The United States, though special for many reasons (the invention of rap-rock being just one of the litany), is not known as a cultural mecca. We're in no way culturally bereft; it's just that we lack the centuries of honed tradition and societal cohesiveness to really back up our cultural identity. Most of our really good traditions are borrowed from other cultures: See the New Orleans funeral parade; St. Patrick's Day; even our Fourth of July fireworks originated in China. That's the beauty of this country, thougheven without our own singular cultural identity, the benefit of bringing so many different cultures together in one place is that there's always a party. And a Latino festival is a hell of a party. The culture that our Latino brothers and sisters bring north with them is a fiery, visually stimulating blend of art, music and food that has offered American culture a bright new facet in the last century. The Dallas Symphony Orchestra brings this to light in their 2008 Festival Latino, which runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is capped off with a collaboration between the DSO and the hugely popular Grammy-winning timba band Tiempo Libre at 7:30 p.m. The Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St., will be buzzing with arts and crafts, dance, music and Latin cuisine, making it the perfect place to start your exploration of the emerging American cultural landscape. The festival is free for the whole family; the concert is $10 per person. Visit dallassymphony.com for tickets.
Sat., June 7, 12-10 p.m., 2008