Create and deliver high quality experiential learning opportunities that enable Latino youth to competencies and life skills to pursue careers of their choice, particularly journalism and media. Build a strong national network of Spanish language youth media creators. Support Latino youth as they become resources to the larger community through their involvement in media and civic engagement. Already garnering national awards as a groundbreaking institution, Radio Arte offers bilingual, one-year media-training programs to youth ages 15-21. This training provides an introduction to the basics in radio journalism, analysis of social issues, and the technical aspects of radio production. Students learn to appreciate the medium of radio as a technology with the potential to transform their communities and lives. Along with coverage of local and national issues, community members recognize Radio Arte as a powerhouse in Latino music, going beyond traditional genres to feature emerging contributions to Rock en Español, ska, electronica, and punk. Under the museum’s auspices, Pilsen’s youth elevate their potential and progress over the airwaves as space explorers representing la raza cósmica with deftness and heart.
Any comment I might muster about the Museum’s significance would remain at the superficial, informational level if I didn’t reflect on how the collection has had a resounding impression on my own creativity. When I prepared my book Women and Knowledge in Mesoamerica: From East L.A. to Anahuac for publication for the University of Arizona Press (2011), I was soon at an impasse with the publisher’s design staff. I had in mind the depiction of a woman representing Mesoamerica on a journey, perhaps a collage work reminiscent of Alma Lopez’ serigraphs that capture a simultaneity of moods and circumstances in a manner that is prophetic, and yet anchored in the traditional plane. What I got was a series of interpretations of the Mayan goddess Ixtab as a sort of “calavera girl”: a gothic looking illustration of a woman with Rasta locks and calavera facial paint pulls back her dreads with a hippie 1970’s headband. Large scalloped brass hoop earrings dangle from her lobes. The painting is done in delicate cream, gray, ochre, and dramatic charcoal. Her seductive face is depicted in full profile; a plate or disc with a floral design, perhaps marigolds, hovers in the background. The pieces were authored by a woman whose online art pages were mostly dedicated to ethereal portraits of European fairies and myths. That’s when I remembered the photograph Mujer Ángel by Graciela Iturbide (1979) that I had seen in the NMMA’s permanent collection. The photograph shows a Seri Indian woman of the Sonoran desert. Her billowing white skirt breaks up the landscape of dry mountains and plains. She walks alone, her back to the lens. The black and white image may have come from the 19th century, but for the large, portable radio that she clutches in her right hand. Iturbide has said about this work, “The photo Mujer Ángel was taken casually and when I saw the contact sheets I didn’t remember the moment in which I had taken the photo. In this case, I feel that it is an image that the desert gave to me.” I hadn’t been looking for an image that could capture over five hundred years of Mesoamerican women’s knowledge traditions, and also convey that we are yet on a journey through space and time, with so much more to explore. I don’t recall the moment in which I stumbled onto the photo: it is an image that the museum gave to me.
| Fall 2012 el AVISO
literature, music, theater and visual arts. This past Chicago’s celebration featured the sounds of the Grammy Awardwinning Mariachi Divas, an all-female, international group. Hosted by the National Museum of Mexican Art, this event is free and open to the public of all ages. One of the museum’s programs that bears mention is its own Radio Arte, 90.5 WRTE-FM, a Latino-owned, youthdriven public radio station that “works to advance the voices of our multi-layered society.” The NMMA acquired a Class D radio station in 1996 from the Boys & Girls Club of Chicago. Radio Arte states its guiding principals are to:
A Publication of the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures. Learn more at www.nalac.org