Yulner Diaz’s powerful artwork celebrates the creative fusion
of old world and new world traditions. The NocheUnidos concerts in May will merge the dynamic exuberance of traditional mariachi with the emotional power of a classical symphony.
(March 29, 2022) On March 22, Kelly Kirschner, the board chair of UnidosNow, unveiled the stunning poster announcing “NocheUnidos,” the organization’s twice Covid-delayed 10th anniversary musical celebration featuring the internationally-acclaimed Mexican folkloric group Mariachi Cobre performing with the Venice Symphony on May 20 and 21 at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall and the Venice Performing Arts Center.
Kirschner shared with Tuesday’s virtual audience, “The concerts are a metaphor of UnidosNow’s work in the region over the past 12 years as we seek to present an alternative to the xenophobia that is too common in our state and nation in 2022, in particular as it relates to immigrants from Latin America. The combination of these musical groups together not only creates an amazingly rich sound, the two build upon one another in an additive way that is symbolic of how immigration is not a zero sum game.”
Yulner Diaz’ dynamic artwork, rich in symbolism, visually conveys the metaphor and work of UnidosNow, reflecting the fusion of the new world’s emerging art forms with the old world’s creative heritage along the iconic Sarasota bayfront. The artist’s original artwork will be auctioned on May 20 at the Van Wezel event for NocheUnidos.
Kirschner adds that, “We want NocheUnidos to be an annual event and a powerful reminder that immigration doesn’t destroy traditions. It helps us create new traditions as we build a better world together. That’s the spirit behind our anniversary concerts. Yulner captures this spirit with passion and delight in this extraordinary work of art.” He adds that the event will raise valuable funds to empower UnidosNow’s education, integration, and civic engagement initiatives.
Diaz attended Ringling College of Art and Design and is a passionate supporter of the spirit of unity. Born in Mexico, Diaz describes his life in Florida as the struggle of an immigrant who genuinely wants to contribute to his community. He is honored to share his talents with UnidosNow and the area. “UnidosNow has transformed my life, just as it transforms so many other lives of immigrant students and their families in our region,” says Diaz. “It’s my pleasure to continue to support this vital organization.” About his art, the artist says, “My art is filled with joy. But it’s also a subtle rebuke to the xenophobia that’s washed over our country in recent times. The voices of hate try to divide us. When our voices come together, it can be powerful, emotional, good, new, and vibrant.”
Kirschner describes NocheUnidos as, “a tapestry of musical delights combining the dynamic exuberance of traditional mariachi with the emotional power of a classical symphony.” He explains that the program will showcase the most treasured musical artforms of the Old and New Worlds to create an unforgettable experience. He adds that UnidosNow is thrilled to announce that Gulf Coast Community Foundation is the presenting sponsor of NocheUnidos. Christina Unkel is the event chair.
Tickets for the event, which range from $30 to $120, are now on sale at www.unidosnow.org/nocheunidos. For sponsorship information, contact Nathalie Michalowski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UnidosNow offers educational and professional outreach initiatives to the Hispanic/Latinx communities in Sarasota and Manatee counties so that they can create circles of opportunities for generations to come. The organization achieves this through education initiatives, leadership training, community services, and civic engagement. Visit UnidosNow.org for more information.
Founded in 2010, UnidosNow’s mission is to elevate the quality of life of the growing Hispanic/Latino community in Manatee and Sarasota counties through education, integration, and civic engagement. Its education initiatives seek to empower our community’s future leaders to be agents of social change through college and career readiness preparation, leadership training, and community service. Visit UnidosNow.org.