CSRC Newsletter - March 2011
Volume 9, Number 7
From the start, Self Help Graphics has had a profound and significant cultural impact not only in Los Angeles but also in California and throughout the nation. In November 1972 Self Help—and the Galaría de la Raza in San Francisco—initiated the first organized observations of Day of Dead in the United States. Through these two community-based efforts, a Mexican tradition rooted in Mesoamerican indigenous cultures developed into a distinctly American urban artistic and community-building tradition. Self Help Graphic’s Barrio Mobile Art Studio (1975-1985) represents the most successful and influential program designed for outreach into the local community through art. Self Help Graphics has provided a much-needed venue for underrepresented cultural events and performances, especially for East L.A. musicians who once were often denied access to other venues in the city. Its music space, The Vex, served as a catalyst for the emerging and unique East L.A. punk scene, which was rooted in Chicana/o art and political activism. Since the early 1980s Self Help Graphic’s atelier program has introduced Chicano art into local homes, museum collections, and international exhibitions. It is a vital entry point for a multiethnic and multigenerational cohort of artists, and it offers a place where now prominent artists can contribute to the community. This program has served as a model for art-based community making across the United States and around the world.
"Self Help Graphics & Art is a movement, not a building," says Executive Director Evonne Gallardo. "While we love and respect the heritage of the César Chávez building, our move is inspired by a legacy of resiliency and independence that started with Sister Karen." Next month, Self Help Graphics starts a new era in its history, but it continues a venerable and necessary tradition of serving the eastside community through the arts. We congratulate Self Help Graphics as it enters its fifth decade and continues to advance its mission. And we urge our readers to show their support by visiting Self Help Graphics at their new site! Once again, history is being made..
In a presentation at Los Angeles City Hall on February 25, Councilwoman Jan Perry recognized the CSRC and UCLA’s three other ethnic studies centers for their forty-year history and outstanding work. Councilwoman Perry presented each of the ethnic studies centers with proclamations. For a video clip of the event, visit the Los Angeles City Council website.
Chon A. Noriega, director of the CSRC, is this year’s recipient of the Outstanding Latino/a Cultural Arts, Literary Arts, and Publications Award, presented annually by the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education. Dr. Noriega will be honored on March 5 in San Antonio, at the association’s annual conference.
Carlos M. Haro, a CSRC postdoctoral fellow and former assistant director of the center, has been elected chairman of the board of directors for Beverly Hospital in Montebello. A board member for the past three years, Dr. Haro is familiar with the mission and vision of Beverly Hospital and plans to ensure that the hospital’s administrative team has the skills needed to advance that mission.
On February 15 Barack Obama awarded Sylvia Mendez, a civil rights activist of Mexican and Puerto Rican descent, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 1946, as an eight-year-old, Ms. Mendez was one of the plaintiffs in Mendez v. Westminster, the landmark desegregation case that ended de jure segregation in California. The Mendez case was a precursor of later court cases, including Brown v. Board of Education. Ms. Mendez spoke at a one-day symposium about the Mendez case hosted by the CSRC in 2004. Details about the symposium are available on the CSRC website. An article about the landmark case, Mendez v. Westminster, can be found here.
Congratulations to Jennifer Rose Najera and her husband, Joseph Sepulveda, on the birth of their daughter, Eliana Rose Sepulveda. Eliana, the couple's first child, was born on February 18. Dr. Najera is an assistant professor in the Department of Ethnic Studies at UC Riverside and the CSRC’s IAC Postdoctoral Fellow for the 2010-11 academic year. We send the family our best wishes!
Exhibition on L.A. Topography
Sandra de la Loza, artist and a CSRC collaborator, is one of the artists featured in The Plains of Id: Mapping Urban Intervention in Los Angeles. The exhibition will be on display from March 3 through April 17 at the University Art Museum, California State University, Long Beach. The Plains of Id presents contemporary artists whose sociopolitical performance art focuses on a specific area of Los Angeles. Other artists in the exhibition are Patrick “Pato” Hebert, Joel Tauber, and the artist collective Fallen Fruit (David Burns, Matias Viegener, and Austin Young).
