March 26, 2004

César Chávez Honored through programs and events:

Seminar Series, Chicana/o Visual Culture, to Begin April 2 at UCSD

Chicana/o Visual Culture, a five-part seminar series on Chicana/o art, will be held beginning April 2 and continuing on consecutive Fridays from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. through April 30 in the Women’s Center at the University of California, San Diego. All events are free and open to the public.

The seminar series is part of month-long activities at UCSD during April celebrating the life and accomplishments of Chicano civil rights leader César E. Chávez whose birthday is March 31.

The April 2 seminar kick-off will include the opening of an art exhibition, the debut of the Chicana/o Art of San Diego Catalog, and an Artists of San Diego Roundtable. The catalog is a record of local Chicana/o artists compiled by UCSD students in the undergraduate course, Chicana/o Visual Culture, taught by Olga Vasquez, an associate professor in the UCSD Department of Communication. The art exhibition will include the work of artists featured in the catalog and will be on view through April in the Women’s Center and in the Department of Communication.

“For students to understand the theorizing of an art that sought to make visible, empower, and historize a community, I sent them out into the community to speak directly to artists whose creations spoke to the sentiments enscribed in the discourse of Chicana/o art and the Chicana/o movement,” Vasquez said. “We discussed their interviews in class and brought in artists and scholars,” including Mario Torero, Salvador Torres, and Alicia Arrizón, to speak.

In compiling the catalog, the students “learned first hand the issues surrounding exhibition, promotion, and dissemination of Chicana/o art,” she added.

Thirteen local artists will be featured in the art exhibition, 10 of whom will participate in the Artists of San Diego Roundtable, a discussion of Chicana/o art, its goals, form, impact, and history.

On April 9, Roberto Tejada, assistant professor of art history, theory, and criticism in the UCSD Visual Arts Department, will speak on Loud Image: The Visual Tactics of Luis Gispert. Cuban-American artist Gispert works in photography, video, and three-dimensional constructions to activate a system of “loud” images - cheerleaders, bodyshop machinery, speaker boxes. With his art he asks the question: “What’s at stake in this image-making, and what does it have to say about U.S. American visual culture, Latina/o representations, and the international art world in the age of multi-culturalism?”

A photography historian and curator, Tejada researches 20th century image-making from the perspective of interdisciplinary discourses in Latin American and Latina/o studies, cultural and critical theory, literary studies, art history, and visual culture analysis.

Guisela Latorre, assistant professor of Chicana/o Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, will speak April 16 on Male Crisis: Masculinity, Power and Chicana/o Art. Latorre specializes in modern and contemporary Chicana/o and Latin American art.

“This critique of masculinity corresponds to a period in Chicana/o history when artists become increasingly self-reflective about their own relationship to the activism and ideals of the Chicano Movement,” said Latorre. She will discuss images such as Judy Baca’s representation of the Zoot Suit riots of 1981, Chicano artist Rubén Trejo’s irreverent and mocking series of the 1980s, and the recent work of queer male Chicano artists Alex Donis and Tino Rodríguez. The goal is to seek understanding of “the transformations and transmutations that Chicana/o artistic development has undergone from the early 1970s to the turn of the millennium.”

Alicia Arrizón, associate professor of Women’s Studies at the University of California, Riverside, will speak April 23 on Performing Space and the ‘Native’ Body in Chicana/o Art. She will discuss the work of Chicana artists and intellectuals dealing with the idea of mestizaje and the ways it has influenced transculturation and interculturalism.

Arrizón is the author of Latina Performance and co-author of Latinas on Stage. Her academic interests are in contemporary cultural and performance studies, with a strong commitment to the interdisciplinary approach to the study of race and ethnicity and their interchange with gender, class, and sexuality.

The April 30 seminar finale will feature Tomás Ybarra Frausto, associate director for Creativity and Culture at the Rockefeller Foundation. He will speak on The (Re) Generation of Chicana/o Art.

Frausto said he will juxtapose “a group of Chicana/o artists from the Civil Rights (El Movimiento) period with selected artists from the present generation. The aesthetic, social and political programs of both cohorts [will be] examined within the context of multi-cultural America ... As Latinos become the largest ethnic minority in the country, their imaginations are envisioning a new millennial America.”

Prior to joining the Rockefeller Foundation, Frausto was a professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Stanford University. He has served as the chair of the Mexican Museum in San Francisco and on the Smithsonian Council, and has written and published extensively on Latin American and U.S./Latino cultural issues.

For further information on the seminar series call (858) 534-6862 or visit UCSD’s César E. Chávez website at http://blink.ucsd.edu/go/chavez.


