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Santa Maria Public Library to kick off educational summer series with bookmobile and live music

Santa Maria's Bookmobile parked in the city hosting events for local families
City of Santa Maria
Santa Maria's bookmobile hosts events for local families to make reading more accessible.

The Santa Maria Public Library is kicking off an educational summer series this weekend filled with different sounds and instruments from North, Central, and South America. The events are tomorrow and Saturday, and they will be in both English and Spanish to include more members of the community.

This summer’s theme is community cultural programming, and this weekend’s event will be called "Ancient Homelands: Native Music from North, Central, and South America."

“We are hoping to bring our families back and introduce them to some music, new instruments and hopefully they will see some instruments or hear some songs that they're familiar with,” said Santa Maria’s Youth Librarian Supervisor Kaela Villalobos.

Villalobos said the summer program was made possible by a grant they applied for through the Institute of Museum Library Services.

Righetti High School
A group of ballet folklorico dancers in Santa Maria performed traditional dances at the Ethel Pope Auditorium in 2015.

“The grant ends at the end of August, so we were hoping to be able to provide these community programs throughout the summer,” Villalobos said. She told KCBX they are hoping this weekend is not only educational, but entertaining for families as well.

Both days will see an interactive performance from Martin Espino, an indigenous composer with Yaqui and Tepehuano ancestry. Villalobos said the hope is for people to immerse themselves in Espino's music and to connect with the sounds of different cultures.

“We're really excited to be able to continue offering these really high quality, culturally diverse programs to hopefully bring in families that haven't been to the library,” Villalobos said.

She said the city will use the grant money for more bilingual music events, an opportunity for families to learn more about sign language, and a teen manga drawing event that will have a cartoonist who previously worked on the Simpsons teach the children different elements of Japanese art.

Along with Espino’s performance, Santa Maria will also bring out their bookmobile for the event, which begins at 4p.m. Friday at the Rotary Centennial Park. On Saturday, the city will host another Espino performance at the Santa Maria Public Library, beginning at 11a.m.

Gabriela Fernandez came to KCBX in May of 2022 as a general assignment reporter, and became news director in December of 2023. She graduated from Sacramento State with a BA in Political Science. During her senior year, she interned at CapRadio in their podcast department, and later worked for them as an associate producer on the TahoeLand podcast.
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