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'My people are represented;' KC Current honors Latino Arts Foundation at first international-friendly match

Latino Arts Foundation
Posted at 12:53 PM, Oct 05, 2023

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Wednesday was a big night for the Kansas City Current after hosting its first international friendly match against the CF Monterrey.

The match shed light on more than just the soccer community - it also struck a chord with Kansas City's arts community.

KC Current honored the Latino Arts Foundation at the match too. The foundation is a Kansas City-based nonprofit that works to uncover underrepresented artists by bringing their work into the community.

“We know that in the art world it’s not always seen as a career, so we want to support our students, and anyone interested in doing art in some way," founder Deanna Muñoz said.

The foundation and its members got to take the pitch at the beginning of the match, and were presented with a $2,500 dollar check. They also got to watch the match themselves. But most importantly, their mission was represented on the scale of the platform they strive to build.

“Just mind blowing. I started crying when they asked," Muñoz said. “I mean soccer is the realm of Latino Chicano’s and it’s just a phenomenal ask.”

The foundation's reach is felt throughout multiple aspects of the community. Its Art Mentorship Program allows volunteers throughout the community to teach students various arts at no cost. The idea is to teach them ways to make a career out of art. This includes visual art, creative writing, film making, photography, and theater.

Marísa Adame Grady is a writer and filmmaker who volunteers with the foundation.

“Writing is one of many ways that art gives us a voice," she said. “I write from my lens, which is Latina, someone who experiences mood disorders.”

Her lens is a lesson.

“I feel like a lot of times media representation shows, if you are a person of color on screen, your struggle is about being a person of color," she said. “For me as a creative artist, that’s my starting point, and then I ask the audience to humanize me through the experiences that I’m sharing.”

Adame Grady is already involved with writing and directing films. She said she has two short films coming out later this year.

You can also find the foundation at events like this weekend's Chicano Arts Festival, or in the Kansas City Pride Parade. Volunteer coordinator Tina Webel led the foundation's effort to bring home second place in the Pride Parade.

“It was amazing to see Latino’s in the crowd," Webel said. "They saw our float, they saw our sign that said who we were, and you could see on their face that ‘my people are here, my people are represented.’ It’s awesome.”

Beyond the bright lights and big stages the foundation has encountered, this masterpiece started with a story.

“We are bringing the voice of the Chicano community out," Muñoz said. “They should definitely be recognized, they should definitely be celebrated just like all other cultures.”