Car Show for the 50th Chicano park Day is Full to Capacity. Thank you for your support!
QPED/RIP Octaviano Quintero, Geraldine 'Geri' Gonzales, Fernando Lucero, Pablo Aceves, Raul José Jaquez, Felipe Adame, Howard Hollman, Rebecca Romero, Ramon "Chunky" Sanchez, Rico Bueno, David Savage, Raul Portillo, Cruz and AnnaMarie Contreras, Andre Banks, and Francine Jimenez
IRENE MENA, PRESENTE!
The Chicano Park Steering Committee remembers and honors one of our own: La Generala and Grandmother of the Brown Berets: Irene Mena.
Irene Mena was at the heart of the movimiento – always leading by example at the forefront of the occupation and takeover of Chicano Park, the Neighborhood house, and the Ford Building in the 1970s. Born in the barrio of Logan Heights on June 3, 1929, Irene was committed to giving nuestra gente a courageous voice that demanded to be heard! She devoted her life to working in, and occupying schools, universities, churches, neighborhood organizations, and offices of politicos- all in the service of others and driven by her heartfelt compassion for her people. People like: Chunky Sanchez, Raul Portillo, Rico Bueno, Ron Trujillo, José Gómez, Tommie Camarillo, David Rico Sr., and Angie Avila.
"Irene Mena was my friend and we met way back in the 1970s during the takeover of Chicano Park. She was a badass and I have many good memories of her in the struggle. The thing I will remember the most about my friend Irene is that she had a very big heart and was very kind to everyone. I don't remember her ever putting anyone down and she always encouraged young people to get involved in the movement and reminded them that they needed to earn their part by working side by side with their elders. You know, Irene loved my mom Rufina very much and would always try to find her a boyfriend. Good memories. I will really miss my dear friend. Irene Mena Presente!"
“ I could write a book about Irene Mena. Irene was a symbol of liberation and justice for all Chicanas and Chicanos. She is an inspiration to all and especially for Chicana revolutionary thought. From the takeover of Neighborhood house to Chicano Park, there is not one thing I can think of where Irene was not involved in. She talked about issues and then she got them done and I am a witness to that. And the thing about Irene is that her activism never stopped and it continued up until her last days. Irene Mena’s legacy lives on and continue as an inspiration to our people!”
“Irene Mena was fearless, authentic, and unpretentious Chicana-Filipina. 50 years ago, with the making of Chicano Park, Irene and Huera would call me every day and lay out their expectations and disappointments of the Movimiento Chicano. Irene was always honest with us during the creation of the Park; she had our trust, she kept our Chicano Park movidas secret, and always had our backs. Peace be with you colega.”
The Chicano Park Steering Committee honors our Generala by remembering her words:
“Nothing was ever given to us. We had to fight for it. And it was no one person who did it; it was a collective of people who were concerned about equal rights. We had to organize and go to meeting after meeting to be heard. We marched, protested, & wrote letters for them to listen to our demands for health, education & community centers.”
She leaves us with a message to our youth:Be educated! Realize you have to fight for what you want. Progress and learn how to reach your goal in life!”
¡Irene Mena Presente!
Chicano Park Steering Committee – 6.30.2020
The Chicano Park Steering Committee stands in solidarity with the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and too many others. We honor and respect all struggles and collective protests that cry out for human dignity just like our activists and elders did over fifty years ago. We unequivocally reject all forms of law enforcement and border patrol violence and abuses that seek to surveil and kill members of our community that has existed throughout our history.
The Chicano Park Steering Committee stands with the family of George Floyd who condemn all forms of violence and who are calling for peace in our communities. It is within this spirit that we call on all goodwill people seeking social justice to respect the legacy of Chicano Park. We collectively proclaim that the physical space of Chicano Park [La Tierra Mía] is a living symbol of resistance and community self-determination to be protected and honored for all who stand for justice for our respective communities. Please respect our murals and our park and stand with us as we denounce all forms of violence!
Our deepest condolences to the Floyd family and all who have died at the hands of law enforcement.
Black Lives Matter!
George Floyd, Presente!
Next Chicano Park Day planned for Sat. April 24, 2021
Organized by the Chicano Park Steering Committee, Stewards of Chicano Park
The next Chicano Park Day, celebrating the 50th-51st anniversary is planned for Saturday, April 24, 2021, in historic Chicano Park, located in the Logan Heights community, south of downtown San Diego under the San Diego-Coronado bridge. The theme will be 'From Takeover to Landmark: 50 Years of Chicano Self-Determination and Resistance on Kumeyaay Land."
Visitors to Chicano Park Day will experience traditional music and dance, including one of the most beautiful performances of Aztec Indigenous dance, coordinated by Danza Azteca Calpulli Mexihca. The event will include performances by ballet folklorico groups, danza rebelde, speakers, and numerous live bands on two stages. In addition, there will be a display of more than 300 classic lowrider cars presented by Amigos Car Club, children’s art workshops, and various informational booths. Food, and arts and crafts vendors will be selling their specialties throughout Chicano Park. This annual event is organized and presented entirely by volunteers, both those who contribute on the day of the event as well as those who work throughout the year to ensure a great celebration.
