Reflections & Expressions: Communities & Cultures of Central & South America

A textile designer gathers colorful yarn in their hands and weaves them into a pattern. The yarn hangs over a wooden loom. The designer stands in front of the loom while they work.

The Reflections & Expressions project: We are focusing on the cultural heritage of the Central and South American communities in our area through two-year multi-faceted programming featuring exhibitions, educational activities, artist residencies, conferences, rituals, music, and dance performances. This project is part of the WheatonArts Creative Community Connections initiative, inaugurated in 2004 to inspire meaningful conversations about perceptions of the past, challenges of the present, and the notions of life, aesthetics, and spirituality—all interpreted through arts. It is designed to bring about understanding, appreciation, and engagement in our region’s extraordinarily diverse population’s arts, traditions, and cultures.

The Central and South American communities in New Jersey represent various diverse cultures, sometimes even within their countries of origin. They were formed gradually over time through past and recent immigration. Today, they contribute a variety of art forms and traditions to the multi-cultural landscape of our state. Our primary focus is on arts and cultures associated with Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, and Argentina.

We collaborate with partners, local communities, and various artists working in traditional and contemporary art forms. They offer different reflections on cultural heritage and multiple forms of artistic expression that provide the vehicle to engage our audiences in a dialogue about cultural heritage and shared humanity. Major highlights of our 2022 spring programs include a major exhibition, artist residency, a festival, a community arts project, and virtual events.

2022 Program Schedule: 


Threads of Time & Wisdom:
Chilean & Guatemalan Fiber Arts

Down Jersey Folklife Center at WheatonArts
April 1—November 14, 2022


ECO Fair: Awakening of Mother Earth 
Event Center at WheatonArts
Saturday, May 7, 2022, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Calendario del programa 2022:


Hilos del Tiempo y el Saber: Arte Textil de Chile y Guatemala
En exhibición en el Centro Folklife de Down Jersey en WheatonArts
Del 1 de abril al 14 de noviembre de 2022


Feria Ecológica – El Despertar de la Madre Tierra
Event Center en WheatonArts
Sábado 7 de mayo 2022, 12 pm a 4 pm


Visualizando historias: Máscaras peruanas con Gustavo Boada
Por Zoom el jueves 24 de marzo 2022, 6 pm EDT

Por los Frutos de tus Manos con Suni Paz y Lisa Stewart Garrison
Por Zoom el jueves 9 de junio, 2022, 6 p.m. EDT

“Reflections & Expressions: Communities & Cultures of Central & South America,” is a project of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center. Additional project support is provided by the Cumberland County Cultural and Heritage Commission.

This Down Jersey Folklife Center project series edition was made possible by grants from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Multiple logos against a white background each read: “New Jersey Council for the Humanities”; “New Jersey State Council on the Arts: Est. 1966”; “National Endowment for the Arts:”; “New Jersey Historical Commission”; “Embassy of Chile: Washington, DC”; “Artesanias de Chile”; “Friends of the Ixchel Museum: Supporting the Textile Artists of Guatemala”; “Cumberland County Cultural & Heritage Commission”; “Raices Culturales Antinoamericanas".

Past Reflections & Expressions projects: