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Boro’s Latin American center looks toward future

Heeding Mayor Giuliani’s advice to maintain the life of the city in the wake of Sept. 11’s horrific attacks, Queens arts and cultural centers are keeping to their schedules. The Latin American Cultural Center of Queens is no exception.

Plans remained in full swing for “Paving the Way for Future Generations,” billed as a “concert of Hispanic pride” in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month 2001 to begin at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29 at the Queens Musdeum of Art on Flkushing Meadows-Corona Park.

“We didn’t want to cancel this,” said Cielo Pelaez, LACCQ’s executive director. “People need some kind of relief and entertainment. This has been a stressful time.”

The center’s mission is “to promote Hispanic culture, meet the needs of the diverse Latino communities of Queens, and forge cross-cultural connections with other ethnic groups in the borough,” LACCQ President Nayibe Nunez-Berger said.

This year’s theme of paving the way for future generations “fits perfectly into the center’s mission, since children are an important focus of the center’s programs,” Pelaez said. She said the programs, which reach several hundred children a year, “help preserve Hispanic cultural legacy.”

The concert features Ilya Martinez and Rafael Lebron, soprano and baritone, and the children’s ensemble of the group “Raices de Mexico” performing dances from several Mexican states.

Martinez and Lebron have performed around the world in four languages, the LACCQ said.

Entrance to the event is free with museum admission. For more information call 261-7664.

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