May Day Rally in Fresno Courthouse Park
Jorge Sanjuan, music student & tutor of Generaciones Project, led the participants in a performance on May 1st at Courthouse Park in Fresno, California. John Hurtado, Leoncio Vasquez, Adelfo Hernandez, Angel Vasquez, Leah Salinas, Ernesto Vasquez, Alondra Chavira, and Angel Niño, played “This Land is Your Land” in English & Spanish, “Cielo Fronterizo” – Border Skies, and “El Pueblo Unido” – the people united. Please go to our website to view footage. Instructors Agustín Lira and Patricia Wells were unable to lead the group because they were teaching music at Valley State Prison. We feel proud and inspired by our students because they “flew the plane” without their teachers! Congratulations to Jorge and the whole group! We thank Roy “Point” Anderson for filming, helping with sound, and editing.
In the springtime of 2010, Teatro de la Tierra presented “Regeneración, Ricardo Flores Magón and the Mexican Revolution of 1910” a show made up of songs, musical interludes, vignettes, and narrative, written and directed by Agustin Lira and Patricia Wells Solórzano.
Lira, Wells, and Merlinda Espinosa played and sang throughout the show, bringing to life the history and passion of the revolution through corridos, ballads, and huapangos, as well as Nuevo canto songs about the struggle for freedom. The show was very well received and with each performance, more children and their parents approached the directors to ask for music lessons. Weeks after the last show we were still receiving phone calls asking for guitar and singing lessons.
Artists to the Rescue!
As artists and as an organization, our interest has been to serve the community through arts education programming. We felt we needed to respond with a concerted effort, now that there was such a call for connecting to our culture and roots from youth. Wells and Lira met to plan Generaciones Project to recruit children and adolescents between the ages of 8 and 18, in the basic fundamentals of music as applied to playing the baritone or tenor ukulele, acoustic classical guitar, jarana segunda or jarana tercera, and/or singing. We applied for and received important support from the Alliance for California Traditional Arts Living Cultures Grant program, the Unitarian Universalist Church – classroom space, the Centro Bi-Nacional Oaxaqueño CBDIO – classroom space, the Chicano Youth Center (Dickey Youth Center) – classroom space. Directors Amy Kitchener of ACTA, Reverend Bryan Jessup of the UU, Leoncio Vasquez CBDIO, and Javier Guzman of CYC, collaborated with us to provide an environment conducive to teaching music. Thanks to this support, we were able to develop two performing groups – Zunzún Kids’ Ensemble and Generaciones Ensemble (adults).
Community classes take place on Mondays and Wednesdays.
Prospective students must pass a 2 week assignment & test period, before enrolling.
Sliding scale fees for instruction, free for farmworker families, children of single parents, and low-income families. Please call (559) 485-8558 to inquire about enrollment and instruments.
Meet our youth tutors:
Artist Instructors Agustin Lira and Patricia Wells Solórzano continue to serve beginning students with the help of 4 advanced students who are now Youth Tutors: Leah, Ernesto, Angel V, and Angel N, work with children ages 7 through 13 at the Offices of Centro Bi-Nacional Oaxaqueño and the Alfonso Hernandez Youth Center in the heart of Fresno, California. View more and donate if you would like to support music classes in the community: teatrotierraonline.org write to: firstname.lastname@example.org