Tanya Cabrera talks about undocumented students rights

November 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

I had the privilege of interviewing DREAM activist and community leader Tanya Cabrera for New Futuro. Check out this video with Cabrera detailing the educational rights of undocumented students, and share the full article with any interested students.

Chicago Teens: Learn how to prepare, apply, and pay for college

October 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

THE LARGEST COLLEGE PREP FAIR FOR LATINO STUDENTS & FAMILIES COMES TO CHICAGO!

NOVEMBER 10, 2012 NAVY PIER EXHIBITION HALL | 10 AM – 6 PM

New Futuro is hosting 3 more bilingual Road to College Workshops leading up to Chicago’s Largest Free College Prep Fair for Latinos on November 10, 2012 at Navy Pier. Thousands of dollars in scholarships, information and other resources will be given at these events.

REGISTER FOR THE FREE BILINGUAL COLLEGE WORKSHOPS
YOU CAN WIN $1,000 AT EACH WORKSHOP!

  • SAT, OCT 27- Daley College
  • SAT, NOV 3 – Unity Junior High School
  • SUN, NOV 4- Humboldt Park Field House

 

REGISTER FOR THE FREE BILINGUAL COLLEGE PREP FAIR

Undocumented Students: private institutions may be more affordable

July 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

UPDATE:  Due to tech difficulties, we will be re-airing last week’s Spanish interview with Doña Catalina, Guatemalan community activist and leader. Our interview with Tanya, Maria, and Taylor will be airing next week 7/22.

Learn about college opportunities for undocumented students on today’s Poco a Poco radio show. We interviewed Tanya Cabrera, the Associate Director of Minority Outreach and Undocumented Student Liaison at IIT and IIT student leaders Maria Gonzalez and Taylor Hayes.

Poco A Poco Radio interview with Tanya Cabrera.

Maria Gonzalez, a brilliant sociology major and undocumented student leader, shares her experiences transferring from a Harold Washington, a Chicago City College, to the Illinois Institute of Technology, where she received an almost a full ride to college.  Maria discovered that while private institutions may not blatantly say “this funding is for undocumented students” they are not dependent on state funding, so their requirements are often such that you do not need to fill out a FAFSA to be considered. She encourages students to seek out these resources.

This interview covers every thing from: talking to your family, talking to your counselor, finding funding sources for college, supporting your child, the Dream Act, and being and ally to the movement. Tune into today 7/15 to Poco a Poco at 1:30 CST on http://wluw.org or for those folks in Chicago, you can listen on the radio on WLUW 88.7 FM.

Fractured Jewishness

April 18, 2012 § 1 Comment

Is being half-Jewish, like being half-pregnant? Yes.

Intrigued? Want to hear more?

I have the honor of being the keynote speaker at the Half Jewish?” The Heirs of Intermarriage conference at Northwestern University, which runs from 4/20-4/22. My Friday night talk will center around the construction and the perpetuation of fractured cultural identities. On Saturday my dear friend Yoni Sarason, aka The St. Lou Jew, aka Midwest Director of Birthright Next, will be speaking on a panel with Dan Libenson, moderated by Denise Handlarski.  Come check out the conference.  Meet some lefty Jews.  Learn and mingle.

Register here.

 

Digital. Creative. Conceptual. Think Tank Team.

March 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

Ladies and Gents, life is good.  I am the Creative Director for New Futuro.

New Futuro provides Latino families with fully bilingual resources and tools to get students into college and beyond! We are committed to making you an education rockstar!  We will  teach you how to get into the college of your dreams with money to pay for it.  It’s all about making the right classes at the right time, knowing the right people, and getting involved with the right groups.  College is your future,  so why should it be a challenge to get there?  New Futuro will help you achieve your dreams through education! 

Read more about my #awesome creative team here.

Miguel del Valle Inspires Supporters to Keep Fighting for Reform, Declaring, “This is Chicago!”

February 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

repost of press release from www.delvalleformayor.com

Del Valle envisions new youth leaders emerging from campaign

February 22, 2011 (CHICAGO)– After an impassioned campaign on behalf of Chicago’s neighborhoods, Miguel del Valle pledged to keep fighting for a citywide progressive agenda.

“What will be your role?” del Valle asked a crowd of supporters at his campaign’s Election Night party at Revolution Brewing restaurant. “We’ve started something here. All the young people in this room–there are future leaders here, I know that.”

State Senator Iris Martinez and State Representative Cynthia Soto introduced del Valle who welcomed his wife, daughter, and three sons to the stage. The entire family worked on the campaign, from recruiting and organizing volunteers to shooting YouTube videos.

“This was a grassroots effort,” Sen. Martinez said. “And it was a victory for everyone in this room.”

Del Valle led citywide conversations on issues ranging from neighborhood schools to the parking meter contract. “We set the agenda,” del Valle said. “An agenda that means progress for all, not for some.” A diverse coalition rallied behind that agenda, including seniors, veterans, and high school students.

