Friday, February 20, 2015

Goodbye Mexico. Agustín Lira. Mango Street. Crystal Galindo. Penitentes. Tijerina. The Movement.

Book Launch
Goodbye, Mexico: Poems of Remembrance

Please join poets Carolyn Dahl, Margo Davis, Christa Forster, Elizabeth Humber, AM Krohn, Celeste Mendoza, karla k. morton, Martha Serpas, Loueva Smith, Sandi Stromberg, Melissa Studdard, Randall Watson, Patrick Allen Wright, and Sarah Cortez, Editor

3270 Westheime, Houston TX
February 28, 2015 2-4 p.m.
for a reading and book signing
in honor of
the poetry anthology hailed as
"A love song to Mexico"
Containing almost a eighty pages of poetry written by poets from two countries, this anthology honors the pre-cartel Mexico known and loved by so many. You'll hear from renown poet laureates and national award-winners, and from poets whose work deserves wider audiences. 

From the Publisher:
The varied and strong voices of accomplished poets reaching into memory and beyond nostalgia fill this volume. Whether the recollections are sharp or sad, hilarious or tragic, celebratory or condemning, the poems are generated by the desire to remember, to honor, or to document that which is no longer possible in Mexico, or, if possible, is no longer enjoyed with the youthful insouciance of the pre-narco era. 

Sarah Cortez, award-winning editor of Goodbye, Mexico says: “This entire volume is my tribute to Mexico and to the south Texas border culture of my Spanish-Native American-French ancestors who settled these lands generations ago already smitten by their wild beauty and blue-sky freedom."

Recent Texas poet laureates in the book: Alan Birkelbach, Jim Hoggard, karla k. morton, Jan Seale, Larry D. Thomas. Also included is the first Arizona poet laureate, Alberto Ríos.


Smithsonian Embraces Fresno Musician’s Songs of Chicano Movement

 From the Fresno Bee:

It’s ironic: Agustín Lira should have been born an American. His mother, a U.S. citizen, was illegally deported in the 1930s. Lira was born in Mexico and came to California as an undocumented migrant farmworker before becoming an activist.

The Fresno man’s experiences fuel his work, using art to talk about inequality. Despite the struggles — picking crops from age 7, growing up in poverty, being homeless for a while — he is on the brink of releasing an album of his songs from the Chicano movement of the 1960s for that most quintessential of American institutions, the Smithsonian.

Read the rest of the article here.


House on Mango Street at the National Museum of Mexican Art

Calling All Educators!
This spring the National Museum Of Mexican Art will present an exhibition inspired by the novel
The House on Mango Street by the accomplished Mexican-American author, Sandra Cisneros. The exhibition, like the novel, will highlight many of the issues facing adolescents growing up and will feature some of the major themes of the book, including: hope, personal dreams, disillusionment, family, community, home, identity, relationships, gender roles, and coming of age. The exhibition will open the evening of April 17 and run through August 23, 2015. Stay tuned for more information about the exciting activities we have planned around the exhibition. In the meantime, here's what educators should know about now.

Registration for School Tours Opens 
Monday, February 23
The Museum will offer special guided tours of the exhibition based on The House on Mango Street. We will begin taking reservations for the tours beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, February 23, 2015 by phone only. Educational tours will be offered from Tuesday, April 21 through Sunday, August 23, 2015. Please call 312-738-1503 x3842 to make a reservation. 

Opportunity for Educator Participation!
The Museum is developing a spring 2015 arts-integrated curriculum for middle through high school teachers based on  The House on Mango Street exhibition. It includes professional development, art materials, and a free field trip to the museum for your class. If you are interested in implementing this curriculum in your classroom this school year, please email Kristin at: 

Read more here:
National Museum of Mexican Art
1852 W. 19th Street
Chicago, IL 60608


Interview with Yaqui-Xicana Artist Crystal Galindo

As a Xicana, there are so many layers to what makes me who I am. Yes, as human beings we are complex creatures, but in our society there is no denying the inequalities and oppression that exists. We are bombarded daily with images and micro-aggressions telling us how unimportant we are. I had to really own and understand who I was to be able to accept and celebrate the complexities within myself. I am a brown, indigenous womxn. I am curvy. I can be seen as plus size by society’s standards of beauty.
Read the entire interview from Xica Nation at this link.  The site also has links to examples of this bold artist's bold art.

