Sunset Park celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month for dozens of children at the neighborhood’s Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) branch, 5108 Fourth Avenue on Friday, October 13.
Entertainment group Tango for Kids contributed to the fun with “A Tango for Tita,” a show in Spanish and English sponsored by Apple Bank, that featured singing, dancing, puppets, and lessons about diversity.
The show is about a girl who dreams of dancing the tango and traveling around the world.
Branch manager of Sunset’s BPL Roxanna Benavides discussed the importance of holding such an event. “We are really a diverse community and we really try to represent in our programming all the different and diverse groups that are in Sunset Park,” she explained. “We come from so many other countries and we come to America to contribute to the American culture also. It’s important for the community to be reflected in the programming that we do. The way we do that is through cultural events.”
Branch Manager for Bay Ridge’s Apple Bank, 7145 Fifth Avenue, Margaret Pagan stated that the bank’s partnership with the BPL is vital to several communities. “Wherever there is a library, we are there to participate in events and we also give out goodies,” she said. “I’ve lived in Sunset Park and Bay Ridge, The library has come so far since I was a kid. This branch I find is the busiest of all the branches I’ve been to so far. This is a good location. There’s great participation for the kids. This is a great community event. This area is a melting pot. We have so many nationalities so it’s great to support each other.”
“As a city, when we get to celebrate this month of Hispanic heritage in Sunset Park, it’s beautiful because we all get to celebrate it together — Chinese families, Arab American families, Italian families — and we all get to celebrate it under this one roof at the library,” said Councilmember Carlos Menchaca, who showed up to watch the show and interact with the kids. “It is more than just books in Sunset Park. It’s about uniting families around culture, language and heritage and it’s just that much more special here in Sunset.”
One of the show’s actors, Brooklyn born Ruben Dario Cruz, was thrilled to bring the story to life. “It’s a story of immigrating to a new place and making a life someplace else, not losing your culture or identity but making it part of neighborhood,” he said. “We interacted with these kids the most. They identify with people in the play.”