Saturday, January 21, 2012

Chicano Studies attack debated. Denver artist dreams while awake.

This past Thursday, Bloguista Ernesto Hogan compared right-wing attacks on everything mexicano to performance art, at its worst. The American way of ruling this country is attacking us: profiling us on the streets, dumping any affirmative action, trying to eliminate Chicano Studies in its many forms, deporting Dream citizens, banning books that tell our country's overall history, and recently attempting to resurrect (anti-)voting rights laws. For the moment at least, it's not illegal to have Spanish surnames, but maybe that too is in a subcommittee somewhere.

For those of you who missed it, PBS station Democracy Now! aired a debate this week between Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal and Richard Martinez, the attorney representing teachers and students trying to save Mexican American Studies in Arizona public schools. Democracy Now! seems to have recently widened their reporting to include "the other side," possibly due to some of the same pressures described above (my own conjecture). But at least it features latino journalist Juan Gonzalez who works to add "our" perspective to its reporting.

Banning of books, censorship of viewpoints is not just totally undemocratic; it's threateningly fascistic, especially when we realize that the Arizona powers-that-be-in-control want Paolo Freire, Rudy Acuña and even some of Shakespeare eliminated from specific curricula--ours. To better understand (and be able to join the debate over) the threat to public access to the diverse history and literature of the U.S., click below to check out the full transcript.

Democracy Now!'s intro:

"Public school officials in Tucson, Arizona, have released a list of seven books that can no longer be used in classrooms following their suspension of the district’s acclaimed Mexican American Studies program. Last year, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal ruled the program violated a new state law, saying it "promote[s] resentment toward a race or class of people." "If all you’re teaching these students is one viewpoint, one dimension, we can readily see that it’s not an accurate history, it’s not an education at all. It’s not teaching these kids to think critically," Huppenthal says, "but instead it’s an indoctrination.

"[Democracy Now!] hosts a debate between Huppenthal and Richard Martinez, the attorney representing teachers and students trying to save the Mexican American Studies program."

Go here for the full text of
Debating Tucson School District’s Book Ban After Suspension of Mexican American Studies Program.

Exhibition Opening at Museo de las Americas presenting
Why Not...

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Denver, CO - Museo de las Americas presents the spring exhibition, Why Not.... This exhibit is a retrospective of Denver artist Daniel Luna whose distinct style has captivated and charmed audiences all over the world. When asked about the intent behind his work, he says, "what I want is for a moment to share the beautiful magic of dreaming while awake."

All of his paintings have a story behind them, and capture a moment in time, an experience. Daniel presents his visions to us in a way that juxtaposes the everyday with imagination, and forces the viewer to accept the possibility of existence.

There is no other artist in Colorado that can claim to be a "Regional Mythologist." Daniel Luna's paintings of chickens crying over a frying pan full of eggs or a native woman holding a toaster to roast watermelons will remind you of a magic that reality holds within our dreams.

Join us for a night of illusion, featuring a performance by Opera Colorado from Florencia en el Amazonas.

A public reception will be held on February 2, 2012 from 7-9 p.m.; members' preview 6-7pm.

Exhibition Programming:
April 19 Conversacion Contacto with Daniel Luna – 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Exhibit runs through May 28, 2012.

About the Museo de las Americas:
Museo de las Americas (Museo) is the Rocky Mountain region's foremost museum dedicated to educating its community about the diversity of Latino Americano art and culture from ancient to contemporary. The Museo presents exhibitions and education programs that offer new views on Latin American art, advances the role of Latino artists in the global cultural dialogue, and is a cultural hub for the local, national, and global community. The museum is centrally located in the historic Santa Fe Arts District – one of Denver's oldest Latino neighborhoods – at 861 Santa Fe Drive. For more information, please visit: or contact: Tessa Harvey; Museo de las Americas (303) 571-4401 ext. 25.

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