45th Chicano Park Day Celebration, April 25, 2015
Organized by the Chicano Park Steering Committee, Stewards of Chicano Park
The 45th Chicano Park Day celebration will be held on Saturday, April 25, 2015.
Gracias to all our fantastic volunteers, talented performers who donated their time, and the community who joined us in celebrating the 44th annual Chicano Park Day celebration on Saturday, April 19, 2014. This year's theme was "La Tierra Es De Quien La Trabaja: The Land Belongs To Those Who Work It."
Visitors to Chicano Park Day experienced traditional music and dance, including one of the most beautiful performances of Aztec Indigenous dance, coordinated by Danza Azteca Calpulli Mexihca. Other dance groups included ballet folklorico troupes, Ballet Folklorico Tierra, Flor y Canto and Ballet Folklorico Azquetzalli and danza Zapateado rebelde by Mujeres en Resistencia. The event opened with a blessing by Tim Red Bird and the Red Warriors.
Live bands that performed this year included Chocolate Revolution, Sumatra, Big Quarters, Ruby Clouds, Trigger Nasty, Mariachi Imperial de San Diego, 2MX2, Project Unknown (Logan Teen Music Program), Back N Time, Cumbia Machin, Radio La Chusma and Sure Fire Soul Ensemble.. Speakers included Georgette Gomez of the Environmental Health Coalition and Rudy Gonzalez, son of the late Rodolfo 'Corky' Gonzales from the Crusade for Justice in Denver, Colorado, David Rico from the Brown Berets de Aztlan, Rigo Reyes from the Amigos Car Club, Elisa Sabatini from Via International and Jesse Constancio representing the Chicano Park Steering Committee. In addition, there was a display of classic lowrider cars organized by the Amigos Car Club, kids (all ages) art workshop led by Victor Ochoa and his volunteers, and various informational booths. Food, arts and crafts vendors sold their specialties throughout Chicano Park.
The Chicano Park Steering Committee is on Facebook.
Next meeting of the Chicano Park Steering Committee is Sunday, August 31, 3 pm at the Kiosco.
Chicano Park Mural Restoration Project Receives
Governor's 2013 Historic Preservation Award
"The Chicano Park Mural Restoration Project preserved and enhanced 20 outdoor murals that are recognized at the national, state, and local levels as historical, cultural, and socio-political public art. Chicano Park is distinguished by these 40-year-old murals that depict colorful images of pre-Columbian gods, botanical elements, animal imagery, revolutionary struggles, and spiritual symbolism. The project represented a successful collaboration between state (Caltrans District 11), business (Ghirardelli Associates), and community (Chicano Park Steering Committee and mural artists) to preserve a site of great value to the community in which it exists."
The award presentation ceremony will be held on November 21, 2013, from 1-4pm at the Leland Stanford Mansion State Historic Park in Sacramento. Thank you to Josie Talamantez and Angie Avila for accepting the award on behalf of the CPSC. We have also invited the RCAF artists to attend this ceremony.
Congratulations to Chunky Sanchez
NEA National Heritage Fellowships Concert was held on September 27 at Lisner Auditorium, George Washington University and the awards ceremony on September 25! For those of us not in Washington DC this week, the NEA streamed the concert live on its website: www.arts.gov
Students Document Chicano Park History
In 2012, Dr. Alberto Pulido's students at USD, in consultation with the Chicano Park Steering Committee, worked to update documentation of the murals at Chicano Park. The students worked diligently to re-create/update the Chicano Park mural map and have produced a gorgeous publication. A big thank you to the students!
Now a revised Chicano Park Murals Documentation Project publication (2013) is available on blurb.com. This revised book includes images of all the restored murals, along with information on the original artists involved in the restoration. At the front of the book is an easy-to-read map of all the murals and their location in the park. You can preview the entire book at: http://www.blurb.com/my/book/detail/3934288 The hardcover book is $54.21 plus shipping costs. A softcover version of the book is available for $20 from Dr. Pulido (firstname.lastname@example.org) or stop by Back from Tomboctou, 3564 Adams Ave., San Diego, CA 92116 or at the monthly CPSC meeting and/or contact the CPSC at email@example.com
A group of USD students, under the guidance of Professor Alberto Pulido, volunteered to be a part of the first Chicano Park-University of San Diego Documentation Project from January to May 2011.
