Chilean Politician with Family Ties to Pinochet Visiting UC Berkeley Campus

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In this letter we hear from Hector Salgado, a long-time La Peña community member who arrived to the U.S. after being exiled from Chile after being imprisoned at the age of 16 during the Pinochet coup. He represents many exiled Chilean’s opinion on Felipe Kast being invited to  UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business’s Latin America Conference on April 1, 2016

Berkeley, CA  –  I found appalling to see UC Berkeley extending an invitation to Felipe Kast from Chile. Mr. Kast is a former member of Pinochet’s political party UDI and his family, are all well known supporters of the Pinochet dictatorship.

I have included a link here (In Spanish) that connects Mr. Kast family to the massacre of 22 families in the South of Chile. Obviously, Mr. Kast can’t be responsible for the actions of his family. But, as a congressman and a former supporter of Pinochet, he has refused repeatedly to speak about this horrendous crime. After 40 years, the families of Paine are still looking for justice and their disappeared family members. It’s time he confronts this issue, especially in Berkeley where a great majority of the Chilean Exile Community settled after the brutal 1973 coup by dictator Pinochet .

During the last few days Mr. Felipe Kast has been involved in heated discussion in congress about the issue of abortion. One memorable intervention became a theme for all Chileans during the last few days: “No sé de dónde salió la idea de que la mujer tiene derechos sobre su cuerpo”. “I don’t know where did the idea that women have rights over their bodies came from “. That’s your guess for you!

He is also against: 1.Same-Sex Marriage 2.The emergency contraception pill 3.The regulation of life in gay couples 4.The adoption of children by gay couples and many more issues.

As far as we are concerned, the issues are not only about human rights, but also about the fundamental civic rights for our people. Rights that here in California and in Berkeley, in particular, are protected by law.

Therefore it is very hard for us to understand that an institution like UC Berkeley, which has been connected with La Peña Cultural Center and the Chilean Exile Community for the last 40 years, decides to invite such a divisive “politician”.

The Nazi background of his family, his political background as a member of UDI, the political party created by dictator Pinochet and his silence regarding the massacre of the 22 people of Paine on October 16, 1973 makes this person unfit to be a guess of UC Berkeley.

You can tell UC Berkeley’s school of business how you feel by contacting them here.

 

Why Millenials Are Flocking to Bernie Sanders

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In this op-ed, we hear La Peña intern Devenni Hernandez’s point of view of why millenials are flocking to support Bernie Sanders. She is a senior Political Science student at UC Berkeley. She has been interning at La Peña Cultural Center since August, 2015. Her interests include philosophy, journaling/ism, social and environmental justice, and Chican@ studies. 

On June 7th, 2016, the presidential primaries will arrive in California and La Peña will be an official polling site.  There has been much to talk about in this year’s 2016 presidential race. We have been bombarded by the rhetoric on both sides, and there has probably never been a presidential election such as this in our nation’s history.

Let’s begin with Donald Trump. He has executed his campaign strategy precisely by sucking all the media attention out of any room he enters. This, nonetheless, has enabled a dangerous man to stay in the race.

We can definitely place the blame on the media, they glorified him, but at this point could we really expect anything else from the mainstream? Part of the issue has been our receptiveness to all his media attention. At the core, his campaign race has been nothing more than an embarrassment to the American people, one comparable to a freak-show. Perhaps I am no better for writing this, but this piece is not about Drumpf (Watch John Oliver’s video to understand the reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnpO_RTSNmQ). No, this is about the real contenders in the race, and one in particular.

On February 27th, I had the chance to attend a rally for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, which began in the Oscar Grant Plaza of Oakland, CA. If you are following the election you know that Sanders is running as a social democrat and is adamantly anti-establishment. This appeal has generated the support of millennials and the many disenfranchised. At the rally, Bernie supporters held signs that read, #feelthebern and “A Future to Believe in”, with messages that portrayed free healthcare and education, along with support to address climate change. These issues highlight obvious and fundamental concerns. Bernie’s campaign platform is set to combat the influence of the elite and corporations on politics and policy. For many independents and progressives, Bernie represents a viable choice set apart from the status quo. Given the state of political affairs today, it is no wonder.

So, why Bernie, and what sets him apart from Hilary? Many democrats believe that Hilary is the ideal candidate, given her husband’s career as former U.S. president, with the experience necessary for the presidency. Truth be told, though support for Hilary is reasonable, Bernie’s experience in professional politics far outweighs that of Hilary’s. Millennials are flocking, in record breaking numbers, to support Sanders in the presidential race, not because of how he appears on paper, but because of past political activism. Thus, not only does Bernie have more professional political experience, but a history of political activism that goes back to his college years.
Most notably, Sanders participated in the civil rights movement, having marched to Washington with MLK Jr. to hear his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. This resonates with today’s millennials, who recognize that past associations matter. Bernie is not just some politician trying to get to the white house, no, he exemplifies a true political activist.

As the 2016 presidential primary nears, I remind you of the weight your vote carries (in more ways than one). The community at La Peña is familiar with the atrocities that occurred in Chile after the coup. For this reason, I urge you to abstain from any thought to vote for Trump, for he himself represents oppression and fascism. While La Peña does not publicly endorse anyone, and I am speaking of my own free-will, I do say that we go to the polls this June and vote Bernie Sanders. If nothing more, this will send a message to our government that we are, in fact, ready for a social democracy.

The best part is, come June 7th, La Peña will be an official polling site, making it easy for the community to come turnout the vote. Remember that California holds semi-closed primaries, meaning that you must be registered as a democrat or ‘no party preference’ aka independent, in order to vote for Bernie Sanders.

The history of U.S. involvement in foreign governments, fighting democratically elected socialist leaders, must come to a halt. As leaders of the free world, we are late to follow the steps of many of our contemporaries in the developed world- on a path toward social democracy. The United States is ready.

 

José-Luis Orozco – Bilingual Family Concert

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Dear La Peña Community,

La Peña is proud to present bilingual children’s musicians: José-Luis Orozco, Andres 1-2-3, and Quetzal in concert Saturday, March 26 at 3pm! 

button_buytickets

José-Luis Orozco is an old friend and supporter of La Peña and he was recently nominated at this year’s Grammy Awards for his new album ¡Come Bien! Eat Right. His songs for and with children are alive with delightful melodies, tips for smart nutrition, and good humor. 

jose luis orozco with childrenHe is a bilingual educator, children’s author, and recording artist who has dedicated his life to creating quality bilingual music, books, and videos for children. He encourages learning of the Spanish language and promotes Latin American culture through his art.

Each year, he shares his music in live performances for over 100,000 educators at education conferences nationwide, who then integrate his music into their classroom curriculum. 

 

Through the years José-Luis has been honored to receive awards and recognition from high-level organizations. In 2003 and 2005 he was invited to participate in the National Book Festival organized by the Library of Congress and hosted by First Lady, Laura Bush. During the festivities in 2003, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in Washington, D.C. honored Mr. Orozco. In the spring of 2009, José-Luis received recognition and was honored by the Association of Bilingual Directors affiliated with the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE). Most recent were the 2011 Latino Spirit Award presented by the California Latino Legislative Caucus, and the Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award presented to him by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF).
José-Luis Orozco is an acknowledged expert in children’s music and is a featured speaker and presenter at educational conferences and seminars for teachers, parents, librarians and childcare providers who seek to use music as an important learning tool in multicultural classrooms. He continues to perform for children throughout the country and world at concert halls, libraries, bookstores and schools.

José-Luis Orozco is the father of four and grandfather to two children. He currently lives in Los Angeles, California.

La Peña Resident Artists

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For Immediate Release

February 22, 2016

Contact: Natalia Neira, Communications Manager at La Peña

natalia@lapena.org 

LA PEÑA ARTISTS RESPOND TO GMO’S WITH A MYTHIC LOOK AT CORN AS ESSENTIAL TO MEXICAN CULTURAL IDENTITY

Berkeley, CA – La Peña Cultural Center announces their new Artists-in-Residence for 2016! With a recent change in leadership, La Peña opens its doors once again to fresh ideas and deep collaborations with the internationally traveled DANCE MONKS, Rodrigo Esteva & Mirah Moriarty and EDELO Migrante, a nomadic arts collective directed by Mia Eve Rollow & Caleb Duarte. The 2016 La Peña Artists-in-Residence program with DANCE MONKS is made possible by a Building Demand for the Arts Implementation grant award from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

DANCE MONKS’ project Tlaoli (Nahuatl for Corn) is an interdisciplinary look at corn as essential to Mexican cultural identity: the mythic relationship between people and plants, traditional sacred farming, foods and agricultural rituals. In poetic response to current US anti-immigration politics and the infamous big business takeover of agriculture with GMOs, DANCE MONKS invites the public to a series of workshops and powerful interdisciplinary artistic events through the end of 2016.

