Open Dialogue IX
San Jose, California
Bringing Creative Expression, ARTS, Back to the Center
Convener: Theresa Harlan
Terry Acebo Davis, John Seto—California Arts Council, Washington State Arts Commission WESTAF, San Jose Cantonese Opera, Quetzal Guerrero, Victoria Bomberry, Neshkinukat: California Native Artists Network
Children are losing part of their culture because they are 3rd generation… so involved kids are in mariachi groups.
Kids want to be part of the arts, arts are self-development, but parents can't always pay for fees/instruments.
Money can be an obstacle.
As a child, expressed interest in arts. Parents wanted focus on math and science and did not see arts as viable for the future. Need to place value on the arts for education of parents and teachers.
Art is not separate. It's all connected within education. Art teaches skills and discipline, commitment and skills are applicable to all aspects of life.
Strength of parents can carry a unified voice to demand/insert arts in the school.
We need to talk to people who have little understanding and value of the arts and its impact to turn this lack of support into full support and advocacy.
America is a young country and secular state, its divorced from traditional cultures and religious and ritual meanings.
Some cultural rituals have become more secularized, e.g. Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and celebrations of Chinese dragon boats becoming an international sport.
Within America is a melding of cultures… what mechanism is there for common experiences, universal rituals, rites of passage.
Need networking between diverse cultures, e.g. Chinese and Latino celebrations and communities to build alliances and further cross-cultural understanding.
People carry assumptions when looking at ethnic work and artists.
Immigrants are told to assimilate "whatever the hell that means" now acculturation is used over assimilation.
Would like to see the City of San Jose host a world cultures festival, to educate and to show appreciation of diverse traditions and communities.
Phoenix sponsored a festival of martial arts, which brought a multiplicity of cultures and cross-cultural participation: capoeira, tai kwan-do, etc.
Art is balance, essence of everything, humanity, architecture of our lives.