Students at DC's Blow Pierce Junior Academy hear Latin American music sponsored by Capital One Bank and Class Acts Arts

Monday, January 7th

Contact: Paco José Madden, Development Director
Phone: (301) 588-4475

SILVER SPRING, MD – December 21, 2012 – Cantaré musicians Cecilia Esquivel and Dani Cortaza performed for students at the Blow Pierce Junior Academy Friday morning.  Their musical offerings highlighted holiday music from Latin America and its indigenous, European, and African roots.  Class Acts Arts, Inc. and Capital One Bank sponsored the performance.
Esquivel, a native of Argentina, used a large map of the Americas when introducing a new song to show students the country of each song’s origin.  Cantaré presented traditional songs from Puerto Rico, Nigeria and the Andes, as well as the familiar Christmas hit “Feliz Navidad.”  Esquivel encouraged participation in each selection by teaching the Spanish lyrics for students to sing and dance along.  She also invited a handful of students to try accompanying a song with instruments made from goat toenails.

The performance is the first in a series in which Class Acts Arts, Inc. will be able to provide cultural arts programming to children in underserved schools thanks to a grant from Capital One Bank.  Schools which have a FARMS (Free And Reduced Meals Rate) of 40% or greater in Wards 7 & 8 of Washington, DC and Prince George’s County, MD are eligible to apply for a subsidy through the Capital One Bridge Fund.

“The arts have the unique ability to bring schools and communities together,” says Class Acts Arts Executive Director James E. Modrick, “and with the support of partners like Capital One Bank we can ensure that all corners of our communities have an opportunity to experience other artistic and cultural traditions.”

Capital One Financial Corporation, headquartered in McLean, Virginia, is a Fortune 500 company with approximately 1,000 branch locations primarily in New York, New Jersey, Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Its subsidiaries, Capital One, N.A., Capital One Bank (USA), N. A., and ING Bank, fsb, offer a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients. We apply the same principles of innovation, collaboration and empowerment in our commitment to our communities across the country that we do in our business. We recognize that helping to build strong and healthy communities - good places to work, good places to do business and good places to raise families - benefits us all and we are proud to support this and other community initiatives.
Cantaré is composed of lead vocalist Cecilia Esquivel and various accompanying musicians. The group aims to offer high-quality musical performances that also inform audiences about Latin American geography, history and culture. Cantaré’s engaging educational approach has become very popular in schools, libraries, museums, government agencies and a variety of other public and private venues.
Blow Pierce Junior Academy is a Friendship Public Charter School and strives to provide a world-class education that motivates students to achieve high academic standards, enjoy learning and develop as ethical, literate, well-rounded and self-sufficient citizens that contribute actively to their communities. It was founded as a middle school serving students in grades 6 to 8.  In 2010, Blow Pierce expanded to serve students from grades Pre-School to 8.

Class Acts Arts is a non-profit 501(c)3 arts education organization that brings arts into the community through school assemblies and workshops in the performing and visual arts to children in-school, after-school, and out-of-school. Class Acts Arts provides programs that reach low-income children, court-involved youth through Project Youth Art Reach, seniors, special needs children and adults, and wounded warriors. It is supported in part by the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, the Maryland State Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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