February 21-April 29, 2015; Tuesday-Sunday 10 am-5 pm
Opening Reception Saturday, February 21, 2:00 pm
National Hispanic Cultural Center, History & Literary Arts Building
1701 4th Street, SW, Albuquerque, NM
From the NHCC website:

This exhibit is based on the private collection and original art work of Ray John de Aragón and Rosa María Calles. De Aragón is an internationally recognized santero and writer.  Among his many books, The Penitentes of New Mexico (2006) recounts the history of the Penitente Brotherhood in the state, officially known as the Fraternidad Piadosa de los Hermanos de Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno, but also known as the Hermanos de la Luz.
Rosa María Calles, a renowned santera, artist, and writer, is also a playwright, theatrical producer, and theatre director who heads the theatre company Matraka, Inc.
The Hermandad, a religious confraternity that was once a vital part of religious and spiritual life in village New Mexico, is experiencing a revival today among Hispanic men and women across several generations. The Penitentes are best known for their ceremonies during Holy Week, on Good Friday, and leading up to Easter Sunday. In the past, members of the order have been demonized by the Catholic Church and sensationalized by American journalists. Now, allied with the church and carrying out their original works of charity, piety, and social service in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Penitentes are a fundamental part of New Mexican culture. 

This exhibit is unique in that it focuses on the little known role of women in this holy "brotherhood." Groups such as Las Carmelitas, Las Verónicas, and Las Auxiliadoras will be presented in retablos, photographs, paintings, and lectures as part of the exhibit opening. Also featured in the exhibit is the work of art photographer Craig Varjabedian, whose large format black and white photographs of moradas (chapels)-the site of Hermandad rituals and ceremonies-are among the best documentary work on the Penitentes in New Mexico. 

The exhibit opening is free to the public, but seating is limited. A reception and book signing will follow a lecture and performance by Ray John de Aragón and Rosa María Calles.  


Poetic Tribute to Reies López Tijerina

La Bloga friend Gloria Velásquez sent us the following poem that she wrote shortly after learning of the death of Reies López Tijerina.

Tijerina died in El Paso on January 19 at 88.  Although his legacy is mixed, there is no denying that his infamous raid on the Rio Arriba County courthouse in Tierra Amarilla, NM in 1967 was a turning point in the then-developing Chicano Movement.  
In a N.Y. Times article on January 27, Lorena Oropeza, a history professor at the University of California, Davis, and author of a coming book about Mr. Tijerina, said, “Probably no person did more to shift our understanding of the history of the American West from a celebratory tale of ‘manifest destiny’ to the now-prevailing notion of a ‘legacy of conquest’ than did Tijerina.”

“One way to think of Tijerina,” she added, “is that he led an anticolonial movement within the continental United States. With only a few years of elementary education, and then time spent in Bible college, he developed a devastating critique of the American empire at the height of the Cold War.

“To young people involved in the Chicano movement, moreover, he gave them not only a militant alternative to Cesar Chavez, but also an understanding of the long history of Spanish-speaking people in the American Southwest,” Professor Oropeza said."  The rest of the article is at this link.

Homenaje a Tijerina

Ya se fue King Tiger

con César y Corky,

Nuestro gran héroe

del Movimiento Xicano

Reies López Tijerina

who fought for our gente

y la tierra robada.

Yo era una joven Xicanita
at U.N.C. en Greeley
cuando vino a la clase
Tijerina to speak truths
about Nuevo México
y Xicano Civil Rights,
inspiring me to find
my own voice and power,
to become una Adelita
marching for La Causa.

Ya se fue King Tiger
con César y Corky
Y la historia de Nuevo México
la historia de Nuestra Raza
will never be the same.

