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Maria of “Sesame Street” is keynote for Hispanic Heritage Month

Sonia Manzano, best known for her role as Maria on “Sesame Street,” is the keynote speaker for Tidewater Community College’s Hispanic Heritage Month celebration. Manzano will speak on Oct. 1 at both the Virginia Beach and Norfolk campuses.

Manzano enjoys traveling the country on the lecture circuit, infusing humor into serious topics. She speaks about diversity, the impact of television on children, the empowerment of women, literacy and shares her immigration story.
TCC also celebrates the rich and diverse cultural traditions of Hampton Roads’ Hispanic-American community with activities on all four campuses.
All events are free and open to the public. The theme of all of TCC’s cultural activities and events for 2014-15 is “Changing America.”
“We chose to explore this theme because it encourages students to think beyond traditional categories such as gender, race, ethnicity and culture to better understand the impact that social movements have on life in the United States,” said Jeanne Natali, director of the Office for Intercultural Learning.
TCC’s events and activities, beginning Sept. 12 and running through Oct. 9, will explore this theme by recognizing the spirit and contributions of Hispanic Americans, not only in this community, but nationwide.
For questions, contact TCC’s Information Center, 757-822-1122. For campus locations, maps and driving directions, visit
Keynote: Actor and author Sonia Manzano
Wednesday, Oct. 1
Town Hall Q&A – Virginia Beach Student Center, Room K320, at 12:30 p.m.
Talk and book signing – TCC Roper Performing Arts Center, 340 Granby St., Norfolk, at 5 p.m. (reception) and 6 p.m. (talk and book signing)
Sonia Manzano, a presence on public television since the 1970s, is best known for playing Maria on “Sesame Street.” After 10 years as an actress, Manzano began writing scripts for the series and has 15 Emmy Awards as part of the “Sesame Street” writing staff. Manzano also wrote for the Peabody Award-winning children’s series “Little Bill” for Nickelodeon.
Manzano’s first picture book, “No Dogs Allowed!” was published in 2004. General Mills gave away 1.5 million copies of the book in boxes of Cheerios, as part of its Spoonfuls of Reading program. “No Dogs Allowed!” was turned into a musical presented by the Actor’s Playhouse at the Miracle Theater in Coral Gables, Fla., in 2006. Her second book, “A Box Full of Kittens,” was published in 2007. Currently Manzano is writing a blog for Catalina Magazine and working on a memoir.
Friday, Sept. 12, 7 p.m.
Dance the night away with friends, showing off your Latin dance skills. Event includes instruction by Jonathan Green from the Virginia Beach Steppers and light refreshments. Chesapeake Campus Student Center, Chesapeake Bay Room
Tuesday, Sept. 16, 11 a.m.
Hispanic Heritage Festival: Enjoy food and activities.  Outside the Virginia Beach Campus Student Center (rain location – 2nd floor)
Wednesday, Sept. 24, 6 p.m.
Test your knowledge of Hispanic heritage facts with the Thinkfast game show. Special guests include exchange students from Denmark. Chesapeake Campus Student Center, main multipurpose space
Wednesday, Oct. 1, Noon
 Learn how to dance with a Latin flair and participate in a performance. Portsmouth Campus Student Center
Thursday, Oct. 9, 4 p.m.
Hispanic Heritage Festival: Enjoy food and activities. Norfolk Campus Student Center, 5th floor