CSRC Wins CAA Excellence in Diversity Award

The UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center (CSRC) has been selected as the recipient of the 2019 Excellence in Diversity Award from the College Art Association (CAA). An international leadership organization in the visual arts, CAA is dedicated to the promotion of equity and inclusion within the art and academic fields.

The award will be presented on Feb. 13, 2019, during CAA’s 107th Annual Conference in New York City. The conference is the largest international gathering of professionals in the visual arts. CSRC Director Chon Noriega and Associate Director Charlene Villaseñor Black, both UCLA professors, will accept the award.

“The Award for Excellence in Diversity recognizes the work of an individual or organization in the visual arts whose commitment to inclusion in scholarship or practice stands out as groundbreaking and unifying,” CAA stated in its announcement of the CSRC as this year’s winner.

Through its annual awards program, CAA honors individual artists, art historians, authors, curators, and critics whose accomplishments transcend their individual disciplines and contribute to the profession and to the world.

The Excellence in Diversity Award, established in 2017, recognizes outstanding efforts by individuals or institutions in arts programming, projects, and/or scholarship to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion. The award was first given last year to a professor, Kellie Jones, who is on the advisory board of CSRC’s A Ver: Revisioning Art History book series on Latino artists.

Throughout its 50-year history, the CSRC – one of the UCLA Institute of American Culture’s four ethnic studies research centers – has advanced diversity in the arts through scholarship, museum exhibitions, archival collections, public programs, community partnerships, professional development, and policy-related research and advocacy. It is one of the oldest ethnic studies research centers in the U.S. dedicated to the study of the Mexican-descent population, and home to the largest library and archive in the world of materials pertaining to Chicana/os, or Mexican Americans, as well as Latinos. Among its peer institutions – other centers dedicated to research on Latinos – the CSRC is unusual in its commitment to and involvement in the arts. In 2012, the CSRC was awarded the first diversity award ever presented by the Society of American Archivists. 

Key CSRC project areas include:

  • Museum Partnerships: Working closely with art museums, the CSRC has organized 10 major museum exhibitions featuring Chicano and Latino art that have reached nearly one million people.
  • Groundbreaking Publications: CSRC Press has published 26 scholarly books on Latino art, including archive-based histories, artist monographs, and exhibition catalogs. These have received over 30 international book awards.
  • Extensive Archival Holdings: The CSRC Library houses 99 manuscript collections and 68 digital collections (with 700,000 digital objects) related to the arts, artists, and arts organizations. These materials have drawn researchers from around the world, and have been loaned to over 50 museum exhibitions.  
  • Creating a Pipeline to Diversify the Arts: CSRC serves as a professional pipeline for students and project research staff, leading to tenure-track faculty positions at research universities and positions in foundations, community-based organizations, and art museums.
  • Policy Briefs: CSRC policy-related research has set the framework for its systemic approach to diversifying the arts.

Recent efforts include the Home—So Different, So Appealing exhibition at LACMA, which was listed as one of the most popular shows in the world for 2017, and a monograph on muralist Judith F. Baca, volume 11 in the CSRC’s award-winning A Ver: Revisioning Art History book series. The CSRC was recently awarded a $1 million grant for the two-year Critical Mission Studies project led by Associate Director Charlene Villaseñor Black and three faculty at other UC campuses. 

 “The CSRC understands diversity to be more than a question of including more Latino art in art history textbooks and museum exhibitions,” said Chon A. Noriega, CSRC director. “It’s about approaching the field in ways that reveal the internal diversity of the arts with respect to race, gender, sexuality, and generational cohort.”

For more information, please visit http://www.chicano.ucla.edu/ or contact Sophia Fischer, sfischer@conet.ucla.edu, (310) 825-6872.


Photo attached: UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Staff.  Front row (L-R): Rebecca Frazier, Senior Editor; Darling Sianez, Budget Analyst; Chon A. Noriega, Director; Xaviera Flores, Librarian and Archivist; Jason Lowder, Library Staff; Christi Corpus, Development Director. Back row (L-R); Michael Aguilar, Communications and Programs Assistant; Rebecca Epstein, Assistant Director; Charlene Villaseñor Black, Associate Director. Photo by Todd Cheney.

To download the press release, click here.