“Obese City” is a five-part media and education project, co-sponsored by the CSRC, that will examine the causes and ramifications of obesity in the Latino community. The main component of the project will be a ninety-minute documentary directed by Roberto S. Oregel and produced by Mr. Oregel and Sergio Mortara. Chon A. Noriega, director of the CSRC, is a co-producer and academic advisor for the project. The film, which will be completed in the summer of 2012, will record the activities of three obese L.A. Latinos for one year. Public screenings of the film will be followed by bilingual discussions with the filmmakers and heath and nutrition experts. A shorter version of the documentary, with a study guide, will be available for middle and high schools. Another component of the program will offer area youth the opportunity to create and share short videos about the effects of obesity on their lives and communities. An interactive website will offer health information, links to reports and Internet resources, and a forum for individuals in the community. More information about the project is available on the project’s website. In 2008 the CSRC partnered with Mr. Oregel to produce Casa Libre/Freedom House, a documentary about Casa Libre, an organization that assists unaccompanied undocumented immigrant minors in Los Angeles.
Opening at the Fowler Museum on September 25 is Oscar Castillo: Icons of the Invisible. This exhibition will present the photographs of Oscar Castillo, who has documented L.A.’s Chicano community since the late 1960s. Mapping Another L.A.: The Chicano Art Movement, which opens on October 16, will explore the work of nine groundbreaking L.A. Chicano arts groups and organizations: Asco, Los Four, Self Help Graphics and Art, Mechicano Art Center, Los Dos Streetscapers, SPARC, Centro de Arte Público, Plaza de la Raza, and Goez Art Studio and Gallery. Oscar Castillo and Mapping Another L.A. are curated by Chon A. Noriega, CSRC director, and Terezita Romo and Pilar Tompkins Rivas, CSRC art project coordinators. Both shows are components of L.A. Xicano, a set of four interrelated exhibitions organized by the CSRC. L.A. Xicano is part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time initiative. The Fowler Museum’s press releases are available on the CSRC website.
CSRC in the News
Chon A. Noriega, CSRC director, will participate in a panel presentation titled “California Museums Facing the Future: Tactics for Engaging a Changing Demographic” on Thursday, March 3, during the California Association of Museums (CAM) conference in Pasadena. Dr. Noriega will discuss the implications of a changing demographic landscape with a burgeoning Latino majority and approaches for engaging an increasingly diverse population. The three-day conference begins on Wednesday, March 2, at the Hilton Pasadena. For more information please visit the conference website.
“New Majorities, Shifting Priorities,” a conference presented by the UCLA Center for the Study of Women, will examine the challenges facing the fields of gender and sexuality studies, women's studies, LGBT studies, ethnic studies, and postcolonial studies. The CSRC is a co-host for the all-day event, which will be held in 314 Royce Hall on Friday, March 4. More about the conference is available on the CSW website.
