Topeka’s Justicia Inc. getting people involved in arts, education

Community

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A local nonprofit is working to get more people involved in arts and education.

Justicia Inc. offers a number of programs, such as Ballet Folklorico de Topeka, weekly citizenship classes and more. It’s been a nonprofit for 50 years in the capital city.

Its community center has been located in the NOTO Arts and Entertainment District since 2012. It serves as the place for traditional Latin celebrations such as El Dia de los Muertos, Cinco de Mayo, art galleries, dance workshops and more.

Justicia Inc. works to preserve, educate and promote Mexican and Latin culture through the arts, but also wants to expand its educational program and citizenship classes.

“It’s important that the opportunity is given to the immigrants that have been here, that qualify,” said Ediberto Gonzalez, instructor and director at Justicia, Inc. “They look to try to get some assistance, but they’re afraid sometimes to go get assistance or it’s a little difficult for them to get to certain places. They don’t feel comfortable. And so right here we try to make it comfortable for them.”

Justicia Inc. doesn’t have any paid staff, and always accepts donations to help with things like costumes for their performances.

“We always accept donations. That’s the only way we survive. It’s expensive to try to maintain a program here,” Gonzalez said. “We do so that the families don’t have to go to a lot of expense. So in other words, our costuming is within the organization and we’re looking at costuming from certain age group levels. And that way it cuts the cost down. I work with groups that they buy all their costuming and they outgrow it and it doesn’t get used again. So here we have costumes that are 40 years old, maybe more.”

The Ballet Folklorico de Topeka is hosting a Mother’s Day performance at the Topeka Performing Arts Center this weekend. The performance starts at 2 p.m. on Sunday. You can get tickets for $12 and read more information at this link.

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