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Latinas in LA's Creative Industries

Angi Brzycki, Librarian, Edendale Branch Library,
a photograph of the five Latina's in L.A's Creative Industries panelists, standing in front of the Edendale Branch Library
The Latinas in LA's Creative Industries panelists at the Edendale Branch Library, from Left to Right: Mayra Villegas, Alana Medina, Erika Hirugami, Natalie Marrero and Darlene Stephanie. Photograph by Arianna Rivera

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, Erika Hirugami and Natalie Marrero, sitting at a table before an audience. Natalie is speaking with a microphone in her hand.

Left to Right: Erika Hirugami and Natalie Marrero, photograph by Neale Stokes
Left to Right, Darlene Stephanie and Alana Medina.  Alana is sitting at a table speaking with a microphone in her hand. Darlene is turned to the right listening to Alana

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:

Natalie Marrero recommends:

Alana Medina recommends:

Darlene Stephanie recommends:

Mayra Villegas recommends:

Left to Right, Alana Medina and Mayra Villegas. Mayra is sitting at a table looking ahead while speaking with a microphone in her hand.  Alana is turned to the right looking at Mayra.

Left to Right: Alana Medina and Mayra Villegas, photograph by Neale Stokes

Left to Right Natalie Marrero and Darlene Stephanie.  Darlene is speaking looking ahead with a microphone in her hand, sitting at a table. Natalie is turned to the right, sitting at the same table looking at Darlene.

Left to Right: Natalie Marrero and Darlene Stephanie, photograph by Neale Stokes

Be on the lookout for upcoming October events happening at the

Edendale Branch Library:

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


 

 

 

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