“Ethnic Studies Now! at UCLA and Beyond,” a symposium focusing on the importance of ethnic studies, will be held on Monday, March 7, 2:30 p.m., in the UCLA Ackerman Grand Ballroom. Participants will discuss the challenges ethnic studies departments face, the movement for diversity in the general education curriculum at UCLA, and local and national actions to support ethnic studies. Panelists will include, from UCLA, Professor Grace Hong, women’s studies and Asian American studies; Professor Cheryl Harris, law and critical race studies; Naazneen Diwan, organizer for Todos Somos Arizona and a graduate student in women’s studies; Heather Torres, president of the American Indian Students Association; and students in the “Student-Initiated Retention and Outreach Issues” course. Joining them will be Professor Glenn Omatsu, a lecturer in Asian American and labor and workplace studies at California State University, Northridge; and Hector Fared, organizer for the Coalition for Saving Asian and Asian American Studies at California State University, Los Angeles. The symposium will conclude with a screening at 6:30 p.m. of Mountains That Take Wing: Angela Davis and Yuri Kochiyama—A Conversation on Life, Struggles, and Liberation, a documentary film by C.A. Griffith and H.L.T. Quan of QUAD Productions. The screening will be followed by a Q&A session. The event is co-sponsored by the CSRC and the UCLA’s other ethnic studies centers. All inquiries about the event may be forwarded to Suza Khy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The third annual ALMS conference will be held on May 13–15 in West Hollywood. Events will focus on the public, private, academic, and grassroots archives that collect and preserve materials from LGBT communities. The LGBT and Mujeres Initiatives, a CSRC project established to increase LGBT and women’s archival collections, will be among the archives that are featured. Sponsors include the CSRC, the UCLA Library, the UCLA Center for the Study of Women, ONE Archives, and the City of West Hollywood. For more information, visit the conference website.
CSRC Library and Archive
The renovation has been completed and the CSRC Library will reopen its doors on March 9. Until then, the collections continue to be accessible by appointment. For research assistance, or for scheduling an appointment, please contact the CSRC librarian, Lizette Guerra, at email@example.com.
The Garment Workers of Los Angeles Photograph Collection is now available on the UCLA Digital Library website. The photographs were taken in 2004 by Chelsly Hauge for a course at Pitzer College led by Maria Angelina Gutierrez de Soldatenko. Students visited a sweatshop in the Los Angeles garment district, where they observed working conditions and spoke with laborers. The photographs document an area industry that is rapidly changing. The collection was donated to the CSRC in 2006 by the photographer.
The Westside chapter of the Association of Mexican American Educators will visit the CSRC Library on March 30. About a dozen teachers will explore the redesigned facility and CSRC’s archival collections. The visit is part of the CSRC’s effort to strengthen the relationship between UCLA and community educators.
The Nancy Tovar Murals of East L.A. collection, a set of photographs of iconic Southern California murals, will soon be available on the UCLA Digital Library website. The photographs, which were taken during the 1970s, represent a rare and fairly comprehensive survey of murals in East Los Angeles. Ms. Tovar, who was married to civil rights leader Rudy Tovar, was a great supporter of the Raza movement. She passed away in March 2010.
The CSRC is currently developing an online finding aid for the photographic works of Laura Aguilar; the CSRC is the repository for the collection. Ms. Aguilar, an internationally recognized artist, has been producing groundbreaking portraiture since the early 1980s. The Laura Aguilar Collection contains at least 30 linear feet of material. A video featuring the artist’s work, Laura Aguilar: Life, the Body, Her Perspective (volume 8 in the CSRC’s Chicano Cinema and Media Art Series), was released by CSRC Press in 2009.
Coming in early March to iTunes U are a number of videos filmed at CSRC events: “Latino Lawyers,” a lecture given in 2006; the 2007 Día de los Muertas memorial for Yolanda Vargas Retter, the former librarian of the CSRC; and events protesting the 2010 legislation that banned ethnic studies in Arizona schools.
The Spring 2011 issue of Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies will be mailed to subscribers later this month. In this issue, essays by Anna Ochoa O’Leary and Andrea J. Romero, Theresa Delgadillo, Ralph Armbruster, and Lydia French consider the role of Chicana/os and Latina/os in private, public, and political life. Among the topics they investigate are the impact of Arizona’s anti-ethnic studies bill on students’ self-esteem; the construction of the “ideal immigrant”; the community activism of Alice Greenfield-McGrath; and the pocha/o voice articulated in Sandra Cisneros’s Woman Hollering Creek. The dossier section continues the theme with an interview of Grace Montañez Davis by Virginia Espino and essays on women as activists and elected officials by Sonia Garcia and Marisela Marquez, Jason P. Casellas, and Dionne Espinoza. The artist featured on the cover and in the artist’s communiqué is Los Angeles artist Roberto Chavez.