Del Valle has always said that time, not his opponents, was his worst enemy during the race. Tonight, he encouraged his supporters to keep believing in the city they envisioned during the campaign.

“Give it time,” he said. “It’s not going to happen overnight. But I have been inspired by the number of people who want change in this city. And we’re not going to get that change without organizing our neighborhoods.”

Huddled around tables and on staircases, volunteers continued to discuss a citywide organizing vision for Chicago’s communities. They batted around ideas for new models to improve neighborhoods, formed new relationships, and continued to build the coalition started during del Valle’s campaign.

“Chicago is ready for reform,” del Valle said. “I know that because a lot of people did not vote in this election. They feel disgusted about Chicago politics. And we have to give ‘em hope.”

Escobar-Morales

February 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

Escobar-Morales

Artist Statement and Bio
Escobar-Morales is a team comprised of Maya Escobar and Andria Morales. The two artists, based in Chicago and Philadelphia respectively, have been working together over the Internet since 2010. They produce digital media and performance art that explores the role of self-representation in visual culture and its ability to deconstruct ingrained ideological conventions. By locating their performances online where they are free from restrictions of time and place, Escobar-Morales is able to concurrently enact multiple personas while simultaneously creating a unified hybrid self.

Maya Escobar was born in Chicago, IL in 1984.  Andria Morales was born in 1982 in New York, NY.  Escobar received a BFA from the School of the Art Institue of Chicago (2007) and an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis (2009); Morales received a BA from the University of Pennsylvania (2004) and an MFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University (2008).

Internet Art & Activism- the #delValleMural

February 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

Miguel del Valle Mural
I am a Chicago-based digital media and performance artist. I created this grassroots, social media, portable mural in support of Miguel del Valle‘s campaign for Mayor.

follow hashtag: #delValleMural to see how the mural was created.

#delValleMural

February 18, 2011 § 3 Comments

The #delValleMural is finally complete!

#delValleMural, 2011, Acrylic on Canvas

I am thinking that after the elections a Chicago Public Library would be a really nice home for the piece.  What do you guys think?

putting final touches on the #delValleMural

February 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

The #ChicagoMayor elections are right around the corner…
maya escobar del valle mural in progress

And I am happy to report that I am ALMOST done with the #delValleMural
(the hashtag is silent)

#delValleMural in progress

February 14, 2011 § 2 Comments

As a community-based performance artist, I find the act of sharing the process equally important to the act of sharing the final product.

Here are images from the last week of the #delValleMural unfolding.

Miguel del Valle Mural

Miguel del Valle Mural

Miguel del Valle Mural

Miguel del Valle Mural

Miguel del Valle Mural

CPS Students Campaign for Miguel del Valle, Video Goes Viral: PRESS RELEASE

February 1, 2011 § 2 Comments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (please forward or repost)

CPS Students Campaign for Miguel del Valle, Video Goes Viral

Tuesday, February 1, 2011, Chicago – High school students may not vote, but they can still impact elections. On Sunday, January 29, students from Sullivan HS in the Rogers Park neighborhood on the northside, wrote and starred in a campaign ad for Miguel del Valle that got over 1,000 hits in the first 48 hours on YouTube and Facebook.  Their message is clear, Del Valle is the candidate who will invest in public education for all students, who like them who do not go to selective enrollment or charter schools.  No press outlets caught Rahm Emanuel’s slip up, played twice in the video, until today when the Huffington Post picked up the story.

Christina Henriquez, Gerardo Aguilar and Alexandra Alvarez, in order of appearance, scripted the video in a neighbors living room before filming outside their school an hour later.  Their effort to mobilize their community to support Miguel del Valle has been developing ever since they went to the Mayoral debate for youth put on by Mikva Challenge last month.  Inspired by del Valle and angered by the other candidates they got together with the Latino Club, and tireless sponsor Jackie Rosa.

Last week they stopped by the newly opened northside office for Miguel del Valle, to learn to canvass their neighborhood.

The video uses a clip from the WGN Mayoral debate in which Rahm Emanuel wrongly states that “if you take away Northside Prep and Walter Payton, the seven best performing schools are all charters”.   The next seven in fact, the top nine performing Chicago schools are all public. The video clearly questions anyone who would vote for a Mayor who does not care enough about the students in public school to even do his homework.  Delivered with passion and confidence, the last words the students leave us ring true “you want a real school turnaround? Invest in us!”.

Watch the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afonAiiMTm8

Press Contacts:
Carlos Rosa
cdrosa@gmail.com
@cdrosa

Jackie Rosa
jacquir711@gmail.com
@floreciendo_co

Sandi Gutstein
sandigutstein@gmail.com
@floreciendo_co

NOW THIS IS GRASSROOTS!!