Honoring the needs of the Mexican immigrant community in the East Bay area, the Tlaoli process asks essential questions regarding cultural displacement and amnesia while looking at the potential of the arts to restore soul memory. During times of forced or voluntary migration, what happens to the ancient stories and traditions that bind the people with the land? How can artists and cultural centers create temporary refuge or fertile ground for this wisdom to continue to grow for future generations?

As part of the year-long residency at La Peña, DANCE MONKS will “curate” a series of community gatherings in the form of Open Houses at La Peña Cultural Center. These free, open-to-the-public gatherings celebrate the migration of people and their daily living cultures with delicious authentic Mexican food, street performances, family workshops by La Peña artists and invited guests, art and traditional crafts.

The Open Houses are scheduled on Saturdays April 23, June 18, September 24, October 29 from 10am-4pm, and the Day of the Day altar is scheduled for November 1, 2016.

In addition to the DDCF’s Open Houses programming, Dance Monks will have a three-day-long performance installation of Tlaoli.  The performance, made possible with additional funding from the Kenneth Rainin and Zellerbach Family Foundation, includes dance, video and visual installation and is one weekend only, June 24-26 at 8pm at La Peña Cultural Center in Berkeley.

About the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) is to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and child well-being, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties. The Arts Program of DDCF focuses its support on contemporary dance, jazz and theatre artists, and the organizations that nurture, present and produce them. For more information, please visit www.ddcf.org. 

COLLABORATING EDELO ARTISTS UTILIZE ART AS A TOOL FOR TRANSFORMING LIVES OF REFUGEE MINORS

EDELO, a Spanish acronym for “Where The United Nations Used to Be”, is a nomadic art collective originating in Chiapas Mexico created by artist Caleb Duarte and Mia Eve Rollow in 2009. As collaborating artists with DANCE MONKS, EDELO Migrante artists will participate in the residency at La Peña Cultural Center utilizing “Urgent Art” as a practice of immediate investigation; developed in response to the cultural, social, and political climate, that occurs within La Peña’s geographical context. EDELO Migrante will establish a temporary nomadic art studio at La Peña Cultural Center and use public intervention, sculpture, performance, painting, and installation to poetically approach stresses in regards to current refugees. Arte Urgente will collaborate with unaccompanied immigrant refugee minors from Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala (also known as the Northern Triangle), currently living in homes around Oakland California while applying for asylum. Arte Urgente offers students workshops that use artistic tools for individual and collective expression to navigate through concerns related to living in an unfamiliar environment. Through writing, painting, sculpture, lively discussion, field trips, film screening, and sculptural performances; we revisit the ritualistic aspects of migration in a theatrical form and use it as a vehicle for a magical realism to take place, transforming often tragic situations of migration into opportunities for healing.

The residencies will be held by Caleb Duarte Feb 9 – April 23 & Mia Eve Rollow, March 1 – June in collaboration with Fremont High School Unaccompanied Immigrant Youth Program, Oakland Youth Alliance, La Peña Cultural Center. Tuesdays and Thursdays adolescents who arrived at the US border on their own will be attending regular workshops with the artists as part of a holistic program that uses the arts for healing trauma, leadership development, and advocacy.

IMAGES: To download high-resolution digital images, please visit our websites at http://www.dancemonks.com

http://www.miaeverollow.org

http://www.calebduarte.org

PARKING

There is neighborhood parking for all events, however the public is encouraged to take public transportation, walk, roll or bike. The closest BART station is Ashby. The event is wheel chair accessible.

