Barrio Bits: Placas, Chicano Park Day and Barrio Art Crawl

by on April 24, 2015 · 0 comments

in California, Civil Rights, Culture, Environment, History, Media, Organizing, Politics, San Diego

chicanoartgalleryCPD2015By Brent E. Beltrán

Locally raised writer’s play makes SD debut tonight through Saturday
Last week I posted an extended two part interview with Doris Duke Artist Paul S. Flores where we discussed his roots in San Diego, his experiences as a college student at UCSD and SFSU, the formation of Los Delicados and his play PLACAS: The Most Dangerous Tattoo (among other cool stuff, go read them here and here.). About the play he said:

“I was commissioned by the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN-SF) and the San Francisco International Arts Festival to write a play humanizing Central American communities impacted by violence and stereotyped as violent, gangbanging, murderous people. So I interviewed over 100 folks going through tattoo removal, or connected to the tattoo removal procedure including therapists family members, police, intervention workers, healers.

placassdI did interviews in San Francisco, Los Angeles and El Salvador looking at the origins of the transnational gang phenomenal between Central America and California. Studying how and why they were having their tattoos removed gave me an insight into some of the reasons of even why you join in the first place.

Most of it came from pain. Many of the gang members said they wanted to see their love for each other portrayed on stage. They wanted to see their support for a dead homie’s mom, or everyone pitching in to feed the homie who couldn’t walk anymore or had life altering injury. We had Alex Sanchez as a consultant. Alex was the founder of Homies Unidos gang intervention program in Los Angeles. Alex helped me get access to a world that I didn’t really know. On his word I was able to record true stories and turn them into the play that you’ll see in San Diego this month.”

Tonight through Saturday you’ll have an opportunity to get an inside look into a lifestyle beyond the stereotypes played out on television or in the theater. And at the same time you’ll be supporting independent Latino theatre, playwrights, actors and community. Go check it out.

PLACAS: The Most Dangerous Tattoo takes place April 23-25 at the Lincoln High School Performing Arts Center, 4777 Imperial Ave. Tickets are $12 in advance through Brown Paper Tickets and $15 at the door. For more information please visit

cpd2015Double Dose of Barrio Logan Fun
Saturday is Chicano Park Day AND Barrio Art Crawl! I repeat. Saturday is Chicano Park Day AND Barrio Art Crawl!

For the first time in the history of the universe two of the greatest things (of the many) that Barrio Logan offers is happening on the same day. From 10am until 5pm you can enjoy the sights and sounds that is the annual Chicano Park Day celebration then from 5pm until 9pm you can crawl the streets of La Logan in search of artistic enjoyment at the various art venues within this creative community.

This year’s Chicano Park Day theme is “El Movimiento Continues: 45 Years of Protesta, Cultura & 40 years of Danza Azteca”. As usual Chicano Park Day will feature two stages with a variety of entertainment including musical performances by Cumbia Machin and Goma. The keynote speaker will be local Chicano Movement veteran Herman Baca of the Committee on Chicano Rights.

Dance is always an important part of the celebration with numerous ballet folklorico groups presenting their traditional dance, Mujeres en Resistencia with their zapateado rebelde and, always the highlight, the danza Azteca ceremony that follows the noontime flag raising.

Drums beating relentlessly while feathers twirl dancing in the sky as the rattle of chachayotes echo off pavement and pillars. A beautiful sight to behold. This year being even more special with the danzantes celebrating forty years since danza Azteca was brought north from Mexico to San Diego by the late Florencio Yescas.

Chicano Park was founded on April 22, 1970 as a land takeover by community members after they found out that a California Highway Patrol substation was going to be built on the site instead of a park. In 2013, due to the beautiful murals that grace the pillars of the San Diego-Coronado Bridge, Chicano Park was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Barrio Art Crawl, from the mind of The Roots Factory’s Bob Green, was created to join all the art spaces in Barrio Logan together on one night for a variety of exhibitions. Patrons crawl through the barrio from space to space on a self guided tour. This Saturday lots of stuff is happening at the various venues throughout Logan.

Chicano Art Gallery will have an exhibit and live performance by Aztlan Underground, Border X will have a lowrider photo exhibit plus lowriders in their parking lot, there’s a fashion show and art exhibit at La Bodega, Original Gentleman has a golden age of Mexican cinema exhibit, open studios and a pre-party for the San Diego Made In Bloom Artist and Craftsmen Market is going on at Union-Barrio Logan, a name-your-price show/sale at Low Gallery, art show and music fundraiser for striking San Quintin farmworkers at Nebular Incubator, HeLa Studies exhibit and artist talk at HB Punto Experimental and there’ll be stuff at Bread & Salt too with the Roots Factory, Radio Pulso and the other spaces there. And don’t forget tacos at Salud!

Chicano Park Day takes place Saturday, April 25 from 10am until 5pm in Chicano Park in Barrio Logan. Take the trolley or you’ll get frustrated looking for a parking spot. Barrio Art Crawl is from 5pm until 9pm the same day throughout Barrio Logan.


Brent Beltran is one of the editors of the San Diego Free Press, our online media partner. This first appeared at SDFP.

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