February 1, 2011 § Leave a comment

The Student’s @DelValle4Mayor video just made it into the Huffington Post!!

Rahm Emanuel Hit On School Policy By High Schoolers For Del Valle

Cps

A group of Chicago high school students has decided to take Rahm Emanuel to task for his education policy.

Cristina Henriquez, Gerardo Aguilar, and Alexandra Alvarez appear in a YouTube video, uploaded Sunday, entitled “Invest in Our Public Schools.” The spot attacks Emanuel for his praise of the city’s charter schools, and backs rival candidate Miguel del Valle for supporting neighborhood schools.

“I go to Roger C. Sullivan High School,” says Henriquez. “This is not one of the schools Rahm Emanuel cares about.”

The students, who wrote the script for the video, according to its description on YouTube, also point out what they describe as a factual inaccuracy in Emanuel’s portrayal of the city’s charters. “When you take out North Side, and you take out Walter Payton, the seven best-performing high schools are all charters.”

“Someone didn’t do their homework,” the video says, listing the seven top schools as reported by the Chicago Tribune. None of them is a charter school.

The video says it has no connection to any candidate, and judging by the del Valle camp’s reaction, they seem to be telling the truth. Spokeswoman Joanna Klonsky didn’t know much about the video’s origins, except to say that “we didn’t orchestrate it.”

Watch the students take on Rahm:

Invest in Chicago Public School Students

January 30, 2011 § 2 Comments

On January 30, 2011 Chicago Public school students and graduates (from Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood) got together to film a grass-roots/guerilla campaign ad to “tell it like it is,” and support the best candidate to improve our neighborhood public schools.

The footage used is filmed outside of Roger C. Sullivan High School and from WGN’s January 27th mayoral debate. The stars and script writers of this ad are Sullivan HS students (in order of appearance) Cristina Henriquez, Gerardo Aguilar, and Alexandra Alvarez.

On February 22, 2011 vote to improve our neighborhood schools – Miguel del Valle!

http://www.delvalleformayor.com

This ad was not paid for or endorsed by any candidate or candidate’s committee. Labor & love donated.

Source of top seven high schools: Chicago Tribune

Miguel del Valle for Mayor of Chicago

deal with it.

November 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

I am Midwestern girl, born and bred.
#Midwestern Maya
Yes, I know there is a New York Art World.
And yes, I am aware that people make cultural identity work on the West Coast.
But I am rooted here.
With the world at my fingertips.

Critical Mixed Race Studies on iTunesU

November 16, 2010 § Leave a comment

Camilla Fojas, Director of Latin American and Latino Studies at DePaul University
Camilla Fojas, Director of Latin American and Latino Studies at DePaul University

If you missed the Nov 5-6, 2010 “Emerging Paradigms in Critical Mixed Race Studies” conference or any of the keynote talks or the welcoming address, you can now download the videos here via iTunesU.

  • November 5th Welcoming Remarks by DePaul’s Liberal Arts & Sciences Dean Charles Suchar and conference organizers Camilla Fojas, Wei Ming Dariotis, and Laura Kina.
  • November 5th Keynote Address by Andrew Jolivette “Critical Mixed Race Studies: New Directions in the Politics of Race and Representation”
  • November 6th Keynote Address by Mary Beltran “Everywhere and Nowhere: Mediated Mixed Race and Mixed Race Critical Studies”
  • November 6th Keynote Address by Louie Gong “Halfs and Have Nots”

And here are links to recaps of the conference on Laura Kina’s and Jonathan Reinert’s blogs.

more soon…

Elotes

November 12, 2010 § 3 Comments

¿Sabes una cosa?  ¡A los Chicagüenses les encanta comer elotes! En el verano, puedes encontrar elotes en muchos vecindarios, especialmente en los parques.

Aquí hay una colección de vídeos donde el tema principal son los elotes.  Si tú tienes un vídeo de elotes, por favor compártelo aquí.

Y pronto tendremos recetas saludables e interesantes de elotes en Are You My Other?

Emerging Paradigms in Critical Mixed Race Studies

September 26, 2010 § 2 Comments

Come join me at the 1st annual Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference, Emerging Paradigms in Critical Mixed Race Studies, at DePaul University in Chicago, November 5-6, 2010.

The CMRS conference brings together scholars from a variety of disciplines nationwide. Recognizing that the diverse disciplines that have nurtured Mixed Race Studies have reached a watershed moment, the 2010 CMRS conference is devoted to the general theme “Emerging Paradigms in Critical Mixed Race Studies.”

Critical Mixed Race Studies (CMRS) is the transracial, transdisciplinary, and transnational critical analysis of the institutionalization of social, cultural, and political orders based on dominant conceptions of race. CMRS emphasizes the mutability of race and the porosity of racial boundaries in order to critique processes of racialization and social stratification based on race. CMRS addresses local and global systemic injustices rooted in systems of racialization.

