On September 23, 2017 five young women came together at the Edendale Branch Library, for the Latinas in LA’s Creative Industries panel. This moderated discussion centered on the complexities of intersectionality as it relates to these Latinas' professional lives. The panelists included:
Erika Hirugami, MAAB (Jaxican; Japanese/Mexican), Founder and CEO at CuratorLove and the moderator for this discussion, Hirugami holds multiple BA’s from UCLA and a Masters of Art in Art Business from Sotheby’s Institute of Art at Claremont Graduate University.
Alana Medina, MFA (Mexican/Armenian), Mother and self-identified nonartist, holds a BA in Studio Art from CSUSB and an MFA from Claremont Graduate University.
Natalie Marrero, MAAM (Nuyorican; New York Puerto Rican), Executive Director at Viver Brasil, holds a BA in Dance & Urban Studies from the New School for Liberal Arts in New York, as well as an MA in Arts Management from the Claremont Graduate University.
Darlene Stephanie, MAAB (Costa Rica), Art Consultant, holds a BA in Art History from UCLA and a Masters of Art in Art Business from Sotheby’s Institute of Art at Claremont Graduate University.
Mayra Villegas, MFA (Mexican American), Artist, holds a BA in Art History from UCLA and an MFA from Claremont Graduate University.
Erika Hirugami organized and moderated the panel. I asked her to explain the impetus that brought these particular young women together. This was her answer:
As a Latina CEO working in the field of Art Business globally, I am constantly being asked to represent all people of color, or Latinx people; or either entire cultures often foreign to me. The reality is that Latinx culture is a very perplexing and complicated structure of ideologies (that shifts by country) which cannot be explained by a single voice. Latinx people come in every intersectionality of the rainbow. The panelist who contributed to this conversation serve as the perfect example of this; Armenian/Mexican, Costa Rican, Mexican-American, Nuyorican (Puerto Rican born in New York), and Jaxican (Japanese/Mexican). So how can a single voice be asked to speak for every Latinx? And more importantly; how do we become more open to conversations that highlight this complex understanding of Latinx culture? How do we open spaces in which Latinx can be respectfully synonymous with indigenous, with hybrid intersectionality, with multiethnic? How can we make the larger narrative include divergent stories? We must constantly redefine what it means to be Latinx. To democratize the art culture of tomorrow, today we create spaces for our stories to be told, we refuse to tolerate ignorance while redefining yesterday's stereotypes, we stand our ground, and we deeply root our professional practices in our own cultures.
Left to Right: Darlene Stephanie and Alana Medina, photograph by Neale Stokes
The streaming audio for the Latinas in LA’s Creative Industries panel is available. I asked each panelist to send me three book recommendations. Promptly, they responded with these titles.
Erika Hirugami recommends:
- The Art of Being Unreasonable by Eli Broad
- The Art of Cruelty: The Reckoning by Maggie Nelson
- The Art of War by Sunzi
Natalie Marrero recommends:
- C**T: A Declaration of Independence by Inga Muscio
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration In The Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
- It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want To Be: The World's Best-Selling Book by Paul Arden
Alana Medina recommends:
- The Shape of Time by George Kubler
- The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia by James C. Scott
- Undermining: A Wild Ride Through Land Use, Politics, and Art in The Changing West by Lucy R Lippard
Darlene Stephanie recommends:
- The Business of Good: Social Entrepreneurship and The New Bottom Line by Jason Haber
- The House On Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
- This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color edited by Cherrie Morgana and Gloria Anzaldua
Mayra Villegas recommends:
- The Invisible Dragon: Essays on Beauty by Dave Hickey
- Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
- Mysteries of The Rectangle: Essays on Painting by Siri Hustvedt
- Nadja by Andre Breton
Left to Right: Alana Medina and Mayra Villegas, photograph by Neale Stokes
Be on the lookout for upcoming October events happening at the
Feminist Family Tree Workshop with F.L.O.W. Saturday, Oct., 14th
Donuts Coffee Poetry with Joseph Rios and Friends Saturday, Oct., 21st
EPFC Presents: Films Made in Echo Park about Echo Park Tuesday, Oct., 24th
NaNoWriMo Kick Off Party Monday, Oct., 30th