Dancing Elotes – Mexican Street Corn Bike
VROCC Youth Creative entrepreneurship Summer Project.
Our mission is to use and promote Latin American culture as an engine for stronger community and economic growth and a good example of how we do this is the VROCC Dancing Elotes Experience. This project provides jobs to youth and brings art, culinary traditions and traditional dance to the East Boston Farmers Market every Wednesday. This project allows VROCC to reach a broad spectrum of people, support artists and partner with other community organizations.
About this project
in 2015 Veronica Robles Cultural Center launched a new arts-integrated community project called Dancing Elotes. In a collaboration with sculptor Carolyn Lewenberg and with support from the New England Foundation for the Arts Creative Cities grant, our artist team worked with local youth to serve elotes from a traditional bike cart that is used on the streets in Mexico and Central America, as a literal and conceptual vehicle for cross-cultural culinary, dance, and sculptural experiences. At public workshops at the farmers market, participants learned La Danza del Permiso (to request permission from mother earth to work the soil) and use the husks and cobs from the elotes to create a large-scale sculpture of traditional Latino dancers. Culminating in the installation of the sculpture and performance of the dance in observance of the Day of the Dead, Dancing Elotes honored the lives of the young victims of street violence.
The program is designed to provide youth the basic tools to run an actual business. This is a community based project gives young people the opportunity to acquire social skills and business experience to leverage the power of arts and culture as a resource for economic growth and social change. Before the program ends the Youth present a report with basic business terminology to a select group of leaders, media, officials and some Latin American Consuls.
This is a 12 weeks program and runs from Juy through October. Youth receive 5 weeks training by mentors on the following areas.
- Business administration (accounting terminology , budget, inventory, profit and loss analysis, etc).
- Customer services and hospitality
- Marketing and publicity (video production, photography, social media, screenwriting)
- Cultural enrichment (dance, percussion, arts)
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Back in 1870 the first library branch in the United States was opened in East Boston, and in 2020 the same building became home to Veronica Robles Cultural Center
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