CSRC Newsletter - April 2014
Volume 12, Number 8
The CSRC mourns the passing of close friend and strong advocate Stanley Grinstein. Not too long after I became CSRC director in 2002, Stanley asked to meet with me at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), where he was a trustee. From there he drove us over to Campanile for lunch. Stanley, a co-founder of Gemini G.E.L., was a legendary supporter of Los Angeles artists, and he regaled me with stories about that crucial moment in the 1960s when L.A. started to emerge as an arts capital (one, involving Miles Davis, qualified as mind-blowing). And he ordered us each a glass of a truly superb wine … for lunch! Stanley was amused by my surprise and reassured me with his personal philosophy: life should be enjoyed. Besides, it was just one glass.
Then he got down to business: he felt LACMA needed to be inclusive of the Chicano community, and toward that end he had put up funds for LACMA to acquire a complete set of prints from Self Help Graphics. Here in one person was a passionate commitment to two critical components to L.A.’s 1960s emergence as a vital arts scene—an elite sector grounded in a public infrastructure, and a community-based practice oriented toward social justice. For Stanley these were not—and should not be—extremes at odds with each other.
When Self Help Graphics closed in June 2005, Stanley was one of the first people I called, and he took part in a daylong retreat at UCLA with Self Help’s board of directors, sharing his experiences and offering his support. As CSRC director, I often turned to Stanley for advice. His guidance aided the development of the CSRC’s ongoing productive partnership with LACMA, the CSRC Press’s A Ver: Revisioning Art History book series, and the five L.A. Xicano exhibitions the CSRC organized for Pacific Standard Time. Stanley and his wife, Elyse, hosted an artist party for Phantom Sightings: Art After the Chicano Movement. And Stanley was an active member of the advisory group that helped transform the CSRC Library into a state-of-the-art facility.
But more than anything, Stanley was a friend. He was someone who was always upbeat, and refreshingly honest, too. One day when we met for coffee I noted that he had lost some weight, whereupon he responded in a gruff voice, “I’m rotting inside!” And with that the part of life we do not control entered into the part we do control—our conviviality. In fall 2011, when the CSRC’s L.A. Xicano shows opened across L.A., he attended the packed opening at the Fowler Museum at UCLA. It took him nearly two hours to make it through the galleries, not because he was slowed by a newly acquired cane he was still learning to use, but because everyone in the galleries knew him and wanted to pay their respects. In early 2012, we drove to the other exhibits at the Autry National Center and LACMA before joining Joanne Flores, Senior Program Manager at the Smithsonian, for a lunch at Ray’s that reminded me very much of my first lunch with Stanley ten years prior.
Last month, I spent ten days in Marseille, France, installing a Chicano art exhibit with two co-curators. It was an improbable effort that required hard and challenging work lasting as much as twelve hours each day. But to my surprise it was also extremely fun. I had not seen Stanley in a while and looked forward to telling him about the experience. As he said to me on a number of occasions, “I’ll support anything that is fun!” And now I understood what he meant.
Stanley Grinstein, presente!
Chon A. Noriega
Director and Professor
Richard Montoya, writer, director, and CSRC Community Scholar, discusses his experience acting in Cesar Chavez, his forthcoming film Water & Power (a Sundance Lab Project), and his hope for both films’ impact on the Chicano community and American culture, in the commentary “A Rare Moment and a Long Road for Chilango and Chicano Cinema,” posted on the CSRC website.
Chavez screening with panelists Luna and Rodríguez packs theater
The CSRC was pleased to hold an advance screening of Cesar Chavez on March 7 at the UCLA James Bridges Theater. More than 300 people attended the screening and various media outlets, including the Los Angeles Times and Telemundo, covered the event (see In the News). Now available for viewing on CSRC YouTube is a video of the opening remarks, panel discussion, and Q&A following the screening with panelists Diego Luna, director; Pablo Cruz, producer; Arturo Rodríguez, UFW president; and Héctor Calderón, professor of Spanish and Portuguese. Calderón organized this event with the CSRC. The co-sponsors were the UCLA César E. Chávez Department of Chicana/o Studies, the UCLA Department of Spanish and Portuguese, the UCLA Office for Diversity and Faculty Development, Melnitz Movies, and CANANA.
CSRC director to give keynote address at film festival and conference
CSRC director Chon A. Noriega will give the keynote address at the Indiana University Latino Film Festival and Conference. “Transnational Lives” is the theme of the festival, which takes place April 3–5 on the Bloomington campus. Noriega’s lecture is titled “Destroying Cinema: Raphael Montañez Ortiz and the Transnational Imaginary.” He will also interview Edward James Olmos as part of the festival’s Jorgensen Lecture. For more information, including the full conference schedule, visit the festival website.