**NO ALCOHOL AND NO PETS are allowed at the event. Thank you for your cooperation.
Established by Chicano activists on April 22, 1970, Chicano Park has received international recognition as a major public art site for its commanding mural paintings of Mexican and Chicano history. The Park was recognized as a San Diego Cultural Resource by the San Diego Historical Society in 1980. In addition, Chicano Park has been listed on the California Register of Historical Resources since 1997, on the National Register of Historic Places in 2013 and was designated a National Historic Landmark on December 23, 2016.
Chicano Park @ 50: A Daily Reflection on La Tierra Mia, 4/21-4/26
"Fifty Years Ago, Fed Up With The City's Neglect, a San Diego Community Rose Up to Create Chicano Park" by Eduardo Diaz, Smithsonian Magazine, April 28, 2020
The Spirit of Chicano Park / El Espíritu del Parque Chicano
A new bilingual children's book by Beatrice Zamora with illustrations by Maira Meza. Available in hardback and paperback from Tolteca Press. Proceeds will go to the Chicano Park Steering Committee and the Chicano Park Museum and Cultural Center.
Chicano Park Calendar: Commemorating 50 years of Chicano Park!
Support the all-volunteer Chicano Park Steering Committee by purchasing a 50th Anniversary Chicano Park calendar, a joint project of the CPSC and Amigos Car Club. The publication is $15 (+$3.50 for mailing if outside San Diego) for this 17-month calendar (January 2019 to May 2020) and includes a pull-out insert keepsake of the history of Chicano Park and the mural map. Bulk rates are: 50 calendars - $13 per copy; 100 calendars - $12 per copy; 500 calendars - $10 per copy; 1,000 calendars - $8 per copy, plus the cost of mailing if needed. Orders: email@example.com
Chicano Park Bathroom Expansion Project
Five new murals will be painted on the outside walls of the new bathrooms. The sketches below (by Patricia Aguayo, Hector Villegas, Giovanni Cerda ("MEX") and Sal Barajas) received the most votes at our July 2017 meeting.
Chicano Park approved for National Historic Landmark status
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced the designation of 24 new National Historic Landmarks on January 11, 2017 (December 23, 2016 officially approved). Chicano Park is among those sites. "On April 22, 1970, community residents occupied Chicano Park in San Diego, California, in an ultimately successful effort to prevent the construction of a California Highway Patrol substation on land where the City of San Diego had promised the neighborhood a community park. Representative of the Chicano Civil Rights Movement, Chicano Park has become a cultural and recreational gathering place for the Chicano community and is the location of the Chicano Park Monumental Murals, an exceptional assemblage of master mural artwork painted on the freeway bridge supports." Read complete press release here. Chicano Park has been listed on the California Register of Historical Resources since 1997 and was officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places on January 23, 2013.
Recreation Improvements Completed
Ribbon-cutting held on November 5, 2015
Join the San Diego Urban Corps and the Chicano Park Steering Committee on November 5, 3pm to celebrate the improvements/additions including the children's playground, tiny tots area, new handball court, adult outdoor fitness area (and new grass planted adjacent), skate lane, Raul Jaquez metal artwork restored (and fountain tile work),and landscaping alongside the placita.
Read about SD Urban Corps's work in Pablo J. Sáinz article in La Prensa from July 24, 2015.
Tommie Camarillo Day at San Diego City Council, Sept. 20, 2016
Councilman David Alvarez on behalf of the San Diego City Council proclaimed September 20, 2016 to be Tomasa 'Tommie' Camarillo Day
..."WHEREAS, Tommie Camarillo has been a faithful steward and protector, dedicated to her love for a park that serves as a cultural anchor and symbolizes the importance of struggle, sacrifice, and equality; and..." (part of the proclamation)
Students Document Chicano Park Mural 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 (2015) is available. 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. The book is available for $25 from Dr. Pulido (firstname.lastname@example.org) or at the monthly CPSC meeting and/or contact the CPSC 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.
Congratulations to Chunky Sanchez
2013 NEA National Heritage Fellow!
Information on all 2013 NEA National Heritage Fellows: http://arts.gov/honors/heritage/fellows/NHFIntro.php?year=2013
The community also celebrated the dedication of the Ramon "Chunky" Sanchez auditorium and mural unveiling (artwork by Sal Barajas & Francisco Contreras) at King Chavez Neighborhood of Schools, 415 - 31st St, San Diego 92102 on Wednesday, June 12, 2013."San Diego Musician Ramon "Chunky" Sanchez honored locally, nationally Katie Euphrat,KBPS, June 12, 2013: http://www.kpbs.org/news/2013/jun/12/san-diego-musician-ramon-chunky-sanchez-honored-lo/
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
Chicano Park Mural Restoration Project