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El Centro Su Teatro is a multidisciplinary Chicano/Latino cultural arts center that produces theater, music, and visual art that speaks to the experience of an under-served community.
"Art and culture are crucial to a community's survival and strength. By providing hope and a sense of self-identity, art and culture can provide the tremendous impetus for economic, social and political development. Art and culture provide the heart and vision to empower a community. Through a combination of the concrete and conceptual, that is, the melding of economic, political and social action with artistic expression, we will rebuild, strengthen and develop our communities. "Give us bread, but give us roses," pleads a protest song of the Great Depression; to paraphrase, as a community-based theater company, we seek the means for our communities to "feed our bellies, but also feed our spirit."
El Centro Su Teatro History:
Su Teatro began in 1971. Sparked by the nationwide Chicano Civil Rights Movement, the original company used art and culture to build community by reacquainting young Chicanos with their history. Su Teatro was created because of a need. Mexican Americans had been denied access to their history, language and culture. Teatro allowed individuals to reconnect with a positive source
In 2007, Su Teatro celebrates its thirty fifth anniversary, and is teaching a new generation of cultural activists to connect with their communities through the arts.
Su Teatro is the third oldest Teatro Chicano in the country; only El Teatro Campesino, the original Chicano theater, and El Teatro Esperanza, are older.
With the purchase of the Elyria Elementary School, Su Teatro was incorporated into El Centro Su Teatro, a multi-disciplinary cultural arts center.
Su Teatro Honors:
EL CENTRO SU TEATRO AWARDS INCLUDE:
2000 Spirit of Tlatelolco Arts and Culture Award. 1999 Westword Best of Denver, Best Ethnic Film Festival for the Xicanindie Filmmakers Festival. The 1990 Westword Best Of Denvers Best Production, Serafin, The Chinook Funds 1992 and 1994 Winds of Change Award, the 1997 Governors Award for Excellence in the Arts, and the 1994 El Pomar Foundation Award for Excellence in the Arts,
AWARDS TO EXECUTIVE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR ANTHONY J. GARCIA INCLUDE: the 2001 Swanee Hunt Individual Leadership Award; the 1994 Colorado Council on the Arts Literary Award for Excellence; Best New Play, Rocky Mountain Drama Critics Circle Award for Serafin: Cantos y Lagrimas, 1989; The 1989 NEA/Theater Communications Group Directing Fellowship; and the Chicano Literary Award, University of California-Irvine, 1989.
On Su Teatros 25th Anniversary
by Dr. Jorge Huerta
University of California, San Diego
"Twenty-five years! It is hard to believe that this wonderful company has actually been around that long. But they have. Creating, building communities, laughing at themselves as they made others laugh and cry with them. Su Teatro is truly unique in this country, as a professional theatre company that is community-based, maintaining its own beautiful theater center. From classes and workshops the company offers for children and adults, to the finely polished productions each season, Su Teatro is a model for any group that wants to follow the path that Chicano theatre paved long ago: to educate and entertain. And to do so with pride and dignity, content in the fact that they have a truly loyal following. I have seen the audience in the Teatros wonderful auditorium as well as in its outdoor summer events. Through rain or shine, the audiences are there, eager to see what the company has for them this time. Will it be a carpa or a melodrama? A children's play or an adult drama about secrets few families wish to reveal? Or perhaps a multi-media event? With all of their programming, thanks to Artistic Director Tony Garcia's global vision, the group brings live theatre, music and other performing and visual arts to its audiences, challenging them to demand only the best. And they do. Which is why you are a part of this celebration today.
Contemporary Teatro Chicano began in 1965 as a movement of untrained, politically motivated young Chicanos and Chicanas, intent on spreading a sense of pride, history and dignity among La Raza. From the first actos by El Teatro Campesino, to the many other themes and forms expressed by the many teatristas, platwrights and teatros throughout the U.S. Chicano theatre has served a real need in its communities. Su Teatro has taken that legacy and made it yours. Yours to saborear, yours to think about, yours to feel free to criticize, for you to want only the best for your community, ¿que no? And Su Tetaro is the best.
I do not have to tell you that Su Teatro is familia and I salute the many members and supporters of your family on this, your collective twenty-fifth anniversary. I am honored to have watched this family as it grew, evolving into the dedicated group it is. From the administrative and artistic staff to the volunteers, to the audiences, you all serve a great big abrazo for giving the country a national treasure. May Su Tetaro live four times twenty five more years!"
Dr. Jorge Huerta
Dr. Jorge Huerta is a tenured professor of theater at the University of California at San Diego. He was one of the founders of El Teatro de la Esperanza, and has written numerous books on Teatro Chicano including Chicano Theater: Themes and Forms, Bilingual Press and Necessary Theater: Six Plays About the Chicano Experience, Arte Publico Press.
El Centro Su Teatro Staff:
ANTHONY J. GARCIA - EXECUTIVE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Anthony J. Garcia has been the Executive Artistic Director at El Centro Su Teatro since 1989 and has been Director of the Su Teatro company since 1974. He is an instructor in Chicano Studies at the Metro State College of Denver, and he is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Association of Latino Art and Culture.
Garcia serves as resident playwright at the Centro, generating successes such as the 1986 production of "Introduction to Chicano History: 101," which was featured in Joseph Papp's Latino Theater Festival in New York and subsequently toured the U.S. Southwest and Mexico. In 1991, Ludlow, Grita de las Minas, also by Garcia was performed at the TENAZ Festival in San Antonio, TX. La Carpa Aztlan presents: "I Don't Speak English Only!" is the company's most successful touring production to date. Written in 1993 by Garcia and the late Jose Guadalupe Saucedo. The production has toured Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Kansas, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Texas, and California.TANYA MARINA MOTE - DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
Tanya Marina has been with the Centro since 1997, first as a volunteer, then as house manager, now coordinating the Centro's fundraising activities. El Centro Su Teatro is implementing a three part development strategy that includes raising money from earned income (plays, merchandise, and other programming), foundations, and individual supporters. She is finishing her PhD in international studies at the University of Denver, emphasizing human rights, development and Latin American studies. She is a member of the board of directors for the National Performance Network and the Grassroots Institute of Fundraising Training.MICAELA GARCIA DE BENAVIDEZ - ORGANIZATIONAL MANAGER
Mica participated in the Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training internship program June- August, 1999. The Institute trains people of color to fundraise for grassroots social justice organizations.
She earned her BA in International relations at Claremont McKenna College in California in May, 2001. She is currently a 2004 Colorado Trust Fellow, working on her Masters in Nonprofit Management at Regis University.
VALARIE CASTILLO - OFFICE MANAGER
JOHN KUEBLER- COMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATE
DANIEL SALAZAR - XICANINDIE FILMFEST DIRECTOR
RAFAEL MARTINEZ- TECH DIRECTOR
JOSE GUARDIOLA - MARKETING INTERN
ANGELA PIERCY - MARKETING/VOLUNTEER PROGRAM INTERN
- Angela Piercy
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