CSRC Newsletter - April 2012

Volume 10, Number 8

Director's Message

I first read Adrienne Rich’s poem “Diving into the Wreck” (1972) as an undergraduate student in 1983. It inspired me to become an English major for a simple reason: it described something submerged within my own life at that time, and it gave me courage to explore “the wreck and not the story of the wreck/the thing itself and not the myth.” The narrator is at once alone and resolute, melancholy and wry, as she goes down to that place where she is the mermaid and the merman, the observer and the wreck. Five years later, I had the privilege of taking a poetry class with Rich at Stanford University. In that class, I wrote my first essay on Chicano cinema, now one of my primary areas of research as a professor at UCLA. The essay dealt with “I Am Joaquin” (1967), the epic poem by Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales, which articulates a myth of origins for many Chicanos, including myself. The poem had been adapted to film in 1969, and I even screened a 16mm print in class! Rich liked the poem and the film, but she also must have known that “I Am Joaquin” was not the thing itself but rather "some sundry equipment" to start me on a journey. I have returned to Rich’s poem many times in my life. It provides a map to that place where I must go alone, looking for the thing itself, taking with me “a book of myths/in which/our names do not appear.” RIP, profe.

Read the Los Angeles Times obituary for Adrienne Rich here.

Chon A. Noriega

Director and Professor


CSRC awarded grant from Haynes Foundation
The CSRC Library was awarded a one-year grant of $25,000 from the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation for an archival project titled “The Photographic Legacy of the Post–World War II Mexican American Generation in Los Angeles.” Jane Pisano, the president of the foundation, wrote in the award letter that the grant “is made in appreciation of the important role your institution plays in enriching the lives of our citizens.”
Chavez draws large turnout
On March 7, Miguel Chavez, assistant professor of ethnic studies and director of the Chicana and Chicano studies program at St. Cloud State University, drew over ninety people to the CSRC Library for a lecture titled “Las Cuatro Esquinas (The Four Corners): The Chicana and Chicano Movement in the West Side of Los Angeles, 1963–1979.” It was the largest crowd for a library event so far this year. Chavez’s presentation was co-sponsored by the UCLA César E. Chávez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies and is available for viewing on the CSRC YouTube channel (see “New videos” below).

Restored mural unveiled at Estrada Courts
Ernesto de la Loza’s mural Organic Stimulus, newly restored to its original vibrancy, was unveiled on March 11 at Estrada Courts in East Los Angeles. The restoration, which was led by the Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles (MCLA), was based on slides from the CSRC’s Nancy Tovar Collection of East L.A. Murals. The mural had faded significantly since its creation in 1975. The celebration included remarks by de la Loza, MCLA executive director Isabel Rojas-Williams, L.A. city councilmember José Huizar, MCLA president Bill Lasarow, and Sandra de la Loza, the muralist’s sister. A community art workshop, provided by Mobile Mural Lab, gave participants the opportunity to paint a copy of de la Loza’s mural on the side of the Mobile Mural Lab truck. (See “CSRC in the News” below for related media coverage.)

Velasco featured in exhibition
Juan Valdez: A Tourist, a photographic work by Christopher Anthony Velasco, CSRC Library support staff, was exhibited at Pomona’s Metro Art Gallery during March. Velasco, who is a member of the art collective South El Monte Arts Posse (SEMAP), is depicted in the photographs as a Mexican tourist in search of similarities between El Monte and his hometown. Claudia S. Palma wrote favorably about the show in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune on March 15.
CSRC assistant director publishes article
Javier Iribarren, CSRC assistant director, is a co-author of “A Family Intervention to Reduce Sexual Risk Behavior, Substance Use, and Delinquency Among Newly Homeless Youth,” which was published in the April 2012 issue of The Journal of Adolescent Health. Families in the study were randomly assigned to one of two groups: those in the first received five weekly home-based intervention sessions; those in the second continued with the care that they had been receiving (families not receiving care were referred to appropriate agencies). The interventions were designed to improve families' problem-solving and conflict-resolution skills. The study revealed that the interventions had significant success in reducing risky behaviors over a twelve-month period.