CSRC publications are finalists for International Latino Book Awards
CSRC Press publications Pepón Osorio by Jennifer A. González and Ricardo Valverde by Ramón García are finalists for three awards in the 2014 International Latino Book Awards competition. Pepón Osorio and Ricardo Valverde are both finalists for Best Latino-Focused Nonfiction—English and Best Arts Book. Additionally, Ricardo Valverde is a finalist for Best First Book— Nonfiction. Winners will be announced June 28 at a ceremony in Las Vegas. A full list of award finalists is available on the CSRC website. (PDF)
Faculty Advisory Committee to encourage Latino enrollment
To increase diversity and the number of Latina/o undergraduate students at UCLA, the CSRC Faculty Advisory Committee will once again be telephoning Latina/o high school students accepted to UCLA for the coming year. FAC members will personally answer questions and provide information in hopes of encouraging these students to choose UCLA over other educational institutions they may be considering.
López to moderate panel on Latino literature as part of Big Read
On Tuesday, April 29, at 7:00 p.m., Marissa López, CSRC associate director and associate professor of English and Chicana and Chicano studies, will moderate a panel discussion at the Santa Monica Public Library on the history of Latino literature and its contemporary incarnations in relation to Into the Beautiful North, the latest novel by Luis Alberto Urrea. Panelists include authors Daniel Olivas (The Book of Want), Reyna Grande (The Distance Between Us), and Verónica Reyes (Chopper! Chopper! Poetry from Bordered Lives). This program is part of the national initiative The Big Read, for which a series of events are dedicated to one text. The Big Read is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. For more information, visit the SMPL website.
Ortega offers community health challenge to high school students
The Aspen Institute invited Alex Ortega, CSRC associate director and professor of public health and psychiatry and bio-behavioral sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, to challenge over 170 students from seventeen Los Angeles high schools to identify major health problems in their communities and develop strategies for combating those problems. His talk to the students on February 8 is now available on YouTube. The results of the study will be available this spring.
Gutierrez films to screen at festival
This year’s Cine Las Americas International Film Festival will include a retrospective of films directed by Efraín Gutierrez, with Gutierrez in attendance. The festival takes place in Austin, Texas, April 22-24. The CSRC collaborated with the UCLA Film and Television Archive to preserve Gutiérrez’s 1970s features films, trailers, and documentary as part of its Chicano Cinema Recovery Project. The CSRC, which released on DVD Gutierrez’s groundbreaking 1976 feature Please, Don’t Bury Me Alive!/¡Por Favor, No Me Entierren Vivo!, is currently finishing production on a DVD release of Run, Tecato, Run (1979). For more information about the festival, visit the festival website.
A Ver author pens op-ed for Huffington Post
Max Benavidez, author of the A Ver volume Gronk and CSRC partner on the Latinos and Economic Security project, authored an op-ed in the Huffington Post on a new book that applies phenomenology theories to everyday life. (PDF)
Huerta op-ed opposes deportation policy
CSRC visiting scholar Alvaro Huerta authored an op-ed in The Progressive that argues against the current U.S. deportation policy toward undocumented immigrants. (PDF)
Vargas wins book awards
Dissonant Divas in Chicana Music: The Limits of La Onda by Deborah Vargas, associate professor of ethnic studies and director of graduate studies at UC Irvine, was awarded the Woody Guthrie Prize for Best Book in Popular Music Studies by the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (U.S. branch). It was also awarded the Best Book in Chicano Studies by the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies, and it received Honorable Mention for Best Book in Latino Studies at the 2013 Latin American Studies Association. Vargas conducted research for the book at the CSRC when she was a CSRC postdoctoral fellow. Congratulations, Deborah!
CSRC to host HEEF scholars
On April 3, the CSRC will host approximately eight Hispanic Education Endowment Fund (HEEF) scholars at UCLA. The students will meet Juan Francisco Lara, chair of HEEF and vice chancellor emeritus at UC Irvine, and will learn about volunteer and networking opportunities that will serve educational and career goals from HEEF members.
Farewell and thank you to Ana Guajardo
Ana Guajardo, who has performed invaluable work on the CSRC’s A Ver series since 2009, has moved on to pursue other projects. These include her Cha Cha Covers nail art business and assisting with an upcoming exhibition at the Vincent Price Art Museum in collaboration with the CSRC. We thank her for her dedication to A Ver, an award-winning series whose success is due in part to her efforts.
CSRC in the News
“Q&A: A Labor Leader on the New Cesar Chavez Biopic”
Gaspar Rivera-Salgado, project director with the UCLA Center for Labor Research and Education, responded to questions concerning the new feature film Cesar Chavez, which he viewed March 7 at an advance screening organized by the CSRC.
UCLA Today, March 26, 2014 (PDF)
“Two Versions of César Chávez Come to Light in New Film, Book”
The CSRC advance screening on March 7 of Cesar Chavez by Diego Luna is mentioned in this story about new contributions to the preservation of the labor leader’s legacy.
