Showing posts from May, 2015

Anything but Aleluyas: From Madera, CA to East LA

Tracing the Impact of Non-Catholic Religions on the Historic Chicano Civil Rights Struggle   Part  One: by Felipe E. Agredano, MTS & Milca Montañez-Vizcarra, MA, The Apostolic Archives of the Americas In 1954, along the dusty Madera, California  fields surrounding a little home church, a young Catholic organizer with Saul Alinsky’s Community Service Organization (CSO) worked alongside the town’s Pentecostals. “In that little Madera church,” he recollected two decades later, “I observed everything … useful in organizing.” Cesar Chávez recalled in his autobiography La Causa , “Although there were no more than twelve men and women, there was more spirit there than when I went to mass where there were two hundred.” Chávez also remembered how the power of music and singing impressed him: “I think that’s where I got the idea of singing at the meetings. That was one of the first things we did when I started the Union. And it was hard for me because I can’t carry a tune.” Chávez

'Road to Juarez' Doesn't Disappoint

By Alejo Sierra   In Road To Juarez , the debut feature film by director David Ponce de Leon takes us on a compelling, 20-year roller-coaster ride that never lets you catch your breath. It’s a full-throttle, full-tilt race with no pit stops, a high-octane, whirlwind road trip with precedent in films like Easy Rider and Motorcycle Diaries , but still more easily associated with emotion-riddled action dramas such as the breakout Amores Perros , by Alejandro González Iñárritu Inspired by true events, “Road To Juarez” is the story of Jacob Saenz (Walter Perez), a Mexican-American trying to save his father, who he believes has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.   Because Jacob and his best friend Rob (Charley Koontz) are bonded by a larcenous bent established mutually in early childhood on the streets of LA, they are predictably taken under a wing, eventually, by Rob’s equally lawless uncle Doug (William Forsythe), a cunning but nonetheless big-hearted ex-con with ties to th

Orange Is the New Musical Sells Out

by Abel M. Salas Now and again, a creative community comes together in response to an idea, a wild notion born almost collectively in the minds of young artists, performers, musicians, dancers and actors. Sometimes, the vision comes as a reaction to a cultural zeitgeist constructed around a popular media manifestation. Veronica Vásquez, a writer and filmmaker is amazed by the response her effort to simultaneously honor and spoof a hit television show has generated. A long-time fan of the cult-favorite series Orange is the New Black, Vásquez, 28, could never have predicted the avalanche of support for her tongue-in-cheek tribute, an “unauthorized parody” of the show she has followed since its debut on Netflix as part of the network’s ground-breaking slate of original programming. As the writer and co-producer of a sold out, one-night-only experiment called Orange is the New Musical , she could not have imagined she would be ultimately responsible for the bottled lightning he

Resurrecting Alfredo de Batuc

by Pancho Lipschitz Bat Sun Moon by Alfredo de Batuc Imagine you are an artist with a delicate line and a visual vocabulary developed over decades that you bring to everything from small sketches to wall-sized murals. Now imagine that you wake up one morning and your hands start to feel numb; within a day your body is paralyzed by a rare disease called Guillain–Barré syndrome in which the immune system attacks the nerves. Suddenly, you are not worried about art, you are laying in a hospital bed concerned about how you are going to feed, clothe and bathe yourself. What sounds like a TV movie of the week was reality for Alfredo de Batuc, a Mexican-born artist who was active in Los Angeles art scene in the ’90s and early 2000s. His Dolores del Rio mural in Hollywood has been reproduced around the world and his paintings, often with the face of a moon or the outline of the Los Angeles city hall, are instantly recognizable. We sat down for coffee in Atwater Village, what Alfredo cal

Immigration Services Not Always Ethical

by Alan R. Diamante, Attorney-at-Law Immigration services are important for individuals who are unable to navigate the complexity of immigration law on their own.  In fact, attorneys who do not normally practice immigration law invariably find the field unusually dense and difficult to master.  Due to the vulnerable status of many immigrants and the law’s inherent complexity, some attorneys and non-attorney immigration service providers seek out opportunities to defraud hopeful immigrants. Alan Diamante, Diamante Law Group APLC For example, President Obama announced on November 20 and 21, 2014, the “immigration accountability executive action,” also referred to as DACA and DAPA, which may benefit millions of the undocumented in California. Immediately after, numerous scam artists, some attorneys and many that are not, came out of the wood work offering paid services under the executive action even though it is not definite that the Department of Homeland Security will be acce