I will be presenting at the conference on November 5th in a roundtable discussion moderated by Laura Kina, on the use of arts in challenging racial ideologies. My next post will include more information on the roundtable and on my fellow panelists: Alejandro T. Acierto, Tina Ramirez, and Jonathan Reinert.

Help Republic Windows Workers!

December 10, 2008 § 2 Comments

Fredrico Martinez, who joined other workers in a prayer vigil, said he had worked at the factory for nine years.

Republic Windows, a Chicago company since 1965, closed it’s doors on Friday, December 5, leaving 300 workers without a job, and only a 3 day notice. Under the WARN Act this is illegal, and the company must give at least 60 days notice. Workers have occupied the plant and are demanding that if the plant stays closed, they receive the wages, severance, vacation pay due them–totally $1 million.

Here are some things you can do to help:

1. Donate to the strike fund the families of the workers have to eat, pay rent and utilities, while they are occupying the plant. Donations should be sent to UE Local 1110 at 37 S. Ashland Chicago, IL 60607.

2. Bring friends to the plant to show solidarity, workers can get very de-moralized if they feel like people are just going on with their lives while they are putting themselves at such risk, so any small group of people can be very helpful to the morale. We invite you to sign our solidarity posters and visit with workers.

3. Call Bank of America CEO Kenneth Lewis. Say that you are a concerned member of the community who is disturbed by BoA’s apparent disregard for people’s livelihoods by forcing republic windows to shut down without paying people their vacation and WARN act pay. BoA just got $25 Billion from taxpayers precisely to make credit lines like the Republic Windows line work. Calls help, but so do emails and faxes to the CEO. Jobs with Justice National web site has an action email you can send to BofA.

Talks Fail to End Sit-In at Closed Factory

CHICAGO — As workers at a window-making plant here prepared to spend a fourth night in the factory they had been told to leave for good, union leaders, bankers and company owners met into the night on Monday but the meetings ended without bringing about an end to the workers’ peaceful but increasingly tense occupation of the plant.

The layoff of 250 workers last week at Republic Windows and Doors on the North Side with only three days’ warning and without pay the workers say is owed to them had, by Monday, drawn the attention of nearly every politician with a connection to this city, numerous union and workers’ rights groups and scores of ordinary people, who arrived at the plant offering families toys, food and money.

Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich, who met with the workers Monday morning, said the State of Illinois was suspending its business with the Bank of America, Republic Windows’ lenders, and that the Illinois Department of Labor was poised to file a complaint over the plant closing if need be. Political leaders on the Chicago City Council and in Cook County threatened similar actions. Representative Luis V. Gutierrez said he was encouraging the Department of Labor and the Department of Justice to investigate. “Families are already struggling to keep afloat,” Mr. Blagojevich said.

Workers here say they blame the operators of Republic Windows and Doors, a manufacturing company that was founded in 1965, for giving them just three days’ notice before closing last Friday, with no earlier hints to the employees that orders for vinyl windows and sliding doors had fallen off.

Late Monday, the company released a statement that indicated that it had known since at least mid-October that it intended to close the factory by January. The statement suggested that it had gone back and forth with Bank of America for more than a month, but that the bank had rejected several of its “wind down” plans as well as the company’s request for financing to pay workers’ owed vacation.

The statement also revealed that the family of Richard Gillman, once a minority shareholder who in 2006 and 2007 bought out Republic, last month formed a new window business — Echo Windows LLC. All along, workers here said they feared the owners were shutting down to reopen a cheaper operation somewhere else. A trade publication reported last week that Echo had recently bought a window manufacturing plant in Red Oak, Iowa. No one from Republic could be reached for comment.

“It is looking like reopening is exactly what happened,” said Tara Taffera, the editor and publisher of the publication, Door and Window Manufacturing magazine.

The company’s statement said it had been placed, “in the impossible position of not having the ability to further reduce fixed costs, coupled with severe constrictions in the capital debt markets and an unwillingness of the current debt holder to continue funding the operations.”

The workers here also blamed Bank of America for preventing the owners from paying its workers for already-earned vacation time and severance. Workers here said the owners told them last week that Bank of America had cut off the company’s credit line and would not allow payments.

As part of government bailout efforts for the struggling banking industry, Bank of America has received $15 billion, and is expected to receive an additional $10 billion. That fact left many workers here seething.

“Taxpayers would like to see that bailout money go toward saving jobs, not saving C.E.O.’s,” said Leah Fried, an organizer for the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America. “This is outrageous.” [...]


Fundraiser for the Teamster Reform Movement

June 29, 2008 § Leave a comment


Maya Escobar Paint 4 Peace on ABC 7 News

June 19, 2008 § 1 Comment

I just re-uploaded a better quality of this video to youtube, check it out if you missed it before….

