When an elementary school in Paterson, NJ could not afford the cost of booking our school assembly program for their Arab Heritage Month celebration in April, longtime donor Dr. Andrea Varricchio (who just happens to be sister of MDTC’s Producing Artistic Director Morgiana Celeste Varricchio) stepped in and generously offered to underwrite the performance.
Andrea, Professor Emerita of Spanish and Linguistics in the Department of Languages and Cultures of West Chester University (WCU), West Chester, PA, is a champion for the necessity of the arts as part of a student’s education. She arranged for MDTC to bring our programs to several WCU heritage celebrations. Her love of the Mediterranean languages and cultures, especially Spanish and Italian, made her a perfect choice for MDTC’s World in Motion episode, Flamenco Connections, broadcast virtually in August 2021. For the students at this Paterson school, who are primarily of Hispanic heritage, we excerpted Andrea’s informative mini-exploration of the influences of Arabic on the Spanish language as a short video for the teachers to share with their students.
So, to Andrea, a big thank you, muchas gracias, shukran!