CSRC associate director to speak at conference
Maria Elena Ruiz, CSRC associate director, has been invited to speak at the seventeenth annual conference of the Los Angeles Chapter–National Association for Hispanic Nurses (LANAHN). She will present her talk on Friday, April 27, at The California Endowment’s regional office in downtown Los Angeles. The LANAHN represents over 110,000 Hispanic and Latino registered nurses in the United States. These nurses play an integral role not only as health providers but also as navigators and primary advocates for the diverse Latino population in the United States. As chair of the policy committee for the national association, Ruiz was asked to take the lead in developing a position statement on what the Affordable Care Act’s Essential Health Benefits Package, whose provisions have not yet been determined, would need to incorporate in order to be beneficial for Latinos.

“Like” the IAC Facebook page
The UCLA Institute of American Cultures now has a Facebook page. Because the IAC is the new administrative home of each of the UCLA ethnic studies research centers, we encourage all our CSRC and L.A. Xicano Facebook friends to “like” the IAC page, too!

Valverde photos in international journal
The photographs of Ricardo Valverde are the focus of “Unearthing the Campesino: Rethinking the Borders of Mexican-American Art in Ricardo Valverde’s Untitled Series,” a review of the photographer’s work in MEX/LA: Mexican Modernism(s) in Los Angeles, 1930–1985. The article was published in English and French in the February 2012 issue of May. For her research, author Kappy Mintie, a graduate student at UC Berkeley, consulted the Ricardo Valverde Digital Collection at the CSRC Library. In 2011 Espy Valverde, the wife of the late photographer, gave the CSRC permission to display digital images of his work for research and teaching purposes.

New videos on CSRC YouTube
Miguel Chavez’s recent talk at the CSRC Library, “Las Cuatro Esquinas (The Four Corners): The Chicana and Chicano Movement in the West Side of Los Angeles, 1963-1979,” is now online. The video received over 130 views within twenty-four hours of being posted on the CSRC Facebook page.

When the L.A. Xicano exhibitions at the Fowler Museum closed in late February, CSRC archives and digital projects manager Michael Stone captured closing remarks from several of the shows’ participants. Now available on the CRSC YouTube channel are videos of artist Frank Romero in conversation with CSRC director and L.A. Xicano co-curator Chon A. Noriega, remarks by artist and Los Dos Streetscaper David Botello, and comments by L.A. Xicano co-curator Pilar Tompkins Rivas. More to come!

Presented in conjunction with Mapping Another L.A.: The Chicano Art Movement were several “Culture Fix” artists’ talks at the Fowler. Videos are now online of artist John Valadez speaking about the Chicano art movement outside of East L.A. and artist David Botello speaking about several forgotten Chicano artists from the era.

A re-edited video of a conversation between photographer Oscar Castillo and Harry Gamboa Jr. is now available for viewing. Their discussion marked the opening of L.A. Xicano and, specifically, Icons of the Invisible: Oscar Castillo at the Fowler Museum. The video ends with Chon A. Noriega introducing the L.A. Xicano project and the contributing artists who were present in the audience.

CSRC in the News

“First Round of Book Signings Announced for Taco USA!”
Gustavo Arellano's Taco USA will be launched at the CSRC Library with a book signing on April 10.
Stick a Fork in It!, March 21, 2012 (PDF)

“Getty Gets NEH Grant to Organize Huge Contemporary Art Archive”
Mentions CSRC’s new NEH grant for archiving materials on Mexican Americans’ civic participation.
Culture Monster (LA Times blog), March 22, 2012 (PDF); the posting was listed in “UCLA Headlines,” UCLA News, March 26, 2012 (PDF)

“East L.A. Mural ‘A Story of Our Struggle’ Endangered”
The mural was featured in one of the CSRC's L.A. Xicano exhibitions, Mapping Another L.A.
Departures (KCET blog), March 16, 2012 (PDF)

“PST, A to Z: ‘Round the Clock’ at Vincent Price Art Museum”
Includes a mention of one of the CSRC’s L.A. Xicano exhibitions, Art Along the Hyphen.
Culture Monster (Los Angeles Times blog), March 16, 2012 (PDF)

“Rescuing the Stories Behind Latino Art”
CSRC contributed to the development of “Documents of 20th-Century Latin American and Latino Art,” the article’s subject.
The New York Times, March 14, 2012 (PDF)

“Artists Return to Restore the Faded Glory of Boyle Heights Mural”
The conservators referred to slides from the CSRC's Nancy Tovar Collection of East L.A. Murals.
The Eastsider, March 12, 2012 (PDF)

“L.A. Xicano Exhibits Wrap a Banner Season for Chicano Art”
Notes that the CSRC project was "one of the most engaging aspects" of PST.
Public Spectacle (LA Weekly blog), March 7, 2012 (PDF); the posting was listed in “UCLA Headlines,” UCLA News, March 8, 2012 (PDF)

“Latin American Art Springs Forth in California Museums”
Mentions LACMA's Asco exhibition for PST, which included materials from CSRC collections.
Los Angeles Times, March 4, 2012 (PDF)

“Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony Hope ‘Q Viva! The Chosen’ Translates”
Chon A. Noriega, CSRC director, is quoted in this article on a reality show featuring Latino talent.
Los Angeles Times, March 3, 2012 (PDF)

PDFs of all articles are available on the CSRC website.