Clip from ABC7′s “The N Beat,” With Host Theresa Gutierrez back in 2002

Paint 4 Peace is a non-profit organization comprised of artists and activists who strive to create a culture of peace, fortify communities, and bridge the gap between humanity and politics through artistic endevors.

Beverly A. Normand and the Rald Institute

March 26, 2008 § 2 Comments

Rald Institute’s mission is to assist at risk children and individuals with learning, social-emotional, and other disabilities. We strive to enhance self-worth while strengthening cognitive and affective domains. We work to increase public awareness of various disabilities and function as advocates. The institute supports schools by providing technical assistance to staff. Rald provides experiences in the arts because we believe such experiences help children expand critical thinking, increase imagination and develop an appreciation for cultural diversity. Inclusive art workshops are offered at no cost to children. The institute is run by volunteers and there are no charges for services to individuals.

here is a link to an abc special on Beverly’s work.

Beverly Normand, Ph.D., Founder and President, is a consultant for public and private schools in Illinois, and is lecturer and adjunct professor for several universities. She recently retired from the Office of Specialized Services, Chicago Public Schools, after thirty-four years of service as Special Education Teacher, Citywide Instructional Specialist, and Facilitator for School Based Problem Solving/Response to Intervention programs in Psychology and Special Education. She earned degrees from Roosevelt University, DePaul University and Chicago State University. She was a contributing writer for several publications of Chicago Public Schools, is the recipient of numerous educational awards, special recognitions, and various grants. She has written and hosted several educational television programs, has been published in numerous journals and magazines and has participated in various research projects.

A poet, designer, lyricist and patron of the arts, she has collaborated with artists and musicians on special projects and has planned and coordinated cultural programs and art exhibitions for school children, churches and other institutions throughout her adult life.

Serving as Commissioner of Religion and Race for the United Methodist Church in the South Shore Community of Chicago for twenty years, Normand developed activities and programs to support African American history and culture, while also planning activities and programs to strengthen multi-cultural exchange and diversity training. She served as editor for the Nimbus publication for many years.

Normand has helped thousands of pupils, parents, teachers, ancillary teams and school administrators, and is highly respected for her integrity, creativity and skills. “I believe in interdisciplinary instruction and all curricula that stimulate the imagination and lead us away from mediocrity and complacency. The mission of Rald Institute is to reduce the at-risk population, support children and individuals with special needs in a manner which leads to self-actualization, support as many parents and teachers as we can, and help twenty-first century educational leaders maintain integrity and democratic forms of leadership, while problem solving.”

Gina Grafos

March 13, 2008 § Leave a comment

beauty, brains, talent, wit… she has got it all.

my girl Gina Grafos will be featured on the front cover of zeek magazine’s april additon.

be sure to check her out.

gina grafos

Birth. Soul. Spirit. Death. All cycles of life are overlapped in Gina Grafos‘ life and in work. Raised in a Jewish, evangelical Christian, Greek Orthodox family, Grafos’ perception of belief was left quite askew. Her work now deals with the beliefs of others, with a preference for representations of faith whether relgious or philosophical.

The Cuentos Foundation

February 28, 2008 § Leave a comment

I just submitted the work of Michele Feder-Nadoff, to the magazine I work for Zeek. Michele is a dear friend and a phenomenal artist, activist and educator. I thought it would be a good idea to share some information about Michele and to promote her organization the cuentos foundation.

Artistic Director, Michele Feder-Nadoff, who is Jewish, founded Cuentos in 1998 with the humanist vision and commitment to tikkun haolam, a Jewish principal expressing each person’s responsibility to play a part in “healing the world.” Cuentos members believe art is a transformative catalyst for effecting positive social change. Our work combats prejudice and discrimination through artistic and educational intergenerational projects and programs promoting mutual understanding.

The abundance of cultural wealth living doorstep to doorstep in our neighborhoods provide all of us an opportunity to engage with and learn about each others’ backgrounds. What connects us and how can live in peace together, connected by mutual understanding and appreciation of different cultures from around the globe?

 

CUENTOS PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

To design programs that promote strong personal and cultural identity, as well as cultivate the ability to positively engage and communicate across cultures. We believe these are the keys for empowering youth, families, and communities with the capacity for participating in positive social change and mutual understanding.

To provide reciprocal learning/ educating of artistic strategies and art-making practices, techniques, traditions, such as copper-smithing, poetry writing & publishing, performance, curating.

To provide a safe, nurturing, extremely creative environment to test out ideas, performance, theater, music, a poem, or an exhibition idea in Cuentos’ storefront windows or space.

To empower through collective practices: A place to collaborate with others from similar and different backgrounds.

To make cross-cultural links and networks between groups.

To use art across disciplines to give projects a holistic and contextualized vision.

To develop the acquisition of transferable skills and knowledge: artistic, social, and cultural.

To provide an opportunity to express differences in cultural heritage, history, and traditions.

