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Paul Hillman

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Latino Coalition Meeting

Report on the Consortium for the Latina/o Arts & Culture Dialog

Friday, June 29, 2007, a historic Latino arts and culture event took place in the conference room of the Arizona Commission on the Arts office. The space and morning refreshments were made available by Bob Booker, Executive Director of ACA.

Hosting organizers were Carmen DeNovais (Cultural Coalition, Inc),

Ruben Hernandez (Editor of Latino Perspectives)

and Marco Albarran (CALACA CULTURAL CENTER, second from the left).

The answering of public participation questions was facilitated by Melanie Ohm (Concepts Consulting Group, Inc.) and visually documented by judy butzine (Cultural Arts Coalition).

The meeting was convened by Carmen who immediately thanked everyone for attending and Mr. Booker for hosting the gathering. Bob reiterated the need for this networking of the diverse Latino communities and that the ACA will help support initiatives, the result of this 2 hour program.

Linda Torres (Arts consultant and board member on various Latino organizations) introduced Ruth Osuna, Deputy City Manager, City of Phoenix. "This is the start of a process of leadership in our communities; and all of you have made a commitment to be those leaders ." (Ruth Osuna)

Ruth discussed her conversation with Phil Jones, Director of the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture, concerning the need for a Hispanic Cultural Center. She also mentioned that the mayor's office was very much a part of this conversation and acknowledged the importance of former Latino gathering sites like the MARS Artspace. Ruth expressed her excitement at the potential of partnering with persons from this historical gathering.

Melanie Ohm then proceeded to facilitate the answering of 4 (four) questions that had been presented to the group in advance, as well as made available for written responses before the dialogue convened.

This conversation continued for an hour and a half with everyone in the room contributing significantly to the discussion. Those present represented distinctive generations of artists and activists.

More than 30 persons from the greater Phoenix area as well as Yuma (Louis Leroy-Yuma Fine Arts) attended. Organizations represented various aspects of the cultural community including the Arizona Science Center (April Bojorquez); Arts and Business Council (Dan Cortez); Opendance (Michele Ceballos Michot); Glendale Community Center (Francisco Garcia) and others. A comprehensive list will follow.

Responses (report) to the day's event will also be forwarded later. Melanie Ohm did an incredible job facilitating and recording the conversations and responses.

The next meeting date (August 24th), time and place were set before anyone left with an intention to keep the conversation flowing and begin collective community action.

Francisco Garcia was asked about how he felt leaving the two hour program:
"We had a lot visionaries and activists/artists in the room who are putting their ideas together in a BIG MOVEMENT/UNITY---EL MOVIMIENTO."

Many thanks to Carmen and Zarco for their ongoing commitment to community arts, education, and relationship building.

Report on the Consortium for the Latina/o Arts & Culture Dialog

Music used with permission from Quetzal Guerrero. Quetzal's musical exploration began in 1986 when, at the age of four, he began studying the classical violin method of Suzuki and in the following year traveled to Matsumoto, Japan to further his studies at the Suzuki International Institute. His meticulous skills lead him to be the featured violinist for the Conservatorio Pernambucano de Musicas annual recital in Recife, Brazil.