The Artists:

Rodrigo Esteva & Mirah Moriarty (Choreographers, Dancers) are the co-founding directors of DANCE MONKS (Mexico City/SF) an environmental, interdisciplinary dance company founded in the year 2000. They have over twenty years of professional experience as dancers, teachers and choreographers.  Rodrigo and Mirah have performed extensively with renowned companies in major festivals, universities and venues including with: AXIS Dance Company (Oakland), Pearson Widrig Dance Theater Company (NY) and David Dorfman Dance (NY), among many others.  They have performed and taught throughout the United States and Mexico as well as in Peru and Holland, including at the University of Veracruz in Xalapa (Mexico), The Joyce Theater (NY), The Kennedy Center (DC), The Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors Festival (NY), Bates Dance Festival (ME), Middlebury College (VT), Bard College (NY), IberoAmericana University of Mexico City, and many others. As choreographers, Rodrigo and Mirah are moved by the art of transformation.  They are often drawn to interdisciplinary collaborations with artists of diverse cultural origins whose work delves in to the relationship between people and nature. http://www.dancemonks.com

 

CALEB DUARTE PIÑON migrated from the northern states of Mexico into the farming communities of California. He began to paint at an early age and began his studies at Fresno City Collage and continued at the San Francisco Art Institute and at the Graduate Sculpture department of the School of The Art Institute of Chicago. His work has been reviewed by the Los Angeles Times, Art LTD magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, SPARK public television, and others. He has exhibited his work at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, SF, Red Dot Art fair in NY, The Sullivan Galleries in Chicago, Jack Fisher Gallery in SF, Gallery 727 Los Angeles, The California Museum of Art in Oakland, the Fresno Art Museum and The Utah Museum of Modern Art. Duarte has created public works and community performances at the World Social Forum in Mumbai India, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, El Pital, Honduras, Mexico City, and throughout out the US. Duarte was founder of EDELO (Where the United Nations Used To BE) a house of art in movement and an intercommunal artist residency of diverse practices in Chiapas Mexico. The space invited participants of diverse practices to live and create with in a period of time. Residents were from PHDs to jugglers, contemporary artist, activist, educators, rural farmers, and community members of autonomous communities of rural Chiapas. He has given talks about his work in places such as the De Young Museum, SF, the Mexican Museum, SF, The University of the Dirt, Chiapas MX, the University of Social Science in Tuxla MX, at the California Institute of Integral Studies, SF, 18th street Artist residency in Santa Monica and at the 2012 Creative Times Summit in New York amongst others. Website: http://www.calebduarte.org

MIA EVE ROLLOW was born in Chicago 1984.  At an early age she acted out community interventions, installations, performances.  Later while receiving her masters degree from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Sculpture, she was in an explosion that rendered her half paralyzed.   She returned to school within 6 months, and began to use her body as a means to delve deeper into the human spirit.  She found herself acting out a circus of body performances based on suffering and need; functional theatrical actions of self inflicted false and lively hopes for cures. These isolated performances soon became community performance extending into larger social, political and spiritual investigations.     In 2009 Mia Eve co-founded EDELO (En Donde Era La Onu/Where the United Nations Used To Be). Edelo was a community art space in Chiapas Mexico, a cross-cultural residency and laboratory of collaborations between people from all backgrounds.  At Edelo we had community sculptural performances, a safe house, children’s program, community studios, ceremonies, multimedia exhibitions events and art festivals and much more.   Her work has been reviewed in The Guardian, Mission Local, the SF Chronicle, KPOO San Francisco, Koman Ilel Radio Chiapas, Mirada Sur Chiapas MX, Chiapas Al Dia MX, Diario De Chiapas MX.   She has presented at The Hemispheric Institute of Perfomance and Politics NY, Sullivan Galleries Chicago, Hillyer Art Space Washington DC, La Galeria Chiapas MX, University of the Dirt Chiapas MX,  Amate Prison Chiapas MX, Cirvantino Festival Chiapas MX, Sinacantan Chiapas MX, Campain against Femicide Chiapas MX, ExTeresa Mexico City, Pina Palmera Rehabilitation Center Oaxaca MX, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Hong Kong, IHMC NASA Robotics Lab FL, Festival Bestias Danzantes Chile, SomArts CA, The Red Poppy Art House CA among others. Website: http://www.miaeverollow.org

 

 

WHAT:

LA PEÑA OPEN HOUSES & TLAOLI MARKETPLACE: Free Workshops by La Peña artists and invited guests, Mexican food and art marketplace that honors local immigrant’s heritage and traditional knowledge.

