Your Biz Your Town – Latino Films and Conference

Seriously what a great show this morning, completely by accident we had a Latino theme, thanks to GVSU’s Grand PR.
Shelley and I welcomed guests, Grand Rapids Latin American Film Festival (GRLAFF) and Conference on the Americas. Here is a rundown on what both these events are about, when they are happening and how to get involved.
Conference on the Americas, March 20 – 21, 2015
“Borders and Contact Zones in the Americas” is the 13th Annual Conference on the Americas held by the GVSU Latin American Studies program and the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies.

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Your Biz Your Town Guests

We deal with borders on a daily basis, consciously or not. Some may be geopolitical ones, like that 1,933 mile one between the US and Mexico. Others may be legal or normative, social or cultural, and economic or environmental.  But contact zones—spaces of interaction—may blur or reconfigure these borders. Contact zones are places where the powerful and the seemingly powerless encounter one another with a mix of resistance and accommodation, and in the process they alter one another. These zones are where defenders of the status quo wrangle with advocates of novel ideas and practices, changing the differences between the two. They are habitats and terrains that produce and interact with new species or environmental factors.
We invite you to participate in an interdisciplinary conference that explores borders and what people of different disciplines and occupations might call synthesis, syncretism, hybridity, transculturation, multiculturalism, or community partnering. We will host presentations that will help us better understand these borders and contact zones, whether they exist at a regional, national, sub-national, or community level. 
Keynote speakers include Dr. Juan Manuel Sandoval Palacios, professor of social anthropology in the National Institute of Anthropology and History in Mexico and Dr. Ana Patricia Rodríguez, professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and U.S. Latina/o Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park.  
Grand Rapids Latin American Film Festival (GRLAFF), September 2015 
Studio time!
Studio time!

The Grand Rapids Latin American Film Festival (GRLAFF) will take place September 17-20, 2015 at the Wealthy Theater. Going into its 6th year, the free event is a collaboration between Aquinas College, Calvin College, Davenport University and Grand Valley State. The festival’s goal is to provide the West Michigan community and students with a unique and enriching opportunity to acquaint themselves with the latest and most acclaimed Latin American films.
This year, the committee will select 14 different movies spanning from various Latin American countries. With the help of the Brazilian, Bolivian, Venezuelan, Argentine, and Peruvian consulates, GRLAFF will provide a wide range of masterful movies from Latin America, including a question and answer session with two directors of films that will be shown at the event.
Movies will range from long-form to short-form; fiction to documentary. To find out more about GRLAFF, you can visit us at You can also volunteer by emailing Chad Patton at
Both of these events are FREE. So get off your butt and learn something.

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