MIRA MESA -- On Friday, March 26, from 6:30-8 p.m. at Miramar College, Esther Chávez Cano, Director of Casa Amiga in Ciudad Juarez and advocate of women's rights in Mexico, will speak through an interpreter about the more than 300 young women who have been found murdered and mutilated in and around Ciudad Juárez over the last ten years.

Admission to the Miramar College Evening with the Experts: "The Ciudad Juárez Tragedy" is free. Chávez Cano will also appear at the Mission Valley Library at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 27. Events are co-sponsored by the Miramar College Student Chapter and the Hillcrest and Scripps Ranch chapters of Amnesty International, Amnesty International's Stop Violence Against Women Campaign, United National Association Women's Equity League and International Museum of Human Rights. For more info, contact Kathy Smith at (858) 578-9207.


San Diego César E. Chávez Commemoration Committee Announces its Annual Breakfast & Parade

The César E. Chávez Commemorative Events (CECCE), will honor the late United Farm Workers founder and civil rights hero with a series of events throughout the region, including the 6th annual César Chávez Breakfast and Parade. March 31st is a state holiday in honor of the man who along with Dolores Huerta founded made it his life work to organize farm workers to attain livable wages and humane working conditions.

César E. Chávez once said, “A lasting organization in one in which people will continue to build, develop and move when you are no longer there.” To honor his life, spirit and this year’s commemorative events will all share a common theme, “Continuing to Build, Develop, and move.”

On April 3rd the CECCE will once again hold its annual parade in Barrio Logan where various organization, community service groups, bands, schools and others will parade down César E. Chávez Avenue & Imperial Avenue ending with a celebration at César Chávez Park. 

On April 9th the César E Chávez CECCE annual breakfast will take place at the San Diego Convention Center, where once again thousands will gather to pay tribute to the revered leader. “César not only was the light that showed the way to human rights and dignity to thousands of farm workers, but his legacy lives on as he has inspired millions with his non-violent leadership and inspiration,” states Pedro Anaya of National Council of Community and Justice and chair of this year’s breakfast and parade.

The breakfast will also recognize the winners of the annual César E. Chávez high school (9-12) essay contest as students tell the story of what César E. Chávez would want you to make a difference of if he were alive today. Added this year will be a youth multi media contest.


San Diegans to honor local Chicano singer on César E. Chávez Day

On Wednesday, March 31, ybarracompany is celebrating César E. Chávez’s birthday by hosting The 1st Annual César E. Chávez Music Festival to honor Ramon “Chunky” Sanchez, whose music Chávez loved. The purpose of the event is to raise funds to reward Chunky, who is recovering from surgery and has always supported the farm worker movement with his music.

“My grandfather (César) had a great appreciation for all kinds of music, and especially loved Chunky’s music,” Chávez’s granddaughter Barbara Chávez Ybarra said. “Chunky’s commitment to my grandfather and the farm worker movement has been invaluable. Chunky and other musicians often were called upon to keep spirits high and empower people. Now is our turn to give back to the musicians of the movement and honor their legacy.”

Raised in Blythe, Chunky was the child of farm workers and first met Chávez in his hometown. Chunky’s self-described “Southwest-Chicano-Barrio Folklore” music has celebrated the farm worker movement since the 1960s. Chávez asked him to sing and perform the farm worker movement songs at numerous events. His musical career has included collaborations with La Rondalla Amerindia with Jose “Pepe” Villarino, and Los Alacranes of San Diego, which was founded by Chunky and his brother Ricardo in 1977. A local Chicano icon, Chunky, has recorded with Joan Baez and been characterized in national productions by Culture Clash.

Chunky’s first original Latino hit “Chicano Park Samba” was a musical tribute to the famous Logan Heights Community Park takeover on April 22, 1970. Therefore, when the San Diego City Council decided to change the name of Crosby Street to César E. Chávez Parkway, alongside Chicano Park, was fitting because of the community pride and activism Chávez inspired in San Diego and perhaps an indirect homage taken from one of his biggest supporters, Chunky Sanchez of Chicano Park.

“Creating an event honoring Chunky was a natural response because of his many years of community work and to celebrate how Chunky supported my grandfather’s legacy through his music,” Barbara said. “We want to recognize musicians my grandfather loved by hosting a musical tribute to one of his favorite musicians. Our hope is this festival becomes a growing annual event celebrating the music my grandfather loved.”

WHO: Ramon “Chunky” Sanchez and Los Alacranes, Pepe Villarino y Los Roman-ticos, Neighborhood All Stars, Irma “Cui Cui” Rangel, Lorenzo Martinez, Peace by Peace, and Quino from Big Mountain.

WHAT: The 1st Annual César E. Chávez Music Festival, A Chávez Tribute to Chunky.
WHERE: Blanca’s Fiesta and Banquet Hall, 1770 Palm Avenue, Imperial Beach
WHEN: Wednesday, March 31 from 6 to 9 p.m.

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