Volume 9, Number 10
Welcome to the new normal in America. Last week, commenting on the hit teen-musical-comedy series Glee, GLAAD president Jarrett Barrios noted, “The story line with Santana struggling with her affection for another teenage girl, calling herself a lesbian but not knowing how to say that out loud yet, is one that hasn’t been told on a prime time network television show at any level.” Wow. I know what you are thinking: “There’s a Latina character on prime time!” Or, perhaps, “The president of GLAAD is Latino?” Yes, Santana, played by Santa Clarita’s own Naya Rivera, represents a story that has not been told before: not one about lesbian characters, or one about Latina characters, or even one about teens grappling with sexual-social identity while singing—although each is a major advancement in its own way. No, the untold story has to do with complex portrayals in which a single character stands at the intersection of social categories that are assumed to be discrete: gender, race, and sexuality. In that way, Santana not only seems “real,” as in the particular, but also broadly engaging and relevant, as in the universal—just like Rivera herself, who grew up in and around Los Angeles and is Puerto Rican, African American, and German. Now consider Barrios. He was the first openly gay man elected to the Massachusetts Senate and the first Latino, too…. These are not separate things; they describe the same person. Okay, so I know what you are thinking now: “Of course, Chon. That’s just the nature of youth culture.” Perhaps that’s true, especially insofar as the Latino population is younger than other demographic groups on average and therefore constitutes a larger portion of the American population under thirty years of age. Well, then, let’s consider Los Tigres del Norte, which formed in 1968, the year before Barrios was born, and nineteen years before Rivera’s birth. Their latest album is MTV Unplugged: Los Tigres del Norte and Friends. MTV Unplugged, which started in 1989, showcases the acoustic talents of top artists, and its audience is the so-called MTV generation: youth in their teens and twenties. Los Tigres del Norte is not the first group of Latin performers on MTV Unplugged, nor is it the oldest group, but it is certainly the first group performing norteño music. And, like Glee, it is extraordinarily popular.
The old normal relied on strongly held binaries—male/female, straight/LGBT, white/colored, citizen/immigrant—that sustained an explicit social hierarchy. One side was placed above the other with regard to societal access, validation, and resources. Over time, and under protest, these binaries became the site of a professed tolerance for difference, a stance denoted by the terms multiculturalism and diversity. Yet the hierarchy between seemingly discrete categories remains in place. The new normal is a queer thing. It does not reject the social categories, just the sense of a stable ordering within and among them. In the new normal, Santana is the face of American teenagers, Barrios the voice of the LGBT community (and, earlier in his career, state government), and Los Tigres del Norte the latest group to unplug and show that music has no borders … en español.
Chon A. Noriega
Director and Professor
The CSRC has received a grant from the California Community Foundation to support public programming for Mapping Another L.A.: The Chicano Art Movement
at the Fowler Museum at UCLA. Among the events planned is a half-day symposium on Sunday, November 6, and a series of “undocumented events” throughout the fall that will be announced through social media. The exhibition, which opens in October, is part of L.A. Xicano,
a set four interrelated exhibitions developed by the CSRC for the Getty Foundation’s Pacific Standard Time initiative.
Artists involved with CSRC publications and current art projects are among those featured in Round Trip: Eight East Los Angeles College Alumni Artists,
an exhibition at the Vincent Price Art Museum
(VPAM) at East Los Angeles College. The show is one of several celebrating the reopening of the museum last month. Works by Gronk, Judithe Hernández, Willie F. Herrón III, John Valadez, and Patssi Valdez are on display now through August 19. The museum is located on the campus of East Los Angeles College (ELAC), at the corner of Avenida Cesar Chavez and Collegian Avenue. An article about the reopening is available on the KCET website
Visiting Scholar Honored
Alvaro Huerta, CSRC visiting scholar and PhD candidate in the Department of City and Regional Planning at UC Berkeley, has received the American Planning Association’s Advancing Diversity and Social Change Award in Honor of Paul Davidoff. A video recognizing Mr. Huerta’s accomplishments is available on the APA’s YouTube channel
. The UCLA Lusk School of Urban Planning recognized Mr. Huerta’s award earlier this year on its website
. Mr. Huerta received his MA in urban planning from UCLA.
