappointed by the more than 50 actors, musicians, animators and artists participating in the March 8 event held at the EA Community Center, which is itself a work of recycled art with walls made of the bottom of plastic bottles and a tree of life reaching 20 feet to the sky and made entirely of recycled metal scraps. Expect whimsically decorated rooms, a unique assortment of foods reflecting the taste of San Pancho’s terrific restaurants, a well-stocked cash bar, games (including La Loteria), dancing, and a live as well as a silent auction.
Tickets to the 4th annual benefit are $200 pesos prior to March 8th, $250 pesos at the door, and include some food, activity and drinks coupons. You can purchase benefit tickets online by visiting EntreAmigos online and charging your credit card to our Paypal account. Credit cards will also be accepted at the benefit for art and auction items. However, make sure to bring extra pesos for additional food, drink and activities. The event begins at 6:30 pm. Expect to be surprised, enchanted and enriched.