To act as an incubator for creating community connections and fellowship.

check out their new book: Ritmo de Fuego

Ritmo del Fuego / Rhythm of Fire is a unique achievement, telling the story of the deep-seated copperworking tradition of Santa Clara del Cobre, an ancient community in the forested mountains of Michoacán, Mexico. What is often seen as “folk art” is shown to stem from early workshops established in Michoacán during the 8th-9th centuries AD, by coastal traders and artisans from the Andean Region of South America. Since then, the manufactures have included utilitarian and ornamental objects. Many have been recovered at archaeological sites, most notably from the 15th century Tarascan Kingdom. Others embrace forms of Spanish origin after the 16th century conquest. Today in the expanding international market, Santa Clara copperwares include a wide range of sophisticated decorative vases, pitchers, trays, dinner wares and related forms. A vital community has evolved with this ongoing tradition, portrayed with affection and care by the project organizer Michele Feder-Nadoff, and the many other authors in this remarkable, well written contribution to the cultural history of the Americas.

click here to purchase

Nuevos Compañeros

May 4, 2007 § 10 Comments

So here I am introducing the best of the best…

They will make you laugh, think, laugh some more and then go do something

Ricardo from U N L O A D E D

Ricardo is a Puerto Rican Jewish Playright. The first time I cam across his blog U N L O A D E D Ricardo had a post thanking a friend for describing him as a sexy Puerto Rican blooded beast .

link to his screenplays

  • There’s not many of us out there but we are a dedicated, determined few as far as Latino Jews go. You’re addressing some very real issues in acciones plasticas. These projection do exist and it can be a big waste of daily energy to push them back so they can finally get to the real you. If I sat down and thought about it, I could probably conjure up some characters that show the projections on to me as well. At least some that I experienced while growing up. I think we’ve made some big strides in shedding the stereotypes, but the work is never really done. Hence the need for work like yours. I’ve never been good at this type of performance work you’re doing however. I’ve always toyed with the idea of doing something similar to what your doing from a guys perspective, a one man show locally here, but I’m not there yet.

in another email

I came very close once to putting my picture up on Jdate but couldn’t do it. I could definitely see lots of guys, intoxicated by by the likes of Selma and Penelope or J-Lo, wanting to bring you home for a one night stand and brag to their friends about how they “took a dip in some salsa.” We men are terrible in this regard but I can imagine it would be very frustrating for you. You ought to be appreciated for what you’ve done artistically, academically and politically because those things are what create the whole person so to speak. But I bet these men wanted to hear none of that and just wanted you to talk dirty to them in Spanish, again we men are awful but in my opinion these men are also very insecure. Why? Because they lack the social skills to get past the stereotypes and engage you for who you are. If they really wanted to know more about the Latin culture there are tons of better approaches that are not so lame like “muy picante.” I mean really, I would not say that seriously no matter how drunk I was. Just talk to people as equals.

Now as far as respect from the others in the Latin community, cherish it. Often times there is resentment if you are accomplished. While you are loved, I am usually hated. First off people can’t always place my ethnicity. I get everything in the book before they get to Puerto Rican. Yeah I don’t have an accent, so what? I don’t speak it but my family came here in the 20′s, what do you expect? Things fade. I do understand it however so if someone’s talking smack about me, I know. Artistically, hated by some in my family because I don’t write or perform about racial issues. If I’m compelled to do so and it feels right, then I will. I’m not close with them anyway so it doesn’t mater.

I have no shame in who I am but if I’m expected to act a certain way for the appeasement of the ethnic police, then arrest me because I am who I am and feel no need to apologize for it.

Now if women wanted to use me for a latin sex toy…Maya…I’ll be honest, I’ll be her Toys R Us if she’s she’s got the stuff. But men don’t really get used this way. Not in America at least. Europe would be a different story. But even that would grow old in time I suppose, a very long time but still ;-)

  • Daniel aka theMULatino

    Daniel is a Mexican American Graduate Student at Missouri University. Daniel is the self-proclaimed token minority at MU.

    from his blog

    • Next, let’s talk about Jewish people. Actually, wait a minute. Let’s not. Cause I don’t really know many Jewish people. However, a new study released by the American Jewish Committee indicates that Hispanics harbor more anti-Semitic feelings than non-Hispanics. So, according to the “research”, I guess I’m supposed to hate Jewish people. Now (sigh)…..I don’t mean to debunk anyone’s intellectual efforts here, but I don’t think it’s fair to Jewish people or Hispanics to waste time on such mindless activities like being anti-Semitic. It’s pointless. It’s ignorant. It’s un-American. SO, let’s not hate Jewish people…. let’s hate WHITE people. If you ask me, it’s completely unnecessary to begin dividing up white folks into groups and hating them by ethnicity. We should unify and hate them all equally. (Okay, you idiots. I hope you realize I’m joking here.)

