Monday, January 06, 2014

Remembering José Montoya

Daniel Olivas is feeling under the weather so I'm posting in his place with an announcement about an upcoming memorial event for the celebrated Chicano poet José Montoya, and a poem written in his style by Chicana poet, writer, teacher and performance artist Gloria Velásquez.

Manuel Ramos



Dolores Huerta and Edward James Olmos Among Friends to Pay Public Tribute

SACRAMENTO, CA – On Thursday, January 23, 2014, the children of José Montoya, Sacramento artist, poet, and activist who died at the age of 81 on September 25, 2013, will host an evening at Sacramento’s Crest Theater in commemoration of his life in a public memorial with tributes by the legendary Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers of America and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom; Luis Valdez, founder of El Teatro Campesino and writer and director of Zoot Suit and La Bamba; and Academy Award nominated and Emmy Award winning actor Edward James Olmos. Family members presenting include Jose’s sons - Poetry Unplugged founder, Joe Montoya, Jr., and Culture Clash co-founder and actor Richard Montoya, along with many others.

The literal translation of “la locura cura” is “craziness heals” and was coined by Montoya as a way to explain the unconventionally successful creativity of the RCAF, the Royal Chicano Air Force, a group he co-founded of Chicano artists- mostly professors and students who were and still are prolific Sacramento artists devoted to advancing social justice through visual and performing arts.
Many regional events throughout the nation have been dedicated to Montoya’s memory, and the family has been deeply touched by the tributes organized by artists, poets, community members, and former students. However, this free, public event planned in Sacramento is the only Montoya-family produced tribute event that will honor the memory of Montoya and his contributions in all of the many worlds in which he served including his early years in New Mexico, California’s Central Valley, the US Navy, his college life, teaching, and his activism.
WHAT: Montoya Family Memorial in Honor of José Montoya
WHO: Indigenous and Catholic Ceremony, Dolores Huerta, Luis Valdez, Edward James Olmos, Culture Clash members, Joe Montoya, Jr., U.S. Veteran Honor Guard, Circulo de Hombres, RCAF, Mariachi and more
WHEN: Thursday, January 23, 2014, 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

WHERE: CREST Theater 1013 K St. Sacramento, CA 95814

Gina Montoya: (323) 500-6516

Richard Montoya

From Gloria Velásquez:

After speaking at Roosevelt High School in Johnstown (CO), I was very inspired and so I wrote the following poem. The students were beautiful, reminding me of my long journey.....

Raza de Bronce

I saw their hunger today
lo vi en sus ojos
hambrientos por saber
que pueden superarse
que tienen valor
mis chavalitos en J-Town
Sentí su hambre
lo vi en sus caras morenas
My brown-eyed children
of the sun and the moon.

How many Poyitas were there
today dreaming as I once
did of becoming somebody?

How many Finis were there
soñando de ser alguien
de lograr sus sueños
so he could buy Mom
a house someday?

Hambrientos estaban
for my medicine
My Elder Words of Wisdom
orgullo y amor eterno as
I returned to Roosevelt High
to share my spirit
to speak my truths
Atrévanse a soñar les grité
Sean orgullosos por hablar
español y por ser mexicanos
or whatever you call yourselves
as Corky Gonzales once said
Dare to Dream like Gloria Velásquez
Atrévanse a brotar alas!
Vuelen alto mis chavalitos
Mi hambre es su hambre
El hambre de nuestra
Raza de Bronce

Written by Gloria L. Velásquez
November 25, 2013
Johnstown. Colorado

1 comment:

Mario Acevedo said...

Great tribute. Short but illuminating.