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International Community Dinners Offered at Hartnell College

Family Celebration of Maya Culture and Astronomy: Free Community Event at Hartnell College

October 8th, 2010

Unique collaboration between Hartnell College, Casa De La Cultura Maya, Alisal Center for the Fine Arts, UC Berkeley, and NASA highlights Maya culture and astronomy.

On Saturday, October 16, 2010, from noon until 6 p.m., Hartnell College, in collaboration with Casa De La Cultura Maya; the Alisal Center for the Fine Arts; University of California, Berkeley; and NASA, is presenting a free community event called “Family Celebration of Maya Culture and Astronomy.”

This event is part of “El Sol nos Une a Todos,” a program run by UC Berkeley and funded by NASA with the goal of inspiring and engaging multicultural communities and teacher leaders in space and atmospheric sciences. The free event will feature a variety of indigenous traditional dance and folkloric performances from different regions of Mexico and Guatemala, bilingual showings of the “Tales of the Maya Skies” planetarium show (including Spanish, English, and Yucatec Maya), presentations and talks on the astronomy knowledge of other cultures, solar telescope viewing, fun educational workshops and family activities, engaging exhibits (including traditional Maya textiles and art), children’s play area and much more. Food (with an authentic flair) will also be available for purchase.

“All cultures make use of the Sun's light and the night sky to strive to understand our world and its place in the universe. We want to celebrate these scientific endeavors,” said Dr. Laura Peticolas, Director of the Center for Science Education at UC Berkeley. Marco Pacheco, President of Casa De La Cultura Maya, commented; “part of the purpose of this event is to show and teach the splendor of the Maya Culture and the effect of such in present time.”

What: “Family Celebration of Maya Culture and Astronomy” Community Event (free)

When: Saturday, October 16, 2010; 12 noon to 6 p.m.

Where: Hartnell College, 411 Central Avenue, Salinas, CA 93901 (most activities will be centered around the Planetarium adjacent to the Merrill Hall Science Bldg.)

Who: Hartnell College; Casa De La Cultura Maya; Alisal Center for the Fine Arts; UC Berkeley Center for Science Education; NASA

For more information, or to arrange interviews or acquire images, please call 831-770-6160 or contact:
Andy Newton (ANewton@hartnell.edu); Marco Pacheco (mpacheco@casadelaculturamaya.org); or Dan Zevin (dzevin@ssl.berkeley.edu)

About Hartnell College (http://old-www.hartnell.edu/)
Hartnell College is an Hispanic-Serving Institution and the only public institution of higher education exclusively serving Salinas and the Salinas Valley. Hartnell currently enrolls over 10,000 students and offers quality academic, vocational, job training, community education and other special programs that help people improve the quality of their lives. Nearly 41 percent of the students are non-native English speakers and 82 percent are first generation college students. Hartnell has a particularly strong program in Math, Science and Engineering and has been recognized by NASA and the National Science Foundation for its ability to develop science talent in its largely underrepresented community.

About Casa De La Cultura Maya (http://www.casadelaculturamaya.org/)
Casa De La Cultura Maya is a recently established non-profit organization based in Los Angeles, California. Composed mostly of people of Maya descent, Casa De La Cultura Maya was created with the intention to promote and to preserve Mayan culture. Although Casa De La Cultura Maya is a young organization, its members have more than 40 years of combined experience. Its principal goal is to pass on the rich legacy of Maya traditions and customs to future generations, to expand the general population’s understanding about the superb and advanced knowledge of the Maya in science and mathematics, and to showcase the exquisite level of artistic talent in the ancient and living cultures.

About Alisal Center for the Fine Arts (http://www.culturalmonterey.org)
As part of the Arts Council for Monterey County, the Alisal Center for the Fine Arts (ACFA) encourages and assists Salinas’ area residents to be involved with art as participants or viewers through arts workshops, performances, exhibits and trips. ACFA works mainly with creative young artists in east Salinas, but invites anyone to join a dance, visual arts or music workshop.

About UC Berkeley’s Center for Science Education (http://cse.ssl.berkeley.edu)
The Center for Science Education (CSE) is a team of dedicated scientists, educators, and students at UC Berkeley’s Space Sciences Laboratory. It has earned a reputation that sets the standard for excellence in space science education and public outreach. CSE’s goal is to “share the wonder of our Universe by building bridges between scientists, educators, students, and the public.” By placing science within its broadest cultural context, CSE strives to make science discovery accessible to all.