BY LUIS GRONDA
The shopping center will host the first-ever CultureArte event on Oct. 12-13, which aims to celebrate Hispanic culture during Hispanic Heritage Month. It is hosted by Macerich, the company that operates Queens Center, and LatinSphere, an advertising company that focuses on the Hispanic market.
The two-day event will include live music, dance performances and a fashion show.
Aurora and Zon Del Barrio, a salsa music group, will headline the live performances at the event. They will be playing songs with another salsa legend, Larry Harlow. The dancing will feature “Dancing With The Stars” performers Yesenia Adame and Rodrigo Guzman, who will perform variously throughout both days. The fashion show will showcase clothing from several companies like Club Monaco, J.C. Penney and Steve Madden.
Dawn Bankert, the regional Assistant Vice President of Marketing for Macerich, said they wanted to honor Hispanic diversity and culture and gear the event towards its large Hispanic shopping base. According to Bankert, 36 percent of people who go to shopping centers owned by Macerich are of Hispanic origin.
“We feel that it is relevant given the time period and hopefully it will enhance the shopping experience at Queens Center,” she said.
Bankert said the company was brainstorming ideas of what event they can put on their east coast properties as it is different for the shopping market in the western United States.
Harlow, who has been a performer for more than 50 years and has produced over 300 albums while singing in 50 of his own albums, said it is important to remember Hispanic culture especially with more Latin people moving to the United States each year.
“Pretty soon, it’ll be a bilingual town,” Harlow said.
Bankert said the performances will be kept to about 15-20 minutes each to keep the traffic in the shopping center moving throughout the day. She added their plan is to make it an annual event at Queens Center and host similar events in their other properties if it is successful.
The event will run from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Saturday while on Sunday, it will begin at 11 a.m. and finish at 8 p.m. The performances will begin at the top of every hour from noon until 8 p.m. on Saturday and noon until 7 p.m. on Sunday.
Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @luisgronda.