The Muscatine Art Center, LULAC Muscatine and the Stanley Center for Peace and Security have joined forces for a free evening of dance, music, dance and more on Thursday, October 20 at the Muscatine Art Center.

Los Cometas Mariachi will kick things off at 5:15 p.m. The group was founded in January 2021 under the direction of Ashley Smith, director of bands at West Liberty High School. Los Cometas Mariachi’s mission is “empowering youth, building community and teaching culture through authentic music education.”  Their first public performance was in May 2021 and they’ve performed in a variety of venues since then.

Students from Quad Cities Ballet Folklorico (QCBF) will share Mexican culture through dance starting at 5:30 p.m. The QCBF has about 80 students, ranging in ages from four- to 18-years-old. Since its founding in 1984, the group has performed at a variety of events including local fiestas, art festivals and school functions.

Several craft activities will be available, including a Luchadores paper mask activity led by artist Miriam Alarcon Avila and a mini piñata craft, presented by the Muscatine Art Center. The West Liberty Latinos Americanos 4-H and Muscatine UNIDOS 4-H will provide activities for children and families and the Muscatine Community College LULAC will sell desserts. Attendees will receive tickets for two free tacos from Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant.

The performances will be on the grounds of the Muscatine Art Center, 1314 Mulberry Avenue, and attendees can bring a blanket or lawn chairs. In case of bad weather, the performances and activities will be moved indoors to the Muscatine Art Center’s Music Room and studio.

The Muscatine Art Center’s hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursday evenings until 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1-5 p.m. Admission is free. and donations are appreciated. Click here for more information about programs and events and to download a quarterly newsletter.