Top Students Recognized
CSRC congratulates Los Angeles high school students who were recognized at the eighth annual Adelante Awards gala on Sunday, May 29, at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. The awards ceremony, which was founded by Councilmember Jose Huizar, honors the top culminating students from each school in Council District 14 (Eagle Rock, El Sereno, Highland Park, Boyle Heights, and parts of downtown). This is the second year that the CSRC has been a cosponsor for the awards program; the center provided 350 books, DVDs, and educational materials for the students and their families.
CSRC in the News
Art Along The Hyphen: The Mexican American Generation, one of four Chicano art exhibitions developed by the CSRC for the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time initiative, is the subject of an article that appeared online in Hispanic Lifestyle on May 26. The exhibition will open in September at the Autry National Center.
Andrea O’Reilly Herrera’s book Cuban Artists Across the Diaspora (University of Texas Press) measures the influence of home and history on artists like María Brito, who is featured in the CSRC’s A Ver: Revisioning Art History series. The book is listed in the New York Times’s Bookshelf for May 19.
Recent articles by Alvaro Huerta, CSRC visiting scholar, include “On the Record: What Will Be the State of the UC in Five to Ten Years?,” in The Daily Bruin; “Real Immigration Needed, Not Just Words,” in the Los Angeles Daily News; and “Here’s What It Takes to Help Disadvantaged Students Succeed,” in The Progressive.
PDFs of all articles are available on the CSRC website.
Self Help Graphics Reopening
Self Help Graphics & Art will celebrate its reopening on Friday, June 24
, 6:00–1:00 p.m., at its new location: 1300 East 1st Street in Boyle Heights. Chon A. Noriega, CSRC director, is a member of the event’s honorary committee. For more information about the reopening, send an enquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org
Rapidly developing demographic changes in the United States are the subject of “Re-Framing the Generational Divide: Baby Boomers vs. Young Latinos,” a briefing that will be held on Thursday, July 7
, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. The briefing will discuss how the United States will be affected over the next quarter century by the aging of the baby boom generation and the growing number of young Latinos. Making the presentation will be Chon A. Noriega, CSRC director, and Fernando Torres-Gil, CSRC faculty associate, who is the lead principal investigator for Latinos and Economic Security (LES), a national research project based at the UCLA School of Public Affairs and cosponsored by the CSRC. For more information about the briefing, contact Max Benavidez at email@example.com
Save the Date!
Participants in “Encuentros: Artistic Exchange between the U.S. and Latin America” will examine artistic encounters between Latin America and the United States from the nineteenth century to the present. The two-day symposium at the Smithsonian American Museum of Art will begin on Wednesday, October 5.
Presentations will consider how artists and artworks have crossed the border separating the United States from Latin America, creating new artistic dialogues. Chon A. Noriega, CSRC director, will be one of the speakers. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. For more information visit the Smithsonian American Art Museum website.
CSRC Library and Archive
Summer operating hours for the CSRC Library will be Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m.–noon and 1:00–5:00 p.m. For research assistance, please contact the CSRC librarian, Lizette Guerra, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Each year the CSRC participates in the Getty Multicultural Undergraduate Internship program. Internships are structured around current and ongoing CSRC archival projects in the arts. This year the CSRC welcomes Arthur Arciniega. Mr. Arciniega is from East Los Angeles and is currently a student at East Los Angeles College, where he studies photography and art history. He will be assisting staff with the arrangement, preservation, and description of the Adobe in L.A. Papers. We look forward to working with him on this important project, which is part of a larger initiative supported by the Getty Foundation to document materials related to the development of Latino art organizations in Southern California starting in the 1960s.