Through the collection of oral histories, students documented the history of Chicano Park, Chicano/a history, and five unique aspects of Chicano/a cultural expression that emerged as a result of the establishment of Chicano Park. The five cultural expressions captured by this year's project are: Chicano Art as seen in the public and political biography of Victor Ochoa; Chicano Music as seen through the life of Ramon 'Chunky' Sanchez; Community Organizing (Chicano Park Steering Committee) as seen through the life of Tommie Camarillo; Danzantes (indigenous dance) as seen in the life of Rosa Olga Navarro; and Chicano Car Culture (low riders) as lived and experienced by Rigo Reyes.
Go to http://www.sandiego.edu/cas/es/students/chicano_park.php to view the presentations & posters.
Chicano Park Mural Restoration Project
The Chicano Park Mural Restoration Project was completed in August 2012. CalTrans announced the completion of the project on August 21, 2012. More news coverage here.
For articles, photos and videos of the restored murals, click here or go to the 'Murals' and 'Press' links at the top of the page.
Thank you to all who joined us on Saturday, August 25, 2012 to celebrate the newly restored/revitalized murals. The festivities began with the blessing of all the newly-restored murals by numerous Danza Azteca groups including Danza Azteca Calpulli Mexihca, Danza Mexi'coyotl, Toltecas en Aztlan, Danza Atlachinole, Danza Coatlicue Chemilitzli and Danza Quetzalhuzlin. In addition, Agua Dulce also performed and artists had their art on display.
Awards: On September 20, 2012, the Chicano Park Steering Committee, along with CalTrans and Ghiradelli received the Rosa Parks Excellence in Diversity award at the Women's Transportation Seminar Annual Awards celebration. On October 11, 2012, the Chicano Park Mural Restoration Project received the "Grand Orchid" award at the 2012 Orchids & Onions Awards Ceremony held at the Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla.
Josie Talamantez & the Chicano Park Steering Committee were selected as the recipient of 2013 People in Preservation, Lifetime Achievement Award by the Save Our Heritge Organisation (SOHO). The 31st annual awards ceremony took place on Thursday, May 23, 2013. Shown below: Arturo Casares, Diane Bolivar, Tommie Camarillo, Josie Talamantez and Joe Le Blanc
National Register of Historic Places:
Chicano Park has been listed on the California Register of Historical Resources since 1997. The nomination of Chicano Park and the Chicano Park Monumental Murals for the National Register was approved by the California State Historical Resources Commission at their quarterly meeting on Friday, November 9, 2012. After the nomination was approved by the California State Historical Resources Commission, it was forwarded for consideration on the National Register of Historic Places. Chicano Park was officially listed in the National Register of Historic Places on January 23, 2013. The National Register focuses on buildings and structures, so the uniqueness of Chicano Park would set a different kind of precedent for the National Trust. Mil gracias to Josie Talamantez for her dedicated, diligent work behalf of the Chicano Park Steering Committee in this endeavor.
To read the approved nomination registration form, go to http://www.nps.gov/nr/feature/weekly_features/2013/CA_12001192.pdf
Chicano Park was founded on April 22, 1970 when the community of Barrio Logan and Chicano movement activists joined forces to protest the construction of a Highway Patrol station on the present site of the park. The Highway Patrol office was at the time the final insult to a community that had already been degraded by the demolition of hundreds of homes to make way for Interstate 5, the Coronado Bridge, the placement of toxic industries and junkyards, lack of community facilities, proper schools, jobs, social or medical services.
Protesters led by the Brown Berets, community activists, artists, M.E.Ch.A. and others took over the site and faced police and bulldozers for days while negotiations took place that resulted in the land being given over for a community park. In the following days and months similar actions by the same groups led to the forming of a Chicano Free Clinic, now known as the Logan Heights Family Health Center, and the Centro Cultural de la Raza in Balboa Park.
The struggle for Chicano Park came to symbolize the Chicano Mexicano people's struggle for self-determination and self-empowerment. The murals in the park painted by Chicano artists such as Victor Ochoa, Mario Torero, Yolanda Lopez, José Montoya, Sal Barajas, Juanishi Orosco, Berenice Badillo, Carmen Linares and many others portray the social, political and cultural issues that form the struggle for the liberation of Chicano Mexicanos.
Every year the community of Barrio Logan, the greater community of San Diego and people throughout the Southwest and across the US come together to celebrate the takeover of Chicano Park.
Slideshow from the 2006 Chicano Park Day celebration