The Calle 24 Paseo Artístico, or art stroll, is a new neighborhood series that will bring music, poetry, book readings film and cultural tours to Calle 24 every second Saturday of every other month.
We caught up with Georgiana Hernández and Anna Lisa Escobedo, from the Calle 24 Cultural Assets & Arts Committee, to learn more about the series.
When is the next Paseo Artístico? What’s happening then?
Georgiana: The second Paseo Artístico event will be held on Sunday, August 14th from 11:00 am until about 6:00 or 7:00 pm. Activities will kick off at Precita Eyes with a bilingual tour of murals along 24th Street. The stroll moves on to Alley Cat Books, where Cine Mas will host three showings of the film, The Wall, directed by Ricardo Martinez. At noon, artist Alejandro Meza will lead a workshop at Acción Latina, “Sculpting Your Inner Spiritual Animal,” Kim Shuck will host their Gears Turning Poetry Series at Modern Times, and q.r. hand, jr. and ensemble members will host poetry and music at Acción Latina. Should be a great Sunday of events.
I think the beauty of the Paseo Artístico series is that on the second Sunday of the month, for 8 months of the year, neighborhood residents and visitors alike can count on being able to fill their Sunday with lots of fun and interesting cultural arts activities.
Anna Lisa: Going off on Georgiana, Paseo Artístico is a series of events that allows all arts that happen and could happen on Calle 24 to come together. It is a community event that allows everyone from young, older, our long time residents, and it is good for families to be able to participate. We are hoping it expands and to get more of the neighbors involved and celebrate the arts.
Tell me a little about the Cultural Assets & Arts Committee, and the collaboration and coordination involved in planning the series.
Georgiana: After the Calle 24 Latino Cultural District (LCD) was established in May 2014, the Council, which oversees the work of the LCD, set up committees to push forward the vision for the district. One of the five working committees is the Cultural Assets & Arts Committee. The goals of the committee are to promote and support what we see as “culture-critical community events” such as Carnaval, Dia de Los Muertos, and the Chavez Holiday Commemoration, and to try to preserve the cultural assets that exist within the District.
Another goal of our committee is to design and oversee the installation of corridor monuments, arts projects, a walk of fame, light pole signs, and the like, in collaboration with the Economic Vitality Committee.
Lastly, our committee hopes to foster collaboration among our Latino Cultural District arts organizations. And I think our new Paseo Artístico Second Sundays series helps us to realize a number of these goals. The project is dedicated to ensuring a well-coordinated series of free arts activities along Calle 24 every second Sunday of the month.
How did the first Paseo Artístico on July 10th go? Did you learn anything from the first run?
Georgiana: In July, the first month of the Paseo Artístico series, six of the arts organizations—Acción Latina, Alley Cat Books, Cine+ Mas, Luna’s Press, Modern Times Bookstore, and Precita Eyes Muralists Association—participated in the art stroll. Activities started at 11:00 am with a bilingual mural tour along 24th Street. At 1:00 pm we had a clay handbuilding class by sculptor Alejandro Meza at Acción Latina. From 3-6:00 Cine Mas curated the viewings of Latino themed short films at Alley Cat Books. And from 4-6:00 pm the day ended with poetry readings and music at both Modern Times, hosted by Kim Shuck, and at Acción Latina, hosted by Jorge Argueta of Luna’s Press. About 100 people participated in the day’s activities.
Anna Lisa: We learned that people responded well to the activities that were offered. As we keep going we want to offer more. Its an exciting time for us to play and offer an arts event.
Will you integrate food as part of the cultural experience?
Georgiana: As we move forward with the Paseo Artístico programming, we’ll be establishing agreements with local eateries to offer discounts that help direct event attendees to our Calle 24 local establishments. We’re hoping the full experience of the day with round out with great food.
Anna Lisa: Oh yes! We are working in reaching out to our restaurants to see how they want to participate. Including other business on 24th street. Their participation is important to us. We have great variety of food in the neighborhood. We want to learn what are some things they want to offer or feature. If its discounted food or drinks, specials and they could offer an activity for the Paseo.
Are there any upcoming artists/events that you’re really excited about? Any big dreams for the future?
Georgiana: Beginning in September or October, we’ll start incorporating more music into the second Sunday lineup of activities. It also seems like other arts organizations within the cultural district want to get involved in this project, so no doubt as we move forward, these second Sunday events will be packed with cultural arts activities for every age and interest.
Anna Lisa: I would like to see the Paseo expand. And that is our hopes and goals that Paseo Artístico will grow and everyone one would join in. I would like to see other community members take part in the event. Maybe offer drumming circle sessions, a chance for some live music, maybe some screen printing happening in the street. This is an event for the neighborhood put on by the neighborhood.
Top photo by Armando Valdez / Property of El Tecolote