TLAOLI PERFORMANCES: Internationally traveled contemporary dance company, DANCE MONKS, performs an interdisciplinary site-specific performance, Tlaoli (Nahuatl for Corn). The work focuses on the ancient links between cultural identity and agriculture.

WHEN:

LA PEÑA OPEN HOUSES & TLAOLI MARKETPLACES:

Saturdays April 23 in collaboration with EDELO

June 18 in collaboration with EDELO

September 24

October 29

10am-4pm

November 1: Day of the Dead altar

WHERE:

LA PEÑA CULTURAL CENTER

3105 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley, CA 94705

 

TICKET INFORMATION:

MARKETPLACE: FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

PERFORMANCE TICKETS: Eventbrite

 

PARKING:

The public is encouraged to take public transportation, walk, roll or bike. The closest BART station is Downtown Berkeley and the BIKE station is open on Saturday. The event is wheel chair accessible.   There is no reserved parking for this event, however, there is ample street parking.

Websites:

DANCE MONKS: http://www.dancemonks.com

CALEB DUARTE: http:/www.calebduarte.org

MIA EVE ROLLOW: http://www.miaeverollow.org 

Venue:

LA PEÑA: http://www.lapena.org

3105 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA

Ticket Sales for Performance & Information: 510.849.2568

Images:

To download high resolution digital images, please visit the artists websites at:

http://www.dancemonks.com

http://www.calebduarte.org

http://www.miaeverollow.org

 

Press Release: La Vida Vence La Muerte

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February 18, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Psychologist, tireless advocate for justice and human rights, and burn victim and survivor of Pinochet reign, Carmen Gloria Quintana, to visit the Bay Area.

Carmen Gloria Quintana will attend the encore performance of the cantata La Vida Vence a la Muerte / Life Triumphs Over Death, on Saturday, March 19th, at Berkeley’s La Peña Cultural Center. She will be in the Bay Area, March 18th, 19th, and 20th, and will be available for one-on-one interviews on those dates.

Contact Information:
Chilean Exiles B
ay Area: Victor Martinez 510-333-3294 <marelectrician@earthlink.net>
La Peña Cultural Ctr: Aaron Lorenz 510-849-2568 <aaron@lapena.org>
La Peña Community Chorus: Lichi Fuentes 510- 593-3706 
<lichifuru@gmail.com>

Berkeley, CA  –   On the morning of July 2, 1986, during a two-day national strike and protests against the military rule of General Augusto Pinochet, two teenagers, Rodrigo Rojas de Negri, 19 year-old, and Carmen Gloria Quintana, 18, were cornered by a military patrol brutally beaten, doused with petrol and set them on fire. The patrol then dumped them in a ditch alongside a deserted road on the outskirts of Chile’s capital city, Santiago.

Rodrigo, a photographer who lived in Washington, DC, with his exiled Chilean family, died four days later from his injuries. Carmen Gloria, severely disfigured by burns on over 62 percent of her body, survived to became a symbol of the struggle for democracy in Chile. The case was one of the most notorious human rights abuses committed by the Pinochet regime following the U.S.-backed military coup of September 11, 1973.

On July of 2015 – 29 years after this event – the case was revisited when a Chilean judge ordered the arrest of the seven officers involved. One of the perpetrators, Fernando Guzmán, told Judge Mario Carroza that Lieutenant Julio Castañer, the patrol’s commanding officer, gave the deadly order.

Denouncing the event and saluting the resolve of Carmen Gloria, La Peña’s then Artist-in-Residence, Fernando Torres, wrote seven poems and a narration which musician Leonardo Cereceda set to music, embracing various folk rhythms and styles. Out of this collaboration, the cantata La Vida Vence a la Muerte / Life Triumphs Over Death, was born. In the spirit of Nueva Canción, and a testament through poetry and song to the ability of the human spirit to overcome terrible treachery, the cantata was premiered at La Peña in April of 1987 by an ensemble of musicians from a class taught at La Peña by La Peña Community Chorus’s director, Lichi Fuentes. On Saturday, March 19th at La Peña, Carmen Gloria will hear the cantata for the first time.

