Campus Paint Night Celebrates Project Gettysburg-León
By Shanzae Sarwar, Staff Writer
On Friday, Nov. 6 the Office of Student Activities and Greek Life (OSAGL) and the Center for Public Service (CPS) co-sponsored Paint Night in the CUB Ballroom. This event was carried out in partnership with Taller Xuchialt, an art school supported by Project Gettysburg-León, a non-profit international organization that joins Gettysburg’s sister city program with León, Nicaragua. Allan Lindo, an artist from Taller Xuchialt pre-recorded an instructional painting video on Zoom which was streamed for the audience.
Allan Lindo began studying art at age eleven through the program at Xuchialt. Lindo became the director of Xuchialt in 2014 — his work today focuses on an outreach program called “Believe in Art.” The purpose of this program is to promote the work of Nicaraguan artists and help them become self-supporting by providing them with a platform to sell their work. More information about this initiative is available on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/believeinart.leon
Paint Night was highly attended by students who showed excitement to learn and explore Nicaraguan art. The idea for this event came from Maggie Halpin ’22, a student coordinator with CPS. Halpin is serving as the student coordinator for Project Gettysburg-León. This year marks Gettysburg’s 20-year partnership with León, Nicaragua.
Project Gettysburg-León focuses on community development and capacity building in León, Nicaragua. Through educational programming, it aims to promote cultural exchanges between Gettysburg and León. Each year, Gettysburg hosts several events that are co-sponsored by partners in Nicaragua. An annual traditional event, Salsa on the Square, takes place in the fall to celebrate the Latinx community in Adams county. Last year, a delegation of artists from Taller Xuchialt attended Salsa on the Square and led a painting class in the Adams County Arts Council in town.
Halpin hopes to continue community programming in the future through a combination of virtual and small, in-person events.
“It’s really amazing that we are able to have this connection with León, Nicaragua,” said Halpin. “It has allowed me and others who participated in our event to learn about Nicaraguan culture. This cultural exchange factor is really important – especially in these uncertain times, it shows how this world isn’t that divided and we can still engage with each other and learn from one another. Our strong partnership with León, Nicaragua has been an incredible force in bringing people together.”