The Convocation honors the memory of César Chávez, his achievements, his achievement commitment to social justice/civil rights, his unrelenting effors to cultivate grassrrots learders, and his successful formation of the United Farmworkers Union(UFW). The goral of the Convocation is to provide a platfrom to engage the campus and Santa Cruz community in a dialogue on Latino leadership and social justice issues. Luis Valdez is this year's Keynote Speaker.
Luis Valdez, whose own history emerges out of the farmworkers struggle, is one of the nation's foremost contemporary playwright and founding director of the internationally renowned El Teatro Campesino,. Founded in 1965 on the picket lines of the Great Delano Grape Strike and an integral part of the struggle to organize a national farmworkers' union, El Teatro Campesino has been and continues to be a vital force in the Chicano community.
Valdez is a prolific writer and director who has numerous accomplishments that include an Off-Broadway Obie Award, Drama Critics Awards in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and was a recipient of a Rockefeller Foundation Arts-in-Residence. He is a member of the National Endowment of the Arts and a founding member of the California Arts Council.
Valdez has produced plays and films that include "Zoot Suit" which played to over half a million people at the Mark Taper Theatre in Los Angeles. It became the first play by a Chicano to be produced on Broadway and was subsequently produced into a motion picture version of "Zoot Suit" for Universal Studios. Other productions include "La Bamba" for Columbia Pictures; "Corridos: Tales of Passion and Revolution" for PBS; "I Don't Have To Show You No Stinking Badges"; "La Pastorela: A Shepard's Tale" for PBS' Great Performances. Valdez directed "The Cisco Kid" for the Turner Network. His play "Bandido" was a joint production of the Mark Taper Forum and El Teatro Campesino, and "The Mummified Deer" opened to critical acclaim at the San Diego Repertory Theatre in San Diego. In current production, "Corridos Remix: A Musical Fusion of Ballads Beyond Borders" is a new multi-cultural, multi-lingual musical by Kinan & Luis Valdez, staring Luis Valdez premieres on April 23 and runs through May 22 at the San Diego Repertory Theatre.
Luis Valdez is a well-distinguished artist and activist who has been awarded a Presidential Medal of the Arts from the White House, a prestigious Aguila Award (Golden Eagle Award), the highest decoration bestowed by the Mexican Government to citizens of other countries, and was awarded the prestigious Governors Award of the California Arts Council. He is the founding director/professor of the Institute for Teledramatic Arts and Technology at California State University at Monterey Bay. As founder and artistic director of El Teatro Campesino, he continues to work and mentor a new generation of theatre artists at ETC's playhouse in San Juan Bautista.
SPONSORS: College Ten, El Centro: Chicano Latino Resource Center, Educational Opportunity Programs, and Oakes College. CO-SPONSORS: American Studies, Chicano Latino Research Center, Community Studies, Education Department, Educational Partnership Center, History of Art and Visual Culture, Latin American and Latino Studies, School of Engineering,Student Affairs and e2