What:  Cantata: La Vida Vence a la Muerte performed by the La Peña Community Chorus
When: March 19 @ 8pm
Where: At La Peña Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley, Ca. 94705

Tickets: $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Available online:

eventbrite.com/e/la-vida-vence-a-la-muerte-tickets-20979872363?ref=ebtnebtckt

lapenachorus.org

lapena.org/event/la-vida-vence-a-la-muerte

La Peña Welcomes New Communications Manager

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La Peña is proud to welcome Natalia Neira Retamal as Communications Manager. She brings a wealth of experience and skills to the role, having worked as both Editor and Marketing Manager at the Santiago Times in Chile, and as Multimedia & Marketing Executive at the Dallas Observer. Born in Temuco, Chile, Natalia moved to the US with her parents and sister when she was 7 years old. She grew up in Dallas, Texas where she studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of North Texas. We wish her the best as she takes command of reorganizing La Peña’s communication strategy to better serve our diverse communities who make La Peña their home.

Dear La Peña community,

It is a privilege to be entrusted with the Communications Manager role at La Peña. I was lured to the center because of its incredible social justice ties to Chile and the space it provides for all communities fighting for dignity, respect and understanding everyday. Soon after I learned about the center, I began to volunteer with La Peña’s communications efforts.natalia bio pic

After meeting so many of you wonderful and passionate people that make this center feel alive and vibrant, I felt compelled to capture the essence of La Peña in promoting all of our amazing events and classes. I am so excited to be designing and implementing new communications strategies in order to improve and drive more traffic to La Peña’s website, expand our list of email subscribers, grow our relationship with local media, increase our presence in the Bay Area and more. My hope is that these new communications strategies will increase attendance at our events and classes, and contribute to a sustainable and robust future at La Peña!

There is a lot of work to be done, but the center’s mission and people keep me energized and inspired.  I am grateful to be a part of this community and look forward to meeting more of you as we continue to build together.

En solidaridad,

Natalia Neira Retamal

P.S. If you are interested in becoming a Communications Intern, please email your resume and cover letter to natalia@lapena.org

SUPER BOWL PROTEST IN SAN FRANCISCO

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On Feb. 4, 2016 a major protest against the displacement of homeless people was held in San Francisco – AKA, Super Bowl City. Officials have been “cleaning up” the streets because of the Super Bowl and our very own Curator, Craig Campbell, was there to report on the protest. He is also pictured in the photo below, holding the sign “Your Party Is Their Misery”.    If you would like to submit a blog post about what is happening in your community, please email: natalia@lapena.org.

Craig Campbell, Curator at La Peña Cultural Center, 2016

Pictured on left: Craig Campbell, Curator at La Peña Cultural Center. Dozens protested what they say is San Francisco mayor Ed Lee’s plan to push homeless people out of where Super Bowl festivities are being held. Photograph: Eric Risberg/AP

Tackle Homelessness, NOT the Homeless

By Craig Campbell, La Peña Curator

Economic inequality has been the source of discontent for many in the Bay Area. It has driven out much of the San Francisco population from SF as well as much of the Oakland population. This has turned San Francisco in a more expensive city to live than Manhattan, New York, and Oakland into the city with the highest growing housing prices in the USA in 2015.

This all came to a head with the San Francisco hosting the Super Bowl party. For the residents, this was not an event that was held for San Francisco. One issue is that the super Bowl is being held at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. The bigger issue is the demographic of the individuals attending the event. On Jan. 27 the cheapest tickets for the Super Bowl was $3,989, while the most expensive tickets were $21,402. These became the economic marker for the population invited to celebrate at the Super Bowl party in San Francisco. The event would cost the taxpayers in San Francisco nearly $5,000,000.

With this in mind Mayor Ed Lee set to clear out the homeless population in San Francisco to maintain the image he has so carefully curated. This protest was a gathering of the San Francisco/Bay Area population in defiance of this new SF culture. This is the list of grievances listed by The Coalition on Homelessness and Broke Ass Stuart, the hosts of this event:
• There are over 7,000 homeless people on any one night in San Francisco
• There is only 1 shelter bed for every 5.5 homeless people
• The majority of the homeless population were San Franciscans before they were homeless
• Studies show it is cheaper to house someone rather than keep them homeless
• San Francisco has more anti-homeless laws than any other city in California
• Last year, 11,000 citations were given to homeless people
• When citations can’t be paid they lead to warrants, loss of access to housing and more
• There is 3,300 homeless children in San Francisco, 61% of homeless adults have a disability, 30% are LGBTQ, and the majority are people of color

On the post analysis of the protest, this demonstration was effective. It brought attention to an issue that has and continues to effect people as economic inequality changes the landscape of major cities around the world. Seeing Bay Area faces in The Guardian in the UK not only reflect on San Francisco disparities, but also reflects the discontent of housing problems in London.

