Leticia Roa Nixon to be Honored with Fleisher’s 32nd Founder’s Award

PHILADELPHIA, September 14, 2022 — Fleisher Art Memorial will honor Leticia Roa Nixon with its 32nd Founder’s Award this year, recognizing Nixon’s significant contributions to the Latinx community in Philadelphia. The ceremony is part of a monthlong celebration also featuring exhibitions, workshops, and community programming for all ages in Fleisher’s galleries, Sanctuary, and outdoor spaces.

Born and raised in Mexico City, Leticia Roa Nixon immigrated to Philadelphia in 1985, and served as an official interpreter for the Court of First Instance for almost three decades. She has worked as a reporter for multiple Philadelphia newspapers, published six books, and collaborated on the documentary El Sol Sale para Todos, which tells the story of the Mexican community in South Philadelphia. Currently, she is the Philatinos Radio News Director, Impacto Media Deputy Editor, and co-producer of PhillyCam’s TV show Atrévete. Since 2014, Nixon, a former Fleisher board member, has also been part of La Calaca Flaca, the committee responsible for organizing and presenting Fleisher’s annual Día de los Muertos procession and celebration.

Through her activism and journalism, Nixon has documented and shed light on the experiences and stories of the diverse Latinx community across Philadelphia, serving as a tireless advocate for the community. In honor of her work and deep connection with Fleisher, Nixon will receive the Founder’s Award at an event on Saturday, October 15 from 5–7 pm. Tickets for the Founder’s Award Celebration are available through Fleisher’s website.

On Saturday, October 1 from 6–8 pm, Fleisher will also host an opening reception for Under One Sky: Reflecting Immigrant Communities Through Photography, The Photographs of Harvey Finkle, 1982-2018. For over five decades, Finkle has captured the essence of various communities—notably immigrant communities in Philadelphia—and political movements, as well as a wide range of human emotions with his dedicated lens.

Curated by David Acosta, artistic director for Casa de Duende, Under One Sky is arranged thematically in a conscious effort not to segregate groups by ethnicity but to place them within the larger context and themes of everyday life. The retrospective exhibition, on view in Fleisher’s Dene M. Louchheim Galleries from September 26 through November 5, includes over 70 photographs showcasing 17 immigrant communities living in different Philadelphia neighborhoods.

Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) has been observed across Latin America for centuries as a day to honor and celebrate the lives of loved ones lost. The celebration is a 3,000-year-old tradition that is incredibly strong and visible in Mexico as well as in Mexican and Latin American communities across the United States. La Calaca Flaca, the Latinx committee responsible for organizing the event hosted at Fleisher each year, is celebrating the event’s tenth anniversary on Saturday, October 29 by honoring the diversity and heritage of the entire Latinx community.

To commemorate this milestone, La Calaca Flaca invited artist Mauricio Pérez to create a Day of the Dead through the perspective of his Colombian heritage and the realm of the indigenous Muiscas. The theme this year will revolve around La Leyenda de El Dorado (Legend of El Dorado) and La Balsa Muisca (Muisca Raft). Pérez will lead the installation of La Ofrenda (the community’s offering) in Fleisher’s Sanctuary space. After a procession through South Philadelphia on Saturday, October 29, the celebration at Fleisher will also feature music, dancing, food, and market vendors.

Photo by Manny Vasquez.

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