Major Festival of Hispanic Cultures This Weekend at Scotch Plains Library


SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ - The Big Read continues at Scotch Plains Public Library with a Festival of Hispanic Cultures on Saturday, May 11 from 11:00AM to 4:00PM, which will be held outdoors if weather permits. Everyone who attends is asked to bring their own chairs or blankets.

From 11:00AM until 12:00PM, the Library welcomes back Rick Mikula, who will discuss butterflies and lead us in a 50-butterfly release. From 1:00PM to 2:00PM, the music of Adelante!, an eight-piece band featuring Grammy-award winning vocalist David Oquendo, that combines Latin rhythms from around the Caribbean with Jazz influences.

At 3:00PM our partners from the Scotch Plains-Fanwood School District will announce the winners of their poster and essay contests. There will be butterfly tattoos, crafts and other fun family activities at booths set up by Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School students and a food truck featuring Latin American food for purchase.

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Inside the library patrons will find the community bean mosaic displays, as well as a traveling exhibit from CUNY Dominican Studies Institute: El Músico y el Pintor, which highlights the careers of two influential Dominican-American artists, musician Rafael Petitón Guzmán and painter Tito Enrique Cánepa.

Starting May 14, there will be several opportunities for members of our community to get together and discuss In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. Some of these discussions will be led by trained students from Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School, including Tuesday, May 14, 7:00PM at Scotch Plains Public Library; Thursday, May 16, 7:00PM at Fanwood Memorial Library; Wednesday, May 22, 7:00PM at SPFHS; and Thursday, May 23, 12:00PM at Scotch Plains Public Library – these are all open to the public. An additional public discussion group will be held on Saturday, May 18, 1:00PM at Scotch Plains Public Library, led by Library staff.

Special discussion groups have also been arranged. On Thursday, May 23 at 7:00PM, there will be a discussion group for middle school families held at Park Middle School. On Tuesday, June 4 at 2:30PM, Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School will host a “Journal Make and Take” Discussion for up to 20 participants. On Monday, June 10 at 10:00AM, Scotch Plains Public Library staff will discuss the book with residents of Scotch Plains Senior Housing.

The Big Read includes music, art projects, and a video chat with author Julia Alvarez, as well as interdisciplinary studies for students in grades K-12 in our district’s schools.

The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. The Big Read is managed by Arts Midwest. Scotch Plains is one of 78 communities nationwide participating in the current Big Read.

The Big Read partners welcome all participants to the many free events planned through mid-June. More information about these events and the Bit Read may be found on the website of Scotch Plains Public Library ( and on the library’s Big Read blog (

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