Get involved.
Contact Mayor Ed Lee at (415) 554-6141 or mayoredwinlee@sfgov.org.
Also keep your local population safe. Call your local officials to make sure this doesn’t happen in your community. Keep your elected officials accountable.

Artist Activist Lewis Suzuki Dies at 95

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lewis-suzuki-1952

La Peña is sad to announce the passing of activist artist Lewis Suzuki. Lewis was inducted into La Peña’s Hall of Fame in 2011. At the reception honoring him, Lewis said, “We are the richest country in the world, but there are many people who can’t get health care or who can’t afford to pay for college … Let’s get out of Iraq and Afghanistan. One day we will have peace, where U.S. troops are not overseas and we can have freedom throughout the world.”

Lewis’ artwork reflected much of his passion for peace and social justice. “Suzuki became politically active in issues of peace and justice, and believed in the role of art in furthering these causes. He traveled to Hiroshima, which had been devastated by an atomic bomb, and would later create a graphic work, “No More Hiroshimas,” and other peace posters for the American Friends Service Committee. Suzuki’s bold and imaginative use of color won him numerous awards, including two at the Society of Western Artists show at the De Young Museum in San Francisco. He served on the Berkeley Art Commission and was recognized by the City of Berkeley in 2010. Until recently, he continued to work at his studio on Grant Street in Berkeley, participating in such events as East Bay Open Studios and Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios.” – Rafu Shimpu Los Angeles Daily News, Jan. 28, 2016

A Place of Inclusion

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Hello La Peña Community,

Sabemos que en esta lucha se nos puede ir la vida; pero la continuaremos HASTALA VICTORIA  FINAL. 1975. La Peña Cultural Center, Berkeley. La Peña Archive. 22 Jun. 2015.

Sabemos que en esta lucha se nos puede ir la vida; pero la continuaremos HASTALA VICTORIA
FINAL. 1975. La Peña Cultural Center, Berkeley. La Peña Archive. 22 Jun. 2015.

 

My name is Devenni, and I am new member to the community, working as an intern for La Peña. Like many who have come before me, I can say that my experience here so far has been nothing less than invigorating. What do I mean by that? I mean my time here has introduced me to a new world; a place where people from all walks of life and many different backgrounds come together and share ideas and experiences. The space here feels safe. I see all kinds of artists and performers come in and out, expressing themselves, sharing their stories, giving us all a piece of their inner talent. I look forward to the days I come into the center, I like and admire the people I work alongside. The obvious conclusion is that the cultural center represents exactly what it stands for: inclusion.

I recently read a report written by one of La Peña’s former interns, in the report she describes the history and founding of the cultural center. Built after the coup in Chile, this center has been a refuge for political asylum. From its foundation the center has been a place of inclusion, turning no one away, and upholding those standards to this day. What a beautiful thing. It’s rare to see places like this, rich in its history and political activism, still thriving. The center is small gem in the heart Berkeley, CA.

Of course, I cannot continue without giving credit to the former intern who wrote the report. What she captured in that report shed a light on the continual progress and effort La Peña makes in reaching out to communities of all kinds, no boundaries, no limits. And it is evident not only in her words but in her dedication to create it. I encourage you all to read it. Inside you will find Jocie’s (La Peña’s very own Operations and Programming manager) own experience and story of inclusion:

http://lapena.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Case-Study-on-La-Pena.pdf

Chile. 1984. La Peña Cultural Center, Berkeley. La Peña Archive. 22 Jun. 2015.

Maley Marty. Untitled. 1991. La Peña Cultural Center, Berkeley. La Peña Archive. 22 Jun. 2015.

Maley Marty. Untitled. 1991. La Peña Cultural Center, Berkeley. La Peña Archive. 22 Jun. 2015.