May 16 -18, 2012
During Smithsonian Week, two special guest scholars
Diana Xochitl Munn and Gregorio Luke, will offer presentations in local public
schools and at a special public event at the Riverside Metropolitan Museum on
Smithsonian Presentations | Thursday, May 17th | 6 - 9 pm
Open to the Public | Free | Riverside Metropolitan Museum
“Chocolate: Food of the Gods”
-Diana Xochitl Munn, Biologist
Who discovered chocolate? In what part of the world did it originate? In Chocolate: Food of the Gods, Diana Xochitl Munn will take you on a journey to ancient Mexico to explore the rich cultural history of chocolate, and learn about the fantastic tree that produces one of the one of the world’s most revered foods. Join us as we explore the origins and history of chocolate as well as some of the unexpected uses of chocolate in ritual activities among ancient and contemporary indigenous communities.
About the Speaker
Diana Xochitl Munn (Mazatec, Mexico) is a biologist whose area of expertise is in the study of Mexican cloud forest vegetation. She has experience in botanical research, teaching, development of museum outreach programs, and museum administration. For the past three years, Ms. Munn has participated in the annual "Power of Chocolate" program of the National Museum of the American Indian, and has made guest appearances in local and national radio programs, including NPR, to discuss the botany of Theobroma cacao–the tree that produces chocolate–and the rich cultural history of its use in pre-Hispanic Mexico.
Ms. Munn has worked for several research institutions, including the Instituto de Ecología in Veracruz, Mexico; the Instituto Politécnico Nacional in Oaxaca, Mexico; and the Missouri Botanical Garden. She currently serves as Special Assistant to the Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History where she is responsible for board relations and strategic projects. Ms. Munn holds a B.A. in biology and art history from Smith College, an M.A. in botany from the University of Texas at Austin, and she is currently pursuing a certificate in Adult Education at Johns Hopkins University
“Pre-Hispanic Mexican Cuisine”
-Gregorio Luke, Historian
The Europeans who came to the Americas never imagined that the agricultural products they found here would be more valuable than gold. Products such as corn, tomatoes, tobacco, chilies, chocolate, vanilla and many others would forever change the world’s eating habits. Explore culinary practices such as eating grasshoppers and other insects that were common in Pre-Columbian Mexico and survive to this day.
This frequent Smithsonian lecturer, and an expert in Mexican art, is a former Director of the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, CA. He was the Consul of Cultural Affairs at the Consulate General of Mexico in Los Angeles, and the First Secretary of the Embassy of Mexico and head of the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, D.C.
About the Speaker
Luke has given over 700 lectures in museums and universities in Mexico and the United States. In addition to speaking at the Smithsonian Institution, he has given talks at institutions such as The Library of Congress, the San Diego Art Museum, the Detroit Institute of Art, and universities such as Harvard, Columbia, and Georgetown. He has a master's degree in film from American University in Washington, DC and a BA in Journalism from the Metropolitan University in Mexico City. In 1992, he received a Mayoral Citation for the District of Columbia for promoting Mexican Culture, and in 1995 he was conferred the Irving Leonard Award by the Hispanic Society of the Library of Congress. He founded ARCOS (Art in Communities and Schools), a non-profit organization whose mission is to bring arts to families living in low-income communities.
3580 Mission Inn Avenue
Riverside, CA 92501
Phone: (951) 826-5273
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8193 Magnolia Ave.
Riverside, CA 92504
Open Sept (1st weekend after labor day) to June.
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Last Tour at 3:15 pm
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