Los Angeles Times, March 22, 2014 (PDF)
“Diego Luna promueve película sobre Cesar Chávez en universidades”
Telemundo interviewed Diego Luna, director of Cesar Chavez, at UCLA during the CSRC advance screening of the film. Watch the video here.
Al Rojo Vivo, March 21, 2014
“Cesar Chavez a Timely Reminder the Fight Continues: Full Q&A with Diego Luna and UFW President”
Enclave L.A. reported on the CSRC advance screening of Cesar Chavez and the panel discussion that followed with the filmmakers, UFW president Arturo Rodríguez, and professor Héctor Calderón.
Enclave L.A., March 15, 2014 (PDF)
“Le combat en images des Chicano californiens”
The exhibition Asco and Friends: Exiled Portraits, co-curated by Celine Kopp, Pilar Tompkins Rivas, and CSRC director Chon A. Noriega, was reviewed in the French newspaper La Provence. The exhibition, which includes numerous works from CSRC collections, is on display at Le Cartel in Marseille.
La Provence, March 13, 2014 (PDF)
“Asco and Friends: Exiled Portraits - Triangle France”
Artist Harry Gamboa Jr., whose has works on display in Asco and Friends: Exiled Portraits at Le Cartel, Marseille, posted photos from the exhibition on his blog. The exhibition is curated by Triangle France in collaboration with the CSRC.
Harry Gamboa Jr. (blog), March 13, 2014 (PDF)
Asco and Friends circulates on French sites
As the first major exhibition in France of works by the artist collective Asco, excitement regarding Asco and Friends: Exiled Portraits has led to the circulation of the official press release on blogs and event sites covering the region. For the PDFs, visit the CSRC website.
“Filmmaker Efrain Gutierrez Wants New Center to Bolster Chicano Arts”
CSRC director Chon A. Noriega is quoted in this story on filmmaker Gutierrez and the Efraín Gutierrez Taller de Cine, Arte, Musica y Comida, scheduled to open in San Antonio on May 1.
San Antonio Express-News, March 8, 2014 (PDF)
“ELAC, UCLA Bring Chicano Filmmaker to VPAM”
The East Los Angeles College Campus News reported on media artist Willie Varela's lecture at the Vincent Price Art Museum. Varela was in Los Angeles to promote a new collection of his works on DVD, recently released through the CSRC as part of its Chicano Cinema and Media Art series.
East Los Angeles College Campus News, February 26, 2014 (PDF)
All “In the News” articles are available in PDF format on the CSRC website.
Nava presents Palaces
On Monday, April 7, 2:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m., in the CSRC Library, Michael Nava, a third-generation Californian of Mexican descent, will present his new novel The City of Palaces: A Novel. Nava is the author of an acclaimed series of crime novels featuring Henry Rios, a gay Latino criminal defense lawyer. The Rios novels, which combat stereotypes about Latinos/as and LGBT people, have been reviewed in publications that range from the New York Times to People magazine, and they are taught in colleges and universities around the county. In 2001 Nava received the Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement in gay and lesbian literature. Since the 1990s Nava has been working on a series of novels loosely inspired by the life and times of Ramon Novarro (1899–1969). The first is The City of Palaces, which is set in Mexico City just before and at the beginning of the Revolution of 1910. A book signing and reception will follow the discussion. This event is sponsored by the UCLA Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies Program and co-sponsored by the CSRC.
The MOVOZ Project
MOVOZ is a multimedia project dedicated to collecting the narratives of farm workers in California and to gathering the oral histories of agricultural migrants from rural Mexico so that their stories can be archived at the Library of Congress. On Thursday, April 17, 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m., in the CSRC Library, Maria Di Maruka Opett, an eco-feminist radio producer and MOVOZ’s founder, will discuss the project and its plans to broadcast these narratives, which are unfamiliar to many, through radio, the Internet, and social media. This event is co-sponsored by the UCLA César E. Chávez Department of Chicana/o Studies, the UCLA Center for Oral History Research, the UCLA Department of History, and the CSRC.
Tropicana presents “Beast”
On Friday, April 18, noon–1:00 p.m. in the CSRC Library, the Center for the Study of Women and the CSRC will welcome acclaimed Cuban-born performance artist Carmelita Tropicana, who will present the performative lecture “Carmelita Can Be a Beast,” an exploration of the representation of race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, and the animal species in the artist’s work. The lecture will include video excerpts and what Tropicana calls “a host of characters from a Cuban cockroach to a trans cat, Ursa, a hybrid woman-bear.” The title references an essay by José Esteban Muñoz, recently deceased, on Tropicana’s solo work With What Ass Does the Cockroach Sit? A reception will follow the lecture. This event is presented in collaboration with the Center for the Study of Women.