    This video was my first introduction to theMULatino.


    after seeing that hilarious video and reading his blog I had no choice but to post a response video.

    To get the ball rolling I asked them to answer the following questions:

    • Where you see yourself going?
    • What is your goal as an artist/educator/politician/writer…?
    • In what facets (if any) do you plan on serving the latino and or jewish community?
    • What do you hope to achieve using the internet as a means of communication?
    • What do you want people to know about you?
    • As a minority (that is a public figure), who is more effective in creating change?

    Intellectuals, Comedians, Artists

      How are they representatives of our society?

    • Who actually sees their work?

    • Ricardo’s Responses:
      1. I really hope to see myself in a position that I can write and direct my own films. When I sit down to write something I try and tell a story on how we, as people, use all the wrong ways to move and affect each other as opposed to honestly and openly communicating. To do the former is pave the way for a small scale but devastating human disaster. This is where the drama comes in and these dramas, these mini tragedies, are happening all around us each day. They go unnoticed because they don’t involve a bank robbery or high speed chase, but there is great emotion and compelling stories in these events none the less. These are not easy targets to hit when doing a screenplay or the like but they are challenging.
      2. In terms of serving the Latino community, I want to be able to show people out there that all of us have stories to tell that are universal in their appeal. While there will be Latino artist that contribute to breaking down racial barriers by doing race oriented fare, I want to do that by telling stories that transcend race. I want the fact that I’m Latino to be an afterthought because that means, to me, that they’ve accepted me as an individual and artist. And I think that’s happened to a great extent on my blog. It’s a very diverse group of readers that relate to the story. I’m not a gang member and I’m not going to steal your car. I’m a guy that thinks and works for a living just like you.
      3. As for the Jewish community, I want to show people that we too have the same hopes and fears as everyone else and we’re not out to take everyone’s money or control the media or whatever conspiracy theory of the day is out there. Again it goes back into the types of stories we tell and how we frame them. One day I’d like to be able to do a documentary that shows and how it’s like to be Jewish in America. All of us are not doctors and lawyers and all of us are not loaded. You’re a minority but not really a minority because people perceive that you have money and that cancels it out. But that’s the great myth. Being Jewish is about not fitting in and loving it. There’s got to be a way that I can show that.
      4. I think you need the Jon Stewarts, Dave Chappelles AND the Guillermo Gomez Pena/ Coco Fuscos of the world out there grinding it out. The approaches are different but there’s a lot of truth in each approach. These are the people that tap you on the shoulder and say “What you think is acceptable is really fucked up and here’s why.” And they show us this through their mediums and it hurts sometimes. These people shock you into looking at your reality in a new way and make you think.
      5. Humor is such a powerful and healing thing. I told you about about shocking people before but if you can get them to laugh at the shock then your on your way to enlightening some people. The laughter in a strange way is an acknowledgment. if they can acknowledge the issue then they can be moved toward learning more about it and possibly fixing it.

      Daniel’s Responses:

      1. To answer some of your questions the best I can, I think I first have to confess to honestly feeling like my life is a work in progress. I don’t always know what I’m doing. In fact, 99% of the time I don’t even know what I’m going to write or say until I actually do it. Being a writer and a student is just a natural extension of my process of self-discovery and my interest in sharing. I’ve worked in diversity in higher education since I was undergraduate, so that’s mainly my writing content now. However, the more years I put in, the more I’ve realized that while the thrust of institutional diversity is positive, it’s a political showman’s game just like everything else. At this point, I know that I’m paid to write, publicize, and document nice news, not real news. My goal with my writing is to someday have the financial stability to write something truthful that I don’t have to be concerned about getting fired over.
      2. My ethnic background is Latino, Hispanic, Chicano, and I grew up poor (who didn’t?) in Kansas City. My parents were Chicano activists in the sixties and seventies when they met in college. They’re both civil servants today. Although they’re divorced now, we all still live in the same neighborhood, except that I’m finishing up graduate school in Columbia, Missouri. My entire life has always included some element of community activism, so I really felt like a fish out of water when I moved to middle-Missouri. My long-term plan has always been to eventually head back home and participate in making my community a better place (aren’t I noble? barf). However, right now I have some more learning to do, things to see, people to meet, experiences to go through, you know the deal. I’m just trying to make the most of everything.
      3. I think that’s what my website is about; sharing, learning, exercising intellectual freedom, making the most of this experience, and not losing touch with my community back home. If I wanted people to know anything about me, it would probably just be that the irony inherent in that particular question is that I’m really just trying to learn about them.

      please feel free to share your responses

    Obsessed With Frida Kahlo

    April 11, 2007 § 21 Comments

    obsessed with frida kahlo, 2007

    el es frida kahlo, 2007

    part of the piece I did for d[x]i magazine on the commodification of Frida Kahlo

    auto retrato, 2003

    autoretrato

    frida painting, 2007

    frida puppets, 2007

    In search of the #1 Frida Kahlo fan in the World

    PROVE IT answer the following questions:

    When did you fall in love with Frida?