All CSRC events are free unless otherwise noted.

Arellano presents Taco USA
On Tuesday, April 10, 1:00–3:00 p.m., at the CSRC Library (144 Haines Hall), Gustavo Arellano will read from and sign his latest book, Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America (Scribner, 2012). Arellano addresses questions such as: What exactly constitutes “Mexican” food in the United States? What’s so cosmic about a burrito? And why do Americans love Mexican food so darn much? Arellano is a nationally syndicated columnist, the bestselling author of ¡Ask a Mexican!, and a UCLA alum. A reception will follow. No tacos, but coffee and pan dulce will be served.

Symposium on education reform litigation
The UCLA School of Law will host “Learning Curve: The Trajectory of Education Reform Litigation in California” on Tuesday, April 10, 4:00–7:45 p.m. The symposium will comprise two panels: “The Uphill Struggle: A Progress Report on Educational Access and Equity” and “The Arc of Reform: Retooling Education Advocacy.” Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will give the opening address. RSVP online by April 5.

Raza Day Fair
The CSRC will participate in this year’s Raza Day Interactive Fair on Friday, April 13, 12:30–1:55 p.m., at DeNeve Plaza, 351 Charles Young Drive West. The fair is part of MEChA de UCLA’s annual Raza Day Admit Weekend, organized for incoming freshmen to ease their transition from high school to the university. The fair will include performances, guest speakers, and workshops about the many organizations and academic resources available for students of color at UCLA and other four-year universities.

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books
Visit the CSRC Press at the 2012 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, which will be held Saturday, April 21, 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m., and Sunday, April 22, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., at the University of Southern California. The CSRC Press booth, #132, will be in area T3. We’ll have new books, DVDs, and our ever-popular T-shirts for sale. For more information and a link to a map of USC, go to the festival’s website.

UCLA Alumni Day
The CSRC will have a table at the 2012 UCLA Alumni Day Info Fair, Saturday, May 5, 9:00 a.m.–noon, on the Quad. Alumni Day is a great way to connect with fellow alums while enjoying campus tours, panel discussions, and an evening concert. RSVP by April 20 for a discounted ticket rate; admission is free for 2012 graduates. For more information and to register, visit the Alumni Day website.

CSRC Library

Guerra at OC REFORMA
CSRC archivist and librarian Lizette Guerra participated in the “Open Hearts Open Minds: Libraries Serving Latino Communities” conference organized by the Orange County chapter of REFORMA. The conference took place March 30–31 at the Orange Public Library in Orange, California. Guerra, along with Lillian Castillo-Speed from UC Berkeley, Richard Chabran from the University of Arizona, and Norma Corral, retired UCLA librarian, organized a panel titled “Emerging Models for Sharing Digital Collections: Latino Digital Content.” The panelists, all members of the Latino Digital Content Working Group, discussed various models of creating, sharing, packaging, and marketing Latino digital products and the need for creating and preserving Latino digital content that is freely available and not sequestered by the costly subscription fees demanded by information vendors. The Latino Digital Content Working Group addresses issues related to the preservation of historical materials, including costs, administrative structures, technology, physical preservation of non-digital items, and copyright. For more information on this panel and the Latino Digital Content Working Group, check out their blog.

CSRC Press

Floricanto en Aztlán
In 1971 the CSRC (then the Chicano Studies Center) published Alurista’s first book of poetry, Floricanto en Aztlán. With these one hundred poems, Alurista upset the literary conventions of the era, creating a highly original poetic language that blends English, Spanish, and pre-Columbian languages. Using Aztlán, the mythical homeland of the Aztecs, as a unifying metaphor and employing indigenous symbols to describe barrio life, the poet inspired his readers, cultivating pride in their cultural past.

This handsome paperback edition of Floricanto en Aztlán reproduces the design of the original, including the illustrations by Judithe Hernandez, and features a new preface by the poet. Order today from the distributor, University of Washington Press.

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