All CSRC events are free unless otherwise noted. Programs are subject to change. For the most current information, visit the Events page on the CSRC website.
CSRC is lender to Huerta exhibition
CSRC supporter David Damian Figueroa and CSRC librarian Lizette Guerra worked closely with curators at La Plaza de Cultura y Artes to develop the exhibition ¡Viva la Causa! Dolores Huerta and the Struggle for Justice, on display now through July 7 in the downtown Los Angeles cultural center. Materials from the David Damian Figueroa Papers, the CSRC Poster Collection, as well as the CSRC’s subject files are on display in the show, which “traces the path of Huerta’s activism, from her early recognition of the plight of farm workers and their families, to involvement with the Community Service Organization, and co-founding with César Chávez of the United Farm Workers (UFW).” The exhibition also examines Huerta’s belief in the power of art to affect change. For more information, visit La Plaza’s website.
New archival collections
The CSRC is proud to announce the addition of the Hector Tobar Papers to its archival holdings. Hector Tobar is a novelist, journalist, and proud Angelino. His most recent novel, The Barbarian Nurseries, is a 2011 New York Times Notable Book. His collection at the CSRC documents his career and includes his personal papers, manuscripts, research files, photographs, and ephemera. CSRC associate director Marissa López, associate professor of English and Chicana/o Studies, facilitated this donation.
New Chicano studies PhD cohort tours library
On March 18 the CSRC library welcomed the new class of the César E. Chávez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies PhD program. Eight students were offered admission to the program for the coming year, including Isabel Durón, daughter of longtime CSRC supporter Armando Durón. The students’ visit to the library included a tour by the CSRC librarian and an introduction to the many services and opportunities that the CSRC offers for academic and professional growth. We wish these students the best of luck in the program.
Two CSRC staff to pursue degrees in Library and Information Science
The CSRC would like to congratulate two of its staff members, Patricia Valdovinos and Michael Aguilar, for their recent acceptance into the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. Beginning fall 2014, both students will begin pursuing master’s degrees in Library and Information Science. Patricia is currently completing her undergraduate studies in Chicana and Chicano studies with minors in American Indian Studies and Education. She is a McNair Research Scholar, has worked at the CSRC since 2011, and was the first student to write an introductory message to the CSRC newsletter. Michael Aguilar is currently completing his master of arts degree in Latin American studies at UCLA. He has worked at the CSRC since 2013 as part of our Documenting & Preserving the Post-WWII Generation of Mexican Americans in Los Angeles project—an initiative funded through the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). He is currently processing approximately 200 linear feet from our Edward R. Roybal Papers. We are very proud of Patricia and Michael and wish them the best of luck.
Congratulations and farewell to Angel Diaz
The CSRC Library congratulates and bids farewell to Angel Diaz, who has been serving as a part-time project archivist. Angel has been hired as the new archivist and librarian for the California’s Gold Archive (CGA), housed in the Frank Mt. Pleasant Library’s Special Collections and Archives at Chapman University. The collection was donated to the library by the Huell Howser estate; Howser, who died last year, was the host of the popular public television series California’s Gold. Diaz is responsible for maintaining the physical and intellectual control of the CGA and promoting the collection through community outreach. Diaz is a graduate from the Information Studies program at UCLA and began her work at the CSRC as a service learning intern in 2012. In her time at the CSRC she has helped process many of the library’s collections and worked on many library projects. We are grateful for her hard work and wish her the very best of luck.
To learn more about CSRC collections and projects please email your queries to the CSRC librarian, Lizette Guerra, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Second edition of Self Help Graphics now available
The new edition of Self Help Graphics & Art brings the original edition, published in 2005, up to date, adding breadth and depth to the history of the historic East L. A. arts center. Known for its groundbreaking printmaking and art education programs, Self Help Graphics has empowered local artists and taught the world about the vibrancy of Chicano and Latino art.
Joining the original essay are chapters that cover the period from 2005 through 2013 and consider the organization’s interventions in the conception of art and community. Also new is an interview with five prominent artists associated with Self Help Graphics who discuss the organization’s foundational years and longstanding influence. Completing the volume are a comprehensive guide to the Self Help Graphics & Art archives at the California Ethnic and Multicultural Archives (CEMA), University of California, Santa Barbara; a guide to the Self Help Graphics & Art Research Collection at the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center; and an expanded bibliography.
Contributors to the second edition are Michael Amescua, Yreina Cervantez, Karen Mary Davalos, Armando Durón, Evonne Gallardo, Salvador Güereña, Colin Gunckel, Kristen Guzmán, Leo Limón, Chon A. Noriega, Peter Tovar, Linda Vallejo, and Mari Cárdenas Yáñez.
Order today from the distributor, University of Washington Press.
Photo of Diego Luna and Pablo Cruz courtesy of Héctor Calderón.