A Little Salsa on the Prairie

Iowa at 30 Frames per Second

Highlighting the efforts of Iowa's video artists, "Iowa at 30 Frames per Second" features work streamed direct to your computer. The link below the thumbnail will launch a streaming video.

A Little Salsa on the Prairie, Video, 1:38 Excerpt, 2007

Writer Jody Swilky is a professor of English at Drake University in Des Moines.

A Little Salsa on the Prairie: The Changing Character of Perry, Iowa is a documentary that chronicle culture change.  Perry's Latino population went from 47 in 1990 to 1,873 in 2000, accounting for 24.5 percent of the total population.  This rural city is representative of many communities in the Midwest that experienced rapid ethnic diversification during the 1980s and 90s, primarily due to changes in the livestock and meatpacking.

Exploring the past, present and future of Perry, the film begins with a historical examination of the city, particularly immigration, ethnicity and industry, including the rise and fall of the railroad and the emergence of meat packing as the major employer in the 1960s.  It then looks at recent changes in the economy, society and physical environment that arose due to Latino immigration.

The film, produced in Iowa with funding from Humanities Iowa, the Iowa Arts Council, The Bock Foundation, Drake University, and private donors, was directed by Kent Newman and written by Jody Swilky.

This page was first displayed
on June 26, 2008

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