Ya se fue Reies López Tijerina…

by Gloria L. Velásquez
January 19, 2015
San Luis Obispo, CA


El Movimiento and 1968


Denver's History Colorado Center recently opened its eagerly anticipated 1968 exhibit (February 7 - May 10.)  A key component of the exhibit is a separate program entitled El Movimiento: The Chicano Movement in Colorado.  The Center's website says:

History Colorado will open the exhibit El Movimiento: The Chicano Movement in Colorado on February 7, 2015, immersing visitors in the urgency, passion and vitality of one of Colorado’s most important social movements. In the 1960s and 1970s, Chicano activists in Colorado—an important center of the Chicano movement—fought to end discrimination, secure rights and gain political and social power through education, culture and the arts. El Movimiento uses artifacts, images, and the voices of Chicano activists to tell about the struggle for labor rights, the founding of the Crusade for Justice, student activism in Colorado schools, the Vietnam War, land rights, and other topics. Community advisors from across the state created El Movimiento in collaboration with museum staff. The Museo de las Americas will open a companion exhibit called CHICANO on February 12.

 In addition to the artifacts and displays, several presentations are planned. Here's a rundown of the programs from the Center's website (note these programs require paid admission):

Part Four: The Chicano Movement Yesterday and Today
February 24,  6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
History Colorado Center
1200 Broadway
Denver, CO

What was the Chicano movement about? How was El Movimiento shaped by Chicana/o identity?

What role did identity play in developing and sustaining the Chicano Movement? Is El Movimiento alive today, and if so what is its relationship to the current student movement on race and educational disparity?

Panelists include Tony Garcia,  Executive Artistic Director of El Centro Su Teatro; Al Gurule, past gubernatorial candidate for La Raza Unida; Ricardo Rocha, student at MSU Denver; Nita Gonzales, president and CEO of Escuela Tlatelolco; and Shirley Otero, co-founder of the Land Rights Council, an organization dedicated to regaining the rights for the heirs of the Sangre de Cristo Land Grant.
Moderated by Ramon Del Castillo, Chair of the Chicana/o Studies Department at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

Women of the Chicano Movement
March 1st, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Denver Public Library – Central Building
Level 5, Gates Meeting Room

In partnership with History Colorado’s El Movimiento: The Chicano Movement in Colorado exhibit, Dr. Priscilla Falcon, University of Northern Colorado, will speak about the women of the Chicano Movement in Colorado. The presentation will center on the National Floral Workers Strike in Brighton, Colorado, led by Lupe Briseno.

Organizing a Better Tomorrow: the Labor Movement
March 26, 6:00 p.m.
History Colorado Center

From the lettuce fields of the San Luis Valley to the Coors beer boycott, the collective voice of workers has always been heard. Join us as we examine the Chicano labor movement past and present. Panelists include Joe Juarez, chairperson for the Labor Council on Latin American Advancement (LCLAA); Cecilia Flores; and Ricardo LaFore. Moderated by Dr. Priscilla Falcón.

Journalistic Activism: A Photographic Journey Through El Movimiento  
April 27, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
History Colorado Center

Juan Espinosa’s four-decade career as a journalist began with the Chicano Movement. After a tour of duty in Vietnam, Espinosa returned to Colorado and joined the antiwar movement and then the Chicano Movement. As a founder of El Diario and cofounder of La Cucaracha newspapers, he photographed and reported on key events of the early ’70s, including El Partido La Raza Unida’s national convention, the United Farmworkers’ Grape Strike, the police attack on the Crusade for Justice and the early activities of the University of Colorado’s United Mexican American Students.

Student Activism: Then and Now
May 5, 600 p.m.
History Colorado Center

El Movimiento was fueled by the activism of young people. In March 1969, students marched out of West High School to demand better educational opportunities, prompting walkouts throughout the city. Watch clips from the film West High School March 1969: Blow Out!, followed by a panel discussion with participants, including Carlos Santistevan and Emanuel Martinez from the Crusade for Justice as well as today’s student leaders and activists. Moderated by Deborah Espinosa.

For more info, admission prices, other details, jump to here.

Reminder - as part of the CHICANO exhibit at Denver's Museo de las Americas, which is presented in conjunction with History Colorado's 1968 exhibit highlighted above, three authors talk about Movement literature and its impact on some of today's writers.

February 27 - Conversación Contacto, Literature of the Movimiento with Mario Acevedo, Flor Lovato, and Manuel Ramos 6:00-7:30 pm.
Museo de las Americas
861 Santa Fe Drive
Denver CO 80204
Phone: 303.571.4401


No comments: