Thursday, September 16, 2010

Viva Mexico

There are a lot of Mexican themed events planned for the upcoming celebration of Mexico's bicentennial.

September 16th marks marks the day in 1810 when Mexico began its war of independence against Spain, an event that triggered similar uprisings across the Western Hemisphere.

In September 1810, rebels in the central state of Guanajuato were secretly planning an uprising against the Spanish when their plot was discovered. As Spanish troops moved to arrest conspirators, one of the them, priest Miguel Hidalgo, realized the moment for revolution was upon them.

Before dawn on Sept. 16, 1810, Hidalgo rang the church bell to gather residents in the town of Dolores, and then delivered a famous call to arms known as the grito, or shout.

The war lasted 11 years before Spain finally gave Mexico and Central America its independence. The territory included what is now California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Texas, and parts of Wyoming and Colorado - although much of that territory was not settled by the Mexicans in any significant way. In fact, outside of Taos and Albuquerque, much of the territory was occupied by Native Americans, the original inhabitants who fought fiercely to maintain their independence. But that's a story for another day.

On Friday, September 17, in celebration of Mexico's bicentennial, the de Young is offering free admission to the permanent collection galleries from 5–8:45 pm in conjunction with Friday Nights at the de Young. In honor of the bicentennial, the de Young proudly presents an evening of film, fashion, dance and music to celebrate Mexico's artistic achievements.

The event will feature a combination of audiovisuals, short films, fashion, dance, and music that will bond with the museum's permanent collection to create a unique art experience that will showcase a night out on the town in modern Mexico.

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