Radio Bilingüe and ACTA Partner with “Los Macarturos” for Day-Long Focus on Youth, Arts and Education in Los Angeles

For Immediate Release
September 10, 2014

Contacts: Quetzal Flores, ACTA Program Manager, 626-429-4261 or
María de Jesús Gómez, Radio Bilingüe,


September 17 forums/workshops gather “Los MacArturos” – Latino recipients of the MacArthur Foundation’s prestigious “Genius” fellowships – community artists, residents, youth and advocates for day-long focus on the Latino education crisis and alternative, community-based development models.

Los Angeles, CA—In an effort to further its work to identify, sustain and preserve cultural assets in Boyle Heights while also addressing issues of youth empowerment, health and development, the Alliance for California Traditional Arts (ACTA) through its Boyle Heights Community Task Force is partnering with the Radio Bilingüe National Latino Public Radio Network to bring several distinguished members of “Los MacArturos” – Latino recipients of the MacArthur Foundation’s “Genius” Fellowship – to Boyle Heights on Wednesday, September 17, 2014.

The day of “Los Macarturos” engagement includes several public events, including a three-hour, nationally broadcast (aired locally on KPFK 90.7 FM) community dialogue and panel discussion in English and Spanish on how to improve both access to and the quality of education for Latino youth from 11 am to 2 pm at Casa 0101 Theater, and an evening of workshops that demonstrate how the arts can play a pivotal role in the prevention of development-related displacement and its affects on youth in traditional neighborhoods: “ActivARTE DETOURING DISPLACEMENT: Community-Building con Arte, Cultura y Educación,” will take place at Mariachi Plaza from 6pm to 8pm. Organized under the rubric of The California Endowment-funded Building Healthy Communities-Boyle Heights (BHC-BH) initiative, the debut “Activarte” event is being spearheaded by representatives of the ACTA Boyle Heights Community Task Force from East LA Community Corporation, Casa 0101, YMCA, Maternal & Child Health Access (MCHA), the BHC collaborative and Brooklyn & Boyle.

Both Radio Bilingüe’s 11 a.m. community forum broadcast, titled “Latino Education: Crisis and Response,” and the “ActivARTE DETOURING DISPLACEMENT” community art workshops will be free and open to the public. “Participation by neighborhood residents is being especially encouraged,” says Quetzal Flores, ACTA Program Manager. The “ActivARTE” series seeks to gather many of the relevant creative and cultural streams identified by the ACTA Task Force and the BHC Collaborative in order to provide residents and neighbors with tools to move a genuine community agenda forward as part of a process that seeks to improve their quality of life with an emphasis on creating positive outcomes for youth from the community.

Beginning at 6pm, Mariachi Plaza will be converted into a creative lab where local artists will be paired with “Los Macarturos” across a spectrum of disciplines to create instant workshops with local community member participation. Among the projects will be a large community altar with tributes to families that have been displaced due to rising rents or businesses that no longer exist. Issues being addressed within the scope of the creative lab, say ActivARTE organizers, include gentrification, environmental racism, youth development, racism, preservation of cultural assets and “comadrazgo/compadrazgo” or “relationship-building” among like-minded residents and organizations to better examine all of these themes for increased dialogue and understanding about how these issues affect their daily lives. Young people, say organizers, should be part of these discussions since policy decisions made at every level will determine their futures directly for many years to come.

Highlights of the creative lab include a silkscreen workshop, storytelling, altar-building, library of memories, photo booth and a “Mi Barrio” clothesline from which photos and images produced during the creative lab will be displayed. It is meant to complement the educational forum, an important discussion in light of the fact that the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second largest public school system in the nation, is now 75% Latino and dropout rates among Latino students in Los Angeles continue being alarmingly high.

Participating MacArturos in the day’s events include: Joan Abrahamson, Luis Alfaro, Ruth Behar, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Rueben Martinez, Amalia Mesa‐Bains, Hugo Morales, Francisco Nunez, Benjamin “Pepon” Osorio, Maria Varela, and Camilo J. Vergara.

The media is also invited to a closed, intimate conversation between “Los Macarturos” and invited Boyle Heights community youth leaders from 4:00 to 5:30 pm at the Boyle Hotel-Cummings Block.

Schedule of Events: Wednesday, September 17, 2014
10-10:45 am:
Media conference. Community and broadcast organizers, as well as visiting speakers, will be available to the news media to talk about the day of activities. Casa 0101, 2102 E. First St., Los Angeles
Media contacts: María de Jesús Gómez, Radio Bilingue, 559-455-5782,; Quetzal Flores, Alliance for California Traditional Arts, 626-429-4261,

11-2 pm:
Latino Education: Crisis and Response – Radio Bilingüe’s Live National Community Forum broadcast locally by KPFK 90.7 FM. Casa 0101, 2102 E. First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90033. The forum will feature author and scholar Dr. Patricia Gándara, Co-Director of the Civil Rights Project at UCLA together with Los MacArturos. This program is part of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s initiative American Graduate – Let’s Make it Happen!
Media Contact: María de Jesús Gómez, Radio Bilingue, 559-455-5782,

(Media only, closed to the public) Dialogue between Boyle Heights Youth Leaders and Los MacArturos, Boyle Hotel, Community Room, 101 N. Boyle Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90033
Media Contact: Quetzal Flores, Alliance for California Traditional Arts, 626-429-4261,

6:00-8:00 pm:
“ActivARTE DETOURING DISPLACEMENT: Community-Building con Arte, Cultura y Educación. Creative Lab with Los MacArturos and local artists. Mariachi Plaza located at 1st and Boyle Streets
Media Contact: Quetzal Flores, Alliance for California Traditional Arts, 626.429.4261,

8:30 -10:00 pm.
Special Performance by MacArturo, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, CASA 0101, 2102 E. First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90033.
Media Contact: María de Jesús Gómez, Radio Bilingue, 559-455-5782,

The Day of Los MacArturos Engagement is funded in part by The California Endowment – Health Happens Here, Building Healthy Communities- Boyle Heights, The Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s American Graduate – Let’s Make it Happen, and the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. Additional community partners include Centro Binacional para el Desarollo Indígena Oaxaqueño and KPFK 90.7. FM.

About ACTA:
The Alliance for California Traditional Arts (ACTA) was founded specifically to address a void in statewide support of folk and traditional artists. Folk and traditional artists are tradition bearers: people who transmit what they believe, know, do and create with others who share a common heritage. ACTA promotes and supports ways for these cultural traditions to thrive now and into the future by providing advocacy, resources, and connections. Recognized for its leadership, intellectual capital, and excellence in program administration, ACTA is the state-designated entity for all folk and traditional arts.

About Radio Bilingüe:
Radio Bilingüe is a national Latino noncommercial radio network and the leading producer of national news and information for Latinos in U.S. public broadcasting. Its mission is to serve as a voice to empower Latinos and other under-served communities. Radio Bilingüe owns and operates 12 full-power stations in California, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas, and produces the first – and only – daily national Spanish-language news and live talk programs in public broadcasting. More than 100 affiliate stations throughout the nation carry the award-winning journalism of Noticiero Latino newscast and Línea Abierta call-in talk show.

This entry was posted in News Releases. Bookmark the permalink.