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TAMPA HISPANIC HERITAGE, INC. 34th Annual Poster Award Celebration Congratulations to the winner of the 2020 Virtual Poster Contest – Ben Cardoso!

Presented by AdventHealth
Tampa, Fla. (September 18, 2020) – Tampa Hispanic Heritage, Inc. (THHI) is pleased to announce Ben Cardoso as the 34th annual THHI Poster Contest winner. Joan Garcia and Michael O’Connell placed second and third, respectively. The votes were calculated after four weeks of online voting in the event’s first-ever contest held virtually in light of the pandemic.

“We are excited to congratulate Mr. Ben Cardoso as our 2020 Virtual Poster Contest winner. Mr. Cardoso will be honored and recognized by having his painting become the visual representation of Tampa Hispanic Heritage, Inc. for an entire year,” said Dr. Rafael Fuentes, president of Tampa Hispanic
Heritage, Inc. “The painting showcases Tampa Bay’s rich Hispanic heritage and serves to kick off the start of Hispanic Heritage Month in Tampa Bay.”

Tampa Hispanic Heritage would like to thank the community for participating and casting their votes. In light of a challenging year, THHI hopes that the poster images inspire and uplift you. THHI encourages
you to continue celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month virtually and honoring this tradition.

A limited number of the winning poster prints will soon be available for the community free of charge. THHI is not able to offer cash prizes this year due to the pandemic.

Thank you to our generous sponsors: AdventHealth, Amgen, Tampa Bay Lightning, 92.5 Maxima, Rumba 106.5, Latin Times Media, and News Channel 8, Yusel Quesada – graphic design artist.

Special thanks to Gabe Pages, website designer.
For more information and to learn about sponsorship opportunities:
Adria Iraheta, Chair, Poster Contest | (909) 247-9783 |

Dr. Rafael Fuentes, President | (813) 732-6876 |
Ivan Mesa, Co-chair, Communications Committee | (813) 650-7621 |

Tampa Hispanic Heritage, Inc. 2020 Virtual Poster Contest
Ben Cardoso: The Children Are Our Future (1st place, acrylics on canvas)
Time to Complete: 2 – 2 ½ months – research and execution
Inspiration: I moved to the greater Tampa area nine years ago. As a Cuban American I am fascinated by
the Latino influence in so many different facets of life. I researched more specifically which were the
most significant areas and discovered that we have had representation and influence in:
• Gastronomy with many fine restaurants such as The Columbia Restaurant and many others catering to all
prices and tastes
• Cultural Centers with beautiful buildings like the Cuban Center etc., which help us maintain our culture yet
integrate into mainstream
• Music and the Arts as well as Leadership and Education where I included among others Tampa Hispanic
• Lastly on the top I included our children with the diversity of races and sex who are our future. I represented
different careers and technical areas. They are protected by the globe composed of all our flags.
Tampa Hispanic Heritage, Inc. 2020 Virtual Poster Contest
Joan Garcia: Generations Tampa (2nd place, oil on gallery wrapped canvas)
Time to Complete: 2 months starting with research, photographing the areas, developing the composition and finally painting.
Inspiration: Generations Tampa chronicles 30 years of Tampa Hispanic Heritage as well as five generations of the Garcia Family here in Tampa.

• Many of the local buildings depicted bring back memories of family members; Savino and Margaret were Board Members of Centro Asturiano, the minarets of the University of Tampa represent our son’s graduation and his grandfather’s attendance. An Ybor rooster can be found hidden in the greenery and reminds the family of the old Ybor City neighborhood and their grandmother’s backyard. Her father-in-law’s family were cigarmakers depicted by the Casitas. The Columbia was the place of many family gatherings as well as high school friends. The roses remind the family of a trip to Spain 40 years ago and the woman’s profile is similar to a beautiful young cousin. And finally, the bakery (now the home of the Ybor History Museum) reminds them of Savino’s daily trip to bring warm Cuban bread to the family for breakfast each morning. Recent events were the inspiration for the composition. While attending a dinner with friends at the Columbia Restaurant and watching the Flamenco Dancers a little girl in a red dress came from the audience and began dancing with the dancers. A few weeks later with the same friends, they went to see the monthly Flamenco Dancers at Spain, a restaurant in downtown Tampa. One of the dancers, dressed in white, had her young daughter with her, the young girl sat in her mother’s lap gazing up at her, at that moment the final pieces of the painting composition came to life.

Tampa Hispanic Heritage, Inc. 2020 Virtual Poster Contest | Page 4
Michael O’Connell: Ybor Alive (3rd place, mixed mediums)
Time to Complete: It took about 10 hours to create the finished piece.
Inspiration: Since I did not want it to look just like every other painting, I used stained glass works as my

• I drew a pencil sketch of the images until I had a layout that would allow each curve and lines to flow into the other. Once I had the layout, I used computer graphics to create the bold black outline of the image, similar to stained glass. I then, using several different canvases, painted and scanned in different color combinations to fill in the areas.

About Tampa Hispanic Heritage, Inc. (THHI)
Our mission is to promote, preserve, and celebrate Hispanic heritage in Tampa Bay.

THHI has been serving the community for 41 years (1979-2020) and is the
oldest non-profit Hispanic cultural organization in Tampa Bay.
THHI raises higher education scholarship funds for deserving students of Hispanic descent.

To learn more about sponsorship opportunities visit
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