Cultural Affairs Office

Press and Communications

Mayor Turner, Alley Theatre Announce Featured Work for Houston’s New Latino Theater Festival

October 27, 2016 -- Thanks to $50,000 in City funding approved by Mayor Sylvester Turner, Houston will be home to a new Latino theater festival. Responding to Houstonians’ desire for more art in neighborhoods, The Alley Theatre will partner with local organizations to bring community performances, workshops and residencies to various Houston neighborhoods, beginning with a work from Mexico – Misa Fronteriza.

Structured like a Catholic mass, Misa Fronteriza, is a satirical comedy about life near the US-Mexico border. It confronts difficult realties about the border with sharp humor and compelling performances. The play was discovered by the Alley Theatre’s Managing Director, Dean Gladden, while attending an international theatre festival in Bogota, Colombia. Increasing the theatre’s engagement with Latino audiences has been a long-term goal for the Alley, and Misa Fronteriza marks a renewed commitment to expanding the theatre’s outreach into Houston’s large and diverse Latino communities.

“Houstonians have told us they want to see more art in our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Turner.  “This is new festival is part of our new approach.  When it comes to the allocation of our arts funding, there will be more attention to inclusion and presenting Houston’s great cultural diversity for the benefit of residents and visitors alike.”

Misa Fronteriza will tour to community centers and performing arts centers, culminating in performances at the Alley Theatre (simultaneously translated in English). The organizations that have joined the Alley on this project include Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts, Neighborhood Centers Inc., the University of Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, Talento Bilingüe de Houston and the Greater Houston Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. In addition, Alley’s Education and Community Engagement department, in collaboration with partnering organizations, will organize residencies and workshops as a complement to the performances.

“Houston is a welcoming city, embracing all cultures, ethnicities and nationalities - a true world city” said the Mayor. “When we experience these different perspectives through art, it can help us gain new insight, expand our humanity and affect how we interact in the world and with the people around us.”

This exciting project is part of the City’s Arts and Cultural Plan implementation and Hola Houston. To receive updates about the festival and other City arts initiatives, join the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs on Facebook and sign up for CitizensNet.

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Representatives of Latino Festival

Representatives of the project partners, pictured left to right are Karen Farber (Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts), Pilar Florez (VisitHouston), Estevan Azcona (Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts), Alice Valdez (Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts), Mayor Sylvester Turner, Isy Gabriela Conde (Neighborhood Centers Inc.), Dean Gladden (Alley Theatre), Shayna Schlosberg (Alley Theatre), Javier Perez (Talento Bilingue de Houston).