The conversation with Kevin Bilapka Arbelaez in the noisy Cup O’ Joe Clintonville lasted longer than the usual 30-minutes. There was just too much to talk about: his work at St. Vincent Family Center, musical solo projects, and writing with the band didi. We also mulled over issues of alienation in the community and the complexity of identifying as half one thing and half something else… something we both think a lot about.
The bison of Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park just entered their winter pasture by the time I visited. These creatures are a big draw for many of the park’s visitors, who trek twenty minutes or so out of Columbus proper to Galloway, Ohio. Yet, as Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks Naturalist, Ricardo Granados explains, there’s more to this 7,103 acre park than roaming furred mammals. Battelle Darby Creek boasts a variety of educational programming, trails, and picnic sites – and Granados wants Latinos from throughout Central Ohio to visit and take ownership of the park that belongs to them.
Watching her child march in his school’s annual Halloween parade, Mayra Betances couldn’t help but wonder, “what happens to these costumes once Halloween ends?” Parents might store the festive clothes in the closet until the following year – by which time the child could outgrow it or fancy a different ensemble. Betances developed a plan to give new life to these garments. In 2009, she conceptualized Create Happy Moments, an organization dedicated to promoting cultural exchange between the United States and Dominican Republic through the donation of used Halloween costumes to children in the D.R.