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Exhibits and Events

Current exhibits and upcoming events in Special Collections.

Current Exhibit

September 3, 2019 – December 20, 2019
North Lobby, The Claremont Colleges Library

Black and white photo of male dancer in foreground and female dancers in background. Male dancer is shirtless and holding two crossed sabers above his head.
Sal Lopez dancing El Potorrico de Tarima, Ballet Folklórico Mexicapan Papers.

Preservation through Performance: Sharing Mexican Folklore through the Arts

Primarily focused on two local performing groups, the Ballet Folklórico Mexicapan and the Mexican Players of Padua Hills Theatre, the exhibit tells their stories and how they preserved and shared Mexican folklore in Southern California through song, dance, music, and theater. 

Prominently featured in the exhibit are items from the new Ballet Folklórico Mexicapan Collection. The collection covers much of the history and performances of the Ballet Folklórico Mexicapan Company, led by Benjamin Hernandez and Patricia Barrigan, and includes event flyers and programs, photographs, choreography notes, music, performance recordings, costumes, and more. Based on years of research in Mexico, the company aimed to preserve and display the rich traditions of Mexican folklore through dance.

Another centerpiece in the exhibit is the Padua Hills Theatre Collection. This collection features materials relating to the Mexican Players, a group of Mexican and Mexican-American youth who worked as servers, musicians, singers, and dancers at the Padua Hills Theatre from 1931 to 1974. The 300-seat theater facility in the foothills above Claremont hosted productions featuring the Mexican Players set in a romanticized, pastoral past in Mexico and Mexican California. Collections materials include printed matter, news clippings, photographs, postcards, original Milford Zornes artwork, as well as playbills and advertisement fliers for productions.

Visitors can also find a variety of other Mexican folklore materials on display.

Events
Original artwork by Zornes, created for the Mexican Players troupe of the Padua Hills Theater.
Padua Hills Theater Collection

Preservation through Performance: Conversation & Exhibit Reception
Thursday, October 24 2019 | 4:00-5:30
Founders Room, The Claremont Colleges Library

Special Collections invites you to the reception for this fall’s exhibition, Preservation through Performance: Sharing Mexican Folklore through the Arts. Join us in conversation as we hear from members of two local performing groups, Ballet Folklórico Mexicapan and the Mexican Players of Padua Hills Theatre.

Moderated by Anthony (Tony) Shay, Pomona College
Featured speakers from Ballet Folklórico Mexicapan:
Livier Santana | Benjamin Hernandez | Rafael (Ralph) Lara | Mariana Muñoz
Featured speakers from Mexican Players:
Connie Aguilar | Fred Vera

Refreshments will be served

For more information:
Ashley Larson | 909-607-3987
ashley.larson@claremont.edu

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