“Latinos in Rural America,” an exhibit funded by Ohio Humanities, will be on display in the Urbana University Library Sept. 14-28. The exhibit features colorful, bilingual banners with photos of Latino residents from rural areas of Ohio. The exhibit is the result of research and interviews conducted by Kenyon College students and features photos, stories and video interviews about Latinos who live in rural Knox County, the home of Kenyon College. The Latino populations of Knox and Champaign counties are similar, according to the U.S. Census.
The free exhibit is open to the public and will be on display starting Wednesday, Sept. 14, at the University Library, 579 College Way. The public is invited to a Grand Opening reception from 4 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 13. Dr. Clara Román-Odio, creator of the exhibit, will offer opening remarks describing the impetus for and results of the project.
Román-Odio received a $17,000 grant for the project from Ohio Humanities. She wanted to chronicle the lives of the small but growing number of Latinos who have been recorded as living in Knox County since the beginning of the last century. Román-Odio said people who visit the exhibit will come away with a better understanding of the meaningful contributions Latinos make to the community.
“Latinos are part of the diversity of the fabric of rural Ohio,” she said. “I invite the community to come. I feel like they will be surprised and enriched by the information.”
Two Kenyon College Spanish majors, senior Patricia Mota and junior Amelia Dunnell, helped record interviews with about 15 people, touching on journey stories, family life, food traditions, church involvement and perceptions of inclusion.
Urbana University is one of four colleges selected to host the traveling exhibit. A series of programs about Latino culture will be offered throughout September and October. For further information, call 937-772-9315.