Tag Archives: Latino arts

Love for Latino arts

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There was lots of love for Latino arts at the August First Fridays event in Phoenix as dozens of folks explored artworks by local Latino artists exhibited at the Arizona Latino Arts & Cultural Center situated near Symphony Hall.

The most adventurous took in the gift shop, event room and gallery spaces near the front of the center — but also followed the “more art” signage spray painted on the concrete floor near the back of the venue, which leads to working and exhibit spaces filled with larger works, works in progress and other fun finds like art created with black milk crates and hung on the wall of a room where even the floor is a work of art.

The Latino Arts and Cultural Center is a fun exhibit space for children. Many of the works are bright and colorful, the gallery is small enough to feel cozy rather than overwhelming, and the artists I meet there are always friendly and engaging. The center is located in an area that’s fun to explore by foot or light rail.

Head to ALAC Fri, Sept. 7 from 2-6pm if you’d like to join the 8th anniversary celebration for Latino Perspectives magazine, which follows the Valle del Sol “Profiles of Success” event taking place from 10:45am-2pm at the nearby Phoenix Convention Center.

Or hit the center at 6:30pm to enjoy performance by Primavera Folklorico Dance Company. Folks who hit next month’s “First Fridays” at ALAC can also enjoy a new exhibit of works by artists Christina Cardenas and Esperanza Gama called “Celebrando Nuestra Cultura.”

Learn more at www.alacaz.org.

– Lynn

Note: Click here to read Robert Booker’s “Why the arts matter in Arizona” in the August issue of Latino Perspectives

Coming up: Musings on awards speeches

Updated 8/25 to include news of Sept. First Friday offerings

Art as witness

3rd and 4th grade We are the World artwork exhibited at UUCP in Paradise Valley

As the Unitarian Univeralists open this year’s general assembly in Phoenix, they’re readying for tonight’s parade of banners made by participating congregations. I’m told that many feature some real artistic flair. And that another event, open to the public, takes place later this evening.

It’s a public rally dubbed “Arizona Immigration Ministry Witness: Turning the Tide from Fear to Human Rights” — happening at 9:30pm outside the Phoenix Convention Center. Hundreds of Unitarian Universalists and social justice advocates are expected to attend.

Several people are scheduled to “speak out against human rights abuses in Arizona that are being replicated across the country, including racial profiling, mass detention and deportation, militarization of the border, and anti-immigrant laws” — including Rev. Peter Morales, president of the Boston-based UU Association.

We are the World artwork by 3rd and 4th graders at the UU Congregation Phoenix

Also Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray of the UU Arizona Immigration Ministry, Salvador Reza of the Committee for the Defense of the Barrios, Pablo Alvarez of National Day Laborer Organizing Network and representatives of the SOMOS coalition. Frederick-Gray leads the UU Congregation of Phoenix, where I found the artworks featured in this post.

I first learned the 2012 general assembly was coming to Phoenix while chatting a while back with Arizona playwright James E. Garcia, whose theater company is perfoming as part of the event. Garcia founded New Carpa Theater Company, which focuses on Latino and multicultural theater works, in 2002.

New Carpa Theater Company performs “(In)Justice: A Short-Play Festival” Fri, June 22 at Civic Space Park. Expect “monologues, play excerpts and performance pieces” presented in English and Spanish. It’s part of the UU’s “Community Celebration with Partners,” which also features music by Emma’s Revolution.

The Unitarian Universalist Congregation Phoenix sanctuary is often filled with artwork.

Many of the 5- to 10-minute plays feature themes inspired by the civil rights movement, the United Farm Workers Union (celebrating its 50th anniversary this year), and contemporary social justice and human rights issues.

I spent some time reviewing their five-day agenda this morning, eager to find items with an arts and culture twist. I found several “Music and Justice” sessions and exhibitors specializing in chalice art (the chalice is a shared symbol for UU congregations). Also plenty of choral singing.

A “Dance of Universal Peace” takes place one morning in a ballroom at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix located near the convention center. That baby features dance “using sacred phrases, music and movement from the world’s traditions.” Sounds almost as fun as the dance I watched Kids Kamp children practice in the UU Phoenix sanctuary this week.

Want to know how a child views the world? Have him or her draw a picture.

José Torres-Tama performs “Aliens, Immigrants, and Other Evildoers: The Latino Immigrant Experience” Friday afternoon. It’s “a bi-lingual, Latino noir, solo performance chronicling the current rise of hate crimes against Latino immigrants.” A discussion of related themes will follow.

There’s also a screening of Ruth Leitman’s “Tony and Janina’s American Wedding,” which follows “a Polish family separated by deportation and their struggle to be reunited in the United States.” And several immigration-related gatherings to which the public is invited. Folks can click here for details.

– Lynn

Note: The American Humanities Festival comes to Civic Space Park in Phoenix on Nov. 3 — click here to learn more.

Coming up: Helping at-risk youth experience live performance, James E. Garcia talks playwriting and social justice

Art meets Americas

It’s the inaugural year of a biannual festival presented by the CALA Alliance — which champions the importance of Latino art and culture, from both North and South America, to Arizona.

Alliance partners include the Arizona Latino Art and Cultural Center (ALAC), which has an exhibit and performance venue called “Galleria 147″ just across the street from Symphony Hall in Phoenix. Also XICO, which promotes Chicano artists. And Chicano Por La Casa (CPLC), which works to empower families in economically deprived communities.

Teatro Bravo presents a play about Frida Kahlo as part of the fall CALA festival

“Celebracion Artistica de las Americas,” also dubbed the “CALA festival,” takes place at various venues Sept 16-Nov 6, 2011. Its mission is “to create shared arts experiences that encourage cultural understanding between people of the Americas.”

Several arts and cultural organizations were selected through a jury process and given awards of various sizes to present their works during this fall’s festival.

These organizations include the Arizona Latino Arts and Cultural Center (ALAC), the Children’s Museum of Phoenix, the Cultural Coaltion, the Desert Botanical Garden, the Heard Museum, the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM), the New Carpa Theater Company, the Phoenix Art Museum, the Phoenix Boys Choir, the Scottsdale Cultural Council, the Scottsdale International Film Festival, Teatro Bravo! and XICO.

Festival offerings will include visual art, theater, music, film, dance, poetry and more. Many include experiences and hands-on activities for youth. Two educational initiatives, supported by Target (the festival’s presenting sponsor), are expected to reach thousands of Valley school children.

Phoenix Art Museum docents will read a book about artist Diego Rivera to students who will then get to take home their own copy of the book. They’ll also create their own mural. Childsplay will perform “The Sun Serpent” by Jose Cruz Gonzeles for students, some of whom have never before experienced live theater.

Children. Creavity. Collaboration. Community.

Cool.

– Lynn

Note: Learn more at www.calaalliance.org. Head to “First Fridays” at ALAC Fri, Sept 2, for a 6pm-10pm line-up that includes visual artists Juan Chawuk and Carlos Navarrete, poet Maria Rodriguez-Pope, filmmaker Valeria Fernandez, dance group Ballet Folklorico Esperanza, musician Cisco Arvallo and a Teatro Bravo presentation of “Frida.” 

Coming up: Celebrating “Day of the Dead” arts and culture style, Orchestral dreams, Student discount alert!