September 7, 2004 Vol. IX, No. 2

A 1949 photo of the Supreme Council of the Mexican-American Movement is part of a CSUN exhibition exploring the role of Latinos in California history.

'Cultura Y Comunidad' Makes Oviatt Library Debut

Legacy of Latino Leadership Unfolds in Unique Exhibition of Documents, Photos, Posters

A new exhibition at Cal State Northridge takes an intimate look at the role California's Latino population has played in the history and development of the Golden State.

The exhibition, "Cultura y Comunidad: The Legacy of Latino Leadership in California," runs from Tuesday, Sept. 7, to Friday, Oct. 29, in the C.K. and Teresa Tseng Gallery of the Oviatt Library. An opening reception in the gallery is planned for 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 14.

A lecture and panel discussion is set for 1 to 3 p.m. in the library's Presentation Room on Wednesday, Sept. 15. Participating will be Chicano/a Studies Department chair Mary Pardo and department faculty Rodolfo Acuña, Jorge Garcia, David Diaz, Juana Mora and Denise Sandoval. Both reception and lecture are free and open to the public.

Rather than presenting a "monolithic" view of Latino life in California, the exhibition presents the experiences and accomplishments of individual leaders and organizations, said assistant archivist Rebecca Graff, one of the exhibition's curators.

"We want to emphasize the importance of preserving the past through archives, especially for minority groups whose history has been underrepresented in archival collections," added Graff, who works with the library's Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program.

The exhibition will heighten awareness that the library's archival collections are rich sources of primary materials for research, she said.

Drawing from the vast and varied collections in the library's Urban Archives Center, "Cultura y Comunidad" includes documents, letters, photographs, posters and other memorabilia from figures such as Julian Nava, a former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico and a professor emeritus of history at Northridge; CSUN alumnus Frank del Olmo, the late columnist and associate editor with the Los Angeles Times; and Chicano activist Rodolfo Acuña, a CSUN professor often cited as the "father of Chicano Studies."

Also included are materials from the groundbreaking Latino/Chicano comedic theatre troupe Culture Clash; Comisión Femenil San Fernando Valley, an organization that promotes Latina leadership and education; and Mothers of East Los Angeles, a grass roots group that advocates environmental and social justice.

"Cultura y Comunidad" is partially funded through the U.S. Department of Education's Title V Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program.

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