    Why do you admire her?

    What trivia do you know about Frida Kahlo?

    How many and what Frida objects do you own? (prints of her work, t-shirts, mugs, wall hangings, toothbrushes, etc…)

    please leave a written comment, submit photos, or a video response
    Dressed as Frida

    Still from Forever Frida
    Frida KahloFrida Kahlo @ Fiddlehead Fest.me dressed as frida kahlo at work

    RachelFrida03Alter EgoMe As Frida Kahlo 1

    Davina as FridaFrida KahloFrida Kahlo's 100th Birthday

    your responses

    March 30, 2007 § 5 Comments

    RELATED POSTS
    Gallery Opening
    Next Phase of Acciones Plasticas
    Video Responses
    How does it feel to be called a JAP?

    Now I am asking you to participate. Hopefully viewing these images has caused you to question if and when similar stereotypes have been applied to you or those around you. Please take the time to share your experiences by clicking on any of the dolls to submit your response.

    Escobar_Maya_02.pngEscobar_Maya_03 .pngEscobar_Maya_04.pngEscobar_Maya_05.pngEscobar_Maya_06.png

    I have included a section with guiding questions. If you have more you would like to submit post them here

    Please feel free but not limited to answering the following questions regarding each doll:

    Is there any truth to this description?

    Are all of these things negative?

    What is the origin of this stereotype?

    What is a _________ really like?

    What does this stereotype leave unsaid?

    How does it feel to be called a JAP?

    March 11, 2007 § 13 Comments

    Please take this as an opportunity to let your voice be heard.

    I welcome anyone who would like to offer a response online, either written or in the form of a video blog. Remember that the acciones plásticas videos are not the stereotypes themselves, they are women who have be affected by their presence.

    I will continuously update this post with videos as they are submitted. “How does it feel to be called a _____?” Feel free, (but not limited) to respond to the stereotypes I have presented. Use this as an opportunity to share your own experiences.

    If you are an educator takes this as an opportunity to discuss these issues with your students. I am in the process of developing curriculum for presenting acciones plásticas in the classroom.

    while the “youtube” video blogs are played on a reel.

    Orthodox Jew JAP Chach Sexy Latina

    The public will be invited to respond, by altering the text accompanying each doll. Over the course of the exhibition the original cards displaying the stereotype will be replaced by the new cards with altered text.

    Your video responses will be incorporated into the reel.

    From the show

    Now I am asking you to participate. Hopefully viewing these images has caused you to question if and when similar stereotypes have been applied to you or those around you. Please take the time to share your experiences by clicking on any of the dolls to submit your response.

    Escobar_Maya_02.pngEscobar_Maya_03 .pngEscobar_Maya_04.pngEscobar_Maya_05.pngEscobar_Maya_06.png

    I have included a section with guiding questions. If you have more you would like to submit post them here

    Please feel free but not limited to answering the following questions regarding each doll:

    Is there any truth to this description?

    Are all of these things negative?

    What is the origin of this stereotype?

    What is a _________ really like?

    What does this stereotype leave unsaid?

    brenda still


    Jewish Stereotypes

    Bitch Magazine Aritcle

    The JAP©

    February 13, 2007 § 6 Comments

    from the series acciones plásticas


    click here for Kol Ra’ash Gadol’s critque on Jewschool about this piece.

    When Maya Escobar uses this stereotype she may be either mocking it or indulging it – or both – that’s one of the dangers of comedy. She clearly thinks that she’s mocking it, and attempting to provide a conversation starter (Okay, Maya, so here I am starting a conversation: Kol hakavod!) But even in her attempts to mock the stereotypes that have been projected onto her (and let’s be clear the chach and the sexy latina aren’t any better!), I have to wonder about those who are watching the comedy, and whether it helps them reject – or accept- those experiences in which they met a person onto whom they themselves projected such a label. “After all, how can she “nail the JAP” if there’s no JAP to be nailed, if the JAP happens to simply be a person whom one dislikes upon meeting, but no more likely a Jew than a Lutheran? In order for it to confirm that glorious feeling, one has to have a little sense that there is something about being Jewish and female that attaches to that kind of behavior, n’est ce pas?

    she offers the following links
    an exerpt from Dr. Evelyn Torton Beck’s essay “From ‘Kike to Jap’:How misogyny, anti-semitism, and racism construct the Jewish American Princess.”
    bibliography of the analysis of the JAP stereotype

    www.lilith.org/landmark_articles/jap.pdf

    Escobar_Maya_02.pngEscobar_Maya_03 .pngEscobar_Maya_04.pngEscobar_Maya_05.pngEscobar_Maya_06.png

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