Latin arts festival comes to Fort Worth

This weekend’s MúsicArte, a Latin arts festival, promises a lively environment with performances by musicians such as Los Lonely Boys, both local and worldwide cultural art exhibitions and diverse cuisine.

The festival focuses on Fort Worth’s cultural roots in various Spanish-speaking countries.

Tim Watkins, professor of world music, said he hoped students would attend the festival to experience the city’s heritage.

“There are always people dancing and having fun, enjoying the weather, enjoying the food and drink and each other’s company,” he said.

This year, festival-goers can expect musical performances by groups of many different genres, including salsa, Tejano, cumbia and Latin rock.

According to the MúsicArte website, musical headliners include Los Lonely Boys, Latin Express, David Lee Garza and A.B. Quintanilla y Los Kumbia King.

Also featured at the festival will be art from Spanish-speaking countries around the world, heritage displays of costumes and artistic demonstrations, according to the website.

Families attending the festival can stop by a child-friendly interactive section of the grounds where children can experience different crafts and games.

Watkins said he looked forward to all the different aspects of the festival.

“Food is an important part of the festival as well as dancing,” he said. “I’m not much of a dancer—I have two left feet—but I watch people dance, and there’s always people having fun.”

Upbeat Latin-infused exercise classes such as Zumba, pilates and yoga will also be offered throughout the weekend.

Watkins said he hoped students would be able to sharpen their analytical skills in music while also having fun.

“You will see people of every conceivable ethnic origin at this festival,” he said. “We forget how many individuals there are in Fort Worth that come from countries other than Mexico. We also have Panamanians, Peruvians, Venezuelans, Argentinians, even Chileans.”

The Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce sponsors the festival. Patricia Castillo, business development manager at the chamber, said she hoped the festival would bring some liveliness along the Trinity River this weekend.

“We’re hoping for a larger crowd of about 40,000 people this year,” she said. “In previous years, bad weather was a factor of attendance, but hopefully this year it will stay sunny.”

Castillo said the chamber has been working with the Trinity River Vision Authority, an organization that oversees events at the river, to help build performance stages and offer free guest parking.

Watkins encouraged students to attend the festival this weekend, no matter their ages.

“If you’re a freshman, this is a great introduction to a very important part of Fort Worth’s culture,” he said. “If you’re an upperclassman and haven’t been to it yet, you’ve missed out on a very important part of your city’s culture.”

A schedule and full list of events is available on MúsicArte’s website.

What: MúsicArte Latin American Music Festival
When: Saturday, Oct. 15, Noon – 11 p.m.
             Sunday, Oct. 16, Noon – 6 p.m.
Where: 489 North Taylor St., Fort Worth, Texas 76102
    Panther Island Pavilion in Trinity Uptown, across from Downtown.
Admission: $5 for adults, $3 if bought in advance. 21 and under admitted free.
Free parking at the old Tandy Center parking area.