April 11, 2000
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—"Una Velada Criolla," a gala evening of arts, music, poetry and video to help raise funds for the victims of last winter’s terrible floods in Venezuela, will be held at Buckley Recital Hall at Amherst College on Thursday, April 20, at 6 p.m. The event is free, although donations of $5 for the flood victims are encouraged. Venezuelan food and beverages will be available.

The evening will feature a performance by noted Venezuelan tenor and guitarist Andrés Algara, accompanied by Venezuelan guitarist Víctor Vélez. Another highlight will be the exhibition of paintings by Peter Granucci. Granucci has lived in Venezuela, where he served as a visiting professor at the University of Venezuela. Venezuelan arts and crafts will also be on display.

Although an accurate assessment of the death and destruction is impossible, authorities estimate that 10,000 to 30,000 people were killed in several days of rain that began in northern Venezuela last Dec. 15. Many of the victims were buried under mudslides or washed away by floods. About 150,000 people lost their homes, and roughly half the agricultural infrastructure was laid waste. Government officials say it may cost as much as $ 30 billion to rebuild the devastated areas.

"Una Velada Criolla" is sponsored by the Valley Advocate, the Amherst College Department of Spanish and Amherst College La Causa. For more information, contact Rosemary Weston Gill at 253-3441, rwestongil@amherst.edu.