Hunter College Schools
Centro: Center for Puerto Rican Studies Cultural Ambassador Program presents Cucarachita Martina’s Musical Adventure. Webinar will premiere the animated short with caregiver and teacher’s guides and an overview of Pura Belpré’s exhibit from the archives. This event is highly recommended for educators pre-K through 16.
This new animated short is inspired by Pura Belpré’s first picture book, Pérez and Martina: A Portorican Tale, which tells the story of beautiful Martina who is wooed by sneaky Señor Gato, whiney Señor Pato, proud Señor Gallo, sad Señor Grillo, chatty Señor Sapo, and gallant Señor Pérez, the mouse.
The script for Cucarachita Martina’s Musical Adventure was written by the award-winning children's book author Raquel M. Ortiz. Art was created by Tere Marichal, the creator of over thirty books and recipient of two Emmys and the Premio René Marquez. Musical Director Desmar Guevara has created dozens of original scores, songs, and arrangements and has recorded with greats that include Celia Cruz and Tito Puente. The film also features the voices of award winning actress Alejandra Ramos, Mario Mattei and lead vocalist Elizabeth Pérez. The film was directed and edited by two time Emmy nominee Waldo Cabrera.
Pura Belpré was the first Puerto Rican librarian in New York City and author of one of the first Latino children’s picture books. Pura was also a cultural activist who studied, shared, and celebrated Puerto Rican folktales and culture. In addition to all of this, Pura was a magnificent educator, a phenomenal storyteller, and a celebrated puppeteer. The American Library Association has even named a major children’s literature medal in her honor.
Pura said that the story of Pérez and Martina was her golden key: it opened doors for her everywhere. She used this story for puppet shows, pantomimes, and plays. It was shown on T.V. and was told on the radio. And, one year Pura, Martina and Señores Gato, Pato, Sapo, Gallo, Grillo and Ratoncito Pérez even rode on a float down 5th Avenue for the National Puerto Rican Day Parade!
We invite you to watch Cucarachita Martina’s Musical Adventure and to learn about and celebrate Puerto Rican folklore, music and culture.
Raquel M. Ortiz, Author of Sofi Paints her Dreams and When Julia Danced Bomba; Centro Curriculum writer
Waldo Cabrera, Centro Media Producer and Executive Director of the VJ Network
Alejandra Ramos, Actress and Centro eJournal and Digital Humanities Project Manager
This event is co-sponsored by the Society of the Educational Arts, Inc.(SEA) / Teatro SEA.
Virtual Event: Link will be provided upon registration