Saturday, July 27, 2013

Chicano series. Chicano arte. Insane cuts to all the arts.

East Los High, groundbreaking new series

Evangeline Ordaz puts the 'East Los' In East Los High as lead writer/producer for the groundbreaking new series just out on Hulu.

East Los High is not your typical high school. Dance, sex, romance, and mystery are at the heart of this inner city school in East LA where two teenage cousins—Jessie, a 16-year-old virgin and Maya, a troubled runaway with a violent past —fall in love with Jacob, a popular football player. From this forbidden love triangle, Maya, Jessie and Jacob, along with their close friends must face true-to-life decisions during a single dramatic and breath-taking year that will mark their lives forever.

Los Angeles, California (June 21, 2013) - As producer and head writer for the groundbreaking series East Los High, Evangeline Ordaz makes it her priority to put as much of her native East Los Angeles into the series as possible. This isn't always easy, given pressure to keep the show glamorous and the characters gorgeous to attract a broad audience. "After all," says Ordaz, "we're in Hollywood writing about East L.A., but I feel a responsibility to do justice to my experiences and to the experiences of the kids I know in East L.A."

East Los High Executive Producer Katie Elmore has been pleased with the outcome: "Amazing writing by Evangeline Ordaz, who made these scripts accurate, entertaining, brilliantly funny, and with some good advice."

Before she became a writer, Ordaz was an attorney working at the East Los Angeles office of the Legal Aid Foundation. She often represented high school and middle school students in discipline and suspension hearings. Ordaz still volunteers for Legacy L.A., a youth development organization serving the at-risk community of the Ramona Gardens housing project.

Evangeline Ordaz
As the only member of the writing and production staffs who is from East L.A., Ordaz brings the voice that defines the series. "The characters of East Los High are me or people I know," she says. "Lines the characters say are often lines straight out of the mouths of the kids I work with at Legacy."

Ordaz also incorporated real kids from East L.A. into the series and worked with kids at Legacy to develop content for the show's website. Ordaz wrote the pregnancy vlogs of the character Ceci with a girl who had been a pregnant teen. She even got some real students of East Los Angeles High School to write articles for The Siren, the newspaper run by East Los High character Soli Gomez.

It looks as if all this work to keep the show real has paid off. The day it premiered, East Los High was the most watched show on Hulu, and its episodes continue to be in the "Most Watched" category. On Hulu and the East Los High websites, commenters debate over the authenticity of the series. Some say the show is right on; others feel it fails to accurately portray all sides of East L.A.

"I welcome the debate," says Ordaz. "I know this show does not capture everything about East L.A. and, in fact, even gets some things wrong. My hope is that these comments challenge other writers and producers of content about the Latino community to respect the community enough to do the research to capture the true essence of that community. After all we, the Latino community, are not a monolith. We hail from different countries and different cultures; we Latinos are often as different from each other as Australians are from Americans. That's what makes our community so exciting to portray."

Bio: Evangeline Ordaz was born in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of East Los to a Mexican immigrant father and Mexican-American mother. After earning a law degree from Berkeley, she returned to East LA to work for the Legal Aid Foundation providing free legal services to low-income clients. Ordaz has worked in the areas of criminal appeals, corporate espionage, and slum litigation and was a human rights attorney in Mexico and Nicaragua.

She wrote and produced the gritty teen soap East Los High. She was also an ABC/Disney Television Writing Fellow and staff writer on the ABC show Eyes starring Tim Daly.

The Center Theater Group (Mark Taper Forum/Kirk Douglas Theater/Ahmanson Theater) recently commissioned Ordaz to write a play about Los Angeles. Other plays by Ordaz have been produced by the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Tucson's Borderlands Theater, San Jose's Teatro Vision, and Los Angeles' Company of Angels Theater and Cornerstone Theater Company. Her play Visitor's Guide to Arivaca: Map Not to Scale was the cover story of American Theater Magazine in 2006.

Taking the heart out of the nation

The Interior Appropriations Subcommittee sent a bill for FY2014 funding to the Appropriations Committee that includes only $75 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), a drastic 49% budget cut to an agency already reduced by 19% since 2010. 56 state and territorial humanities councils receive significant funding from NEH.  A cut of this magnitude would be devastating for their programs.  In fact, any reduction of NEH funding would mean the elimination of one or more K-12, family literacy, and other programs serving Coloradans. 

Urge your Congressional representative to contact colleagues on the Appropriations Committee today and encourage them to oppose the steep cut to NEH funding. Let your representative know that these programs are vital to your community's families, students, teachers, libraries, museums, and others. 

Such programs and partnerships help strengthen communities, prepare children to succeed, and engage people in civic life. NEH funding is very important to our strength and stability as a nation. With it, local groups leverage at least an equal amount of private support every year.

The American Academy of Arts & Sciences' Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences released a report, The Heart of the Matter: The Humanities and Social Sciences for a vibrant, competitive and secure nation. As one official put it, "Most of our wealth may come from technological advances over the past fifty or sixty years. But most of our character as a nation comes from the study and understanding of the humanities." You can watch this very moving seven-minute video that accompanies the report.

Please send a message today to support the humanities in the U.S.

{The link takes you to the advocacy page on the Federation of State Humanities Councils website. Fill out the form, which will automatically match your address information to your member of Congress. Review the message, which you may edit and bolster with talking points. Click on Preview to see the addressee and completed message.}

August 16, 11:00pm till August 17 at 8:00pm PDT

All Prints, Fine Art And Folk Art 30-60% Off! Two Days Only!           
Friday and Saturday, August 16 And 17, 2013, 11am-8pm
Local Art, Good Rolas and Fine Times Await!
Artists interested in participating please contact
2512 J Street, Sacramento, CA 916-436-6079
Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-8pm; Sun 11am-4pm

Es todo, hoy,

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