Xicano Latino Heritage Month Packed Full of Festivities


Xicano Latino Heritage Month Packed Full of Festivities
Tortilla Artist Joe Bravo stands with one of his works, “Checano,” acrylic paint on a tortilla, on display in the Bronco Student Center
Bravo signs copies of his artwork at Cal Poly Pomona on May 1.

Cal Poly Pomona will host a series of events in May to celebrate Xicano Latino Heritage Month. Sponsored by the university's Cesar E. Chavez Center for Higher Education and other campus organizations, events range from a mural tour of Los Angeles, a fiesta, film screenings and a variety of speakers.

The month kicks off with an artists' reception for Joe Bravo on Tuesday, May 1, noon, in the Bronco Student Center Exhibit Gallery. Bravo has become well-known for his innovative use of tortillas as his canvas. He uses the tortilla as a canvas because it is an integral part of the Hispanic culture and heritage.

For the subject matter of his tortilla art, he uses imagery that is representative of Latinos, conveying their hopes, art, beliefs, and history. Bravo's work has been recently featured in the Los Angeles Times and Food Network. Light refreshments will be provided.

Other events include:

Santitos, May 3, 8 p.m., Alamitos Residence Hall

This film received many international awards, including the Latin American Cinema Award at the Sundance Film Festival, where it had its premiere in 1999. It is the directorial debut of Alejandro Springall, and the screenplay is by Maria Amparo Escandon, based on her novel. It is about a bizarre journey from Vera Cruz to Los Angeles and back again, as the nave, childlike, widow Esperanza seeks to find out what happened to her daughter, and relies on supernatural visions to guide her. Her circuitous pilgrimage takes her through Tijuana, the world of prostitution, to the professional wrestling arena. Maria Amparo Escandon, the writer, will come to speak on campus on Thursday, May 24 from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. in Ursa Minor.

Queer Aztlan: Adelina Anthony, Tuesday, May 8, noon, Ursa Minor

Adelina Anthony, a Xicana lesbian and multi-genre artist, will address issues such as colonization, queerness, feminism, trauma, memory, gender, race/ethnicity, sexuality, and anti-migration. She believes access to a progressive education and transgressive art empowers individuals and communities to make healthy and life-lasting transformations. Anthony will present a mixture of stand-up comedy and readings of poetry and short stories to talk about the intersections of her various identities and experiences.

Multicultural Council Quarterly  Featuring Jesus Salvador Trevino, Wednesday, May 10, 6 p.m. until 9 p.m.

Jesus Salvador Trevino is an award-winning filmmaker, renowned for his pioneering films of the Chicano experience. His early documentaries such as Yo Soy Chicano, Raza Unida, and America Tropical and the television series he produced, such as Ahora! and Accion Chicano, helped to shape Chicano identity during the turbulent 1960s and 1970s.

A founder of Chicano cinema, he wrote and directed, Raices de sangre (Roots of Blood), which was recognized in 1991 by the Valladolid, Spain International Film Festival as one of the 25 most outstanding Latin American films of all time. He has won the Directors Guild of America award twice for best daytime drama, wrote and directed the American Playhouse drama Segun and has directed episodes of such television and drama series as NYPD Blue, Chicago Hope, The Practice, Dawson's Creek, Nash Bridges, Star Trek Voyager, and Third Watch. He served as one of the executive producers of Chicano! History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement, a four-hour documentary series for PBS, and he is the co-executive producer of the SHOWTIME drama series, Resurrection Boulevard.

Trevio's development as an activist and filmmaker is detailed in his engrossing memoir, Eyewitness: A Filmmaker's Memoir of the Chicano Movement, which details his coming of age during the peak of the Mexican American civil rights movement and how this contributed to his development as a filmmaker. This book will be sold at the event.

The Maria Guardado Story, Thursday, May 17, noon, Ursa Major C

Maria Guardado, an activist here in Los Angeles, was the focus of a documentary by local filmmaker and actor Randy Vasquez. Guardado will personally speak about her experiences during the 1980s when she survived kidnapping and torture by Salvadoran death squads before coming to Los Angeles.

Quermes, Thursday, May 17, 6 p.m. until 9 p.m., University Plaza

A Quermes is a fiesta with entertainment, food, and carnival-type games. Many villages in Latin American organize Quermeses to come together as a community and raise money fora particular cause. La Union organizations have decided to come together to raise money for student scholarships by selling traditional Latin American food.

The Distinguished Lecture Series Presents: An Evening With Author Maria Amparo Escandon, Thursday, May 24, 6 p.m. until  9 p.m., Ursa Minor

Maria Amparo Escandon will speak about her experience as a Latina author, experience migrating to the United States and how that has influenced her writing and views about her culture. She will also talk about her internationally recognized book, Esperanza's Box of Saints. Her books will be for sale during the event, and  she will do a book signing session after she speaks.

Los Angeles Chicano Mural Tour, Saturday, May 26, bus departs from Cal Poly Pomona at 10 a.m.

Chicano/a artists produced art in the streets as an alternative to art in traditional art galleries, which did not attract the larger community and which, at the time, did not exhibit Chicano art. Public murals became popularized because they were access ible and belonged to everyone in the community. Mural art in the Chicano community quickly became a way to capture a people's history and visually represent people's struggles for better futures. Heavily influenced by the Black Power Movement, Chicano muralist sought to demonstrate pride, cultivate an awareness of cultural identity, and empower the community. A young person walking down his/her neighborhood street was able to “read” a mural, taking away from it knowledge of his/her culture, history, and community struggles.

Sign up at the Cesar E. Chavez Center for Higher Education, there is limited space.

Closing Ceremony, Tuesday, May 29, 11:30 a.m., University Plaza

Come celebrate the closing of the 2007 Xicano Latino Heritage Festivities Month! This event will feature free Latin American cuisine lunch, and great entertainment.