Generally, my posts/articles are generated by an idea that I have in mind – a project that I have come across in my travels. At the same time, other ideas are inspired by people like photographer Glenn Murray who are always out canvasing the city, looking for interesting stories/images to add to his portfolio. It’s great having an extra set of eyes out on the street. It’s also funny how it works out, when Glenn sends me a series of photos of subject matter that he has found interesting enough to “capture”. Sometimes I look at the images and say to myself those are great, but the article/story angle isn’t there. Other times, I am immediately drawn into the imagery, and want to know the background behind the photos, which is the case with MarCe Zerrate (photo below, far left), Founder/Executive Director of Amor and Heritage Inc. (Hispanic Traditional Dance Company).
I have written about MarCe’s adventures in the past, but to me, she’s one of those Buffalo tour de forces that is constantly pushing the envelope when it comes to delivering quality programming for her amazing and diverse kids/students. Amor and Heritage is currently celebrating its fourth year of offering Free Diversity Dance Classes, at the Karpeles Manuscript Museum at 453 Porter Avenue.
Amor and Heritage teaches dance as school programming, special workshops and classes and performs at festivals and events all over WNY.
“We held our classes every Tuesday and Thursday in July,” said MarCe. “Each week we had a special guest – artists, soccer players, people with culinary backgrounds, and we do traditional dance from diverse Latino Countries. The kids/students are between 4-12 years old. Classes are free. And we love Celebrating Diversity! Our recital will be at the Buffalo History Museum on August 3, at 6pm. Participants will wear colorful costumes and flowers and sparkles!”
Before the final recital takes place, there are two classes remaining, before the students “graduate”. “On Tuesday, July 31, we are dancing, and then we are welcoming our guest of the week, Marley Becker, who will be playing bagpipes and talking about Scottish and Irish culture. Then, August 2nd will be our last dance class at the Karpeles Museum to get ready for recital the next day,” noted MarCe.
In order to get a true grasp of the beautiful nature of MarCe and Amor and Heritage, there are a number of performances that are coming up in Buffalo. Here’s the schedule:
- D’Youville College is hosting a block party on Friday, August 17, from 8-9:30 AM. Amor and Heritage be performing at 8-8:30 that morning.
- August 18 or 19 for the Puerto Rican and Hispanic Day Parade. The parade is on the 18th – Amor and Heritage will have a float representing Colombia and families united. And the 19th Amor and Heritage will be performing a second time at the festival (stay tuned for details).
- The Elmwood Festival of The Arts – Kids’ Fest on Saturday August 25th at 1pm (kids and adults will perform and then instructors will teach a dance or two.
- On Thursday, September 27, Amor and Heritage will have a Miniteca with students from Hamburg school and other schools for a fundraiser for the Bring a Smile to a Less Fortunate Kid project.
- MarCe will be traveling for the 18th time to bring donations to a very poor village in the north of Colombia – “Coloso, Sucre” – where kids will receive school supplies and cake and sweet treats and lots of kindness and love. She will go in February with a small group of amazing Buffalonians this time!
- On November 2nd, Amor and Heritage will celebrare el día de los muertos at the museum! “We love our collaboration with the Karpeles Manuscript Museum on Porter Avenue!”
Amor and Heritage is a traditional Hispanic dance company dedicated to the promotion of multiculturalism and diversity, through the use of DANCE! The group promotes tolerance, education, understanding of other cultures, the importance of self-confidence, sharing kindness and staying healthy through dance and movement.
Here are some of Glenn Murray’s photos of one of the Amor and Heritage events that featured a guest chef, and traditional Hispanic dancing!