Over the past few months the CSRC has acquired several additions to its collections. The library recently received 3 additional linear feet of material from Father Gregory Boyle for the Homeboy Industries Papers. The large collection of photographs, artwork, correspondence, and organizational materials is related to Homeboy Industries’ outreach efforts. Maria Morales and Margarita Padilla donated an additional 8 linear feet to the Dionicio Morales Papers. These materials include realia and photographs documenting Mr. Morales’s career in the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation (MAOF). Researchers who wish to consult these collections may contact the librarian, Lizette Guerra, at email@example.com
Service Learning and Internships
The CSRC participated in a service learning program coordinated by the UCLA Department of Information Studies this past quarter. Kyoko Aoki, along with Linda Vera Rivas (a current CSRC volunteer and GSEIS alumni), helped create a finding aid for the American GI Forum of California Papers. Domonique Roberts helped us inventory and create an arrangement plan for the Mexican American Bar Association of Los Angeles Papers. Derek Christian Quezada digitized artwork from the Andy Zermeño Papers that will be uploaded to the UCLA Digital Library. The CSRC is also participating in the internship program coordinated by the UCLA Department of Information Studies. This quarter we had the pleasure of working with Albert Lowe, who helped us process and preserve the Tatiana de la Tierra Papers. During the summer Mr. Lowe will help us complete the collection’s online finding aid, which will be available through the Online Archive of California.
MALCS Summer Institute
This year the MALCS Summer Institute will be held at the California State University Los Angeles (CSULA) on August 3–7. Lizette Guerra, CSRC librarian, will participate in a panel titled “Chicanas and Latinas in Archives” with Romelia Salinas, CSULA librarian. The panel will be moderated by UCLA retired librarian Norma Corral. For more information visit the MALCS website
CSRC library staff will begin scanning a portion of the Thomas Benitez Papers this month. Thomas Benitez has worked in nonprofit arts education in Los Angeles for over thirty years. His donated papers include a comprehensive collection of gallery and show cards related to exhibitions by Chicana/o and Latina/o artists. Scanning the cards will allow the library to make the images available to anyone interested in researching the collection. The cards document the contributions that these artists have made to the cultural richness and diversity of Los Angeles.
With the help of MLIS graduate student Derek Christian Quezada, library staff is continuing to scan the Anthony Beltramo Collection of cancioneros, or song sheets. This is a gorgeous collection of popular Spanish-language sheet music from the early to mid-twentieth century. These cancioneros are beautifully preserved and very rare and will be an excellent resource for collectors and scholarly researchers alike.
Valverde Photographic Images
The CSRC is pleased to announce the establishment of The Richard Valverde Digital Image Collection. Richard Valverde—L.A.’s own Henri Cartier-Bresson (considered to be the father of modern photojournalism)—passed away in 1998. After his death, library staff, with the assistance of graduate student Elize Mazadiego, inventoried and scanned a large percentage of his work, but the center did not have a deed to the digital images. Thanks to the kindness and generosity of Espy Valverde, Richard’s wife, the CSRC is now able to display these photographic images for research and teaching purposes. This is of special significance since a considerable number of the photographer’s images will be included in MEX/LA: "Mexican" Modernism(s) in Los Angeles, 1930-1985,
a Pacific Standard Time exhibition that will open this September at the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach.
“CSRC Minute” Videos
Interviews with Dan Guerrero, Diane Arellano, Diane Rodriguez, Chantal Rodriguez, Jose Luis Valenzuela, Marlon Fuentes,Patssi Valdez, and Tomas Benitez and Rose Portillo
are now available on the CSRC’s YouTube site. The interviews were filmed during the launch event for The Latino Theatre Initiative/Center Theatre Group Papers,
recently published by CSRC Press. The book is volume 4 of The Chicano Archives series.
New A Ver Book
the sixth volume in the A Ver: Revisioning Art History series, will be available in July. In this first major book on Montoya, Terezita Romo offers a comprehensive exploration of the artist’s drawings, paintings, murals, and silkscreen prints, and she explores his social role as an educator, community member, and world citizen. The volume includes sixty color images and black and white photographs as well as an exhibition history and selected bibliography. Order Malaquias Montoya
online from the University of Minnesota Press
, the distributor for the A Ver series.
Watch for the release this fall of two new DVDs in the CSRC’s Chicano Cinema and Media Art Series: Amor Chicano es para Siempre (Chicano Love Is Forever) and Run Tecato Run.
Call for Articles
Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies
is currently considering submissions for 2012. Each issue of Aztlán
presents three different types of articles: peer-reviewed essays, thematic dossiers, and book reviews. All submissions are considered on a rolling basis and should be sent to our submission inbox at firstname.lastname@example.org
. For complete information about Aztlán
and the submission guidelines, please visit the CSRC Press website. To ask questions or discuss ideas with the journal’s staff, please contact Assistant Editor David O’Grady at email@example.com