Tag Archives: Manny Velazquez

[Vídeo] Se ofrecen tours de los murales in Pacoima

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Probablemente ha visto los varios murales que han surgido en los últimos años alrededor de Pacoima, principalmente a lo largo de Van Nuy Blvd, denominando la zona como “La Milla de Murales” (Mural Mile).  Poco después de la denominación, el Museo del Valle de San Fernando ha estado llevando a cabo recorridos a pie de los murales. Echa un vistazo a este video-tour  producido por el camarógrafo y profesor en California State University Northridge, Miguel Ángel Durán.

El vídeo sigue uno de los tours que se conducen cada tercer sábado del mes. Se pueden ver muchos de los murales en el video y, al igual que en la gira actual, son presentados por los artistas que los pintaron.

Si el video no es suficiente para satisfacer su interés, cualquier persona puede unirse a la excursión a pie con una donación de $15 al Museo del Valle de San Fernando a través de la página web.  Puede parecer costoso, pero los fondos se utilizan para mantener los murales. Así lo pueden ver como una inversión en su comunidad y como apoyo para el arte público.

En cuanto a Duran, el productor de vídeo, él nació y se crió en el área de Pacoima / San Fernando. Asistió San Fernando High School y CSUN, donde ahora enseña video documental. También es dueño de Start Now Studios. Más de sus videos se pueden ver en la página web, que incluye un vídeo sobre la historia sobre el mural de Assata Shakur y otro en del inicio del programa de estudios chicanos/as en CSUN. Échale un vistazo.

[Video] Tours are now being given on Pacoima’s murals

Haga clic aquí para español.

You have probably seen the many murals that have popped up the past few years around Pacoima, mostly along Van Nuy Blvd, dubbing the area “Mural Mile.”  Soon after Mural Mile’s inception, the Museum of the San Fernando Valley has been conducting walking tours of the murals.  Check out this video tour produced by videographer and lecturer at California State University Northridge, Miguel Angel Duran.

The video follows one of the tours  conducted every third Saturday of the month.  In the video, many of the murals are featured and, like on the actual tour, artists who painted the murals give insight on their works.

If the video is not enough to satisfy your interest, anyone can join the walking tour by getting tickets from the Museum of the San Fernando Valley website for a $15 donation.  It might seem a lot but the funds are used to maintain the murals.  So see it as an investment in your community and as support for public art.

As for Duran, the video producer, he was born and raised in the Pacoima/ San Fernando area.  He attended San Fernando High School and CSUN, where he now teaches video documentary.  He also owns Start Now Studios.  More of his videos can be seen on their website, including a video on the history about the Assata Shakur mural and another on the start of CSUN’s Chicano/a Studies program.  Check it out.

Pacoima celebrates its first Día de los Muertos

Photo by Ana Rosa Murillo

Photo by Ana Rosa Murillo/ El Boletín

Pacoima City Hall was transformed from a sparsely used government building to a community space this weekend as the first Día de los Muertos Festival in Pacoima was celebrated there.    Altars built in memory of community members were decorated with their photos along with candles, photos, and flowers.  Banners hung from the building’s second floor railing and colorful artwork was displayed in almost every corner.  Local organizations sponsored their own altars where they honored their deceased members.  The main, larger altar remembered the community: family, friends, and even pets.

“It’s the first time for many to actually participate in Día de los Muertos, so it’s all new to some of them because they haven’t practiced it in years.  And this is the first one in Pacoima,” said Manny Velazquez, artist and art curator for the event.  He invited 30 artists including local painters Kristy Sandoval and Rah Azul- to collaborate in the event.

Manny Velazquez stands in front of the main altar.  Community members were invited and submitted photos for this altar, which was the largest of them all.

Manny Velazquez stands in front of the main altar. Community members were invited and submitted photos for this altar, which was the largest of them all. Photo by Guadalupe González/ El Boletín

In the past, Pacoima residents had to travel to San Fernando, Canoga Park, Hollywood, or other parts of Los Angeles to enjoy Día de los Muertos festivities.

“But now, this is one where you can actually cross the street and drop off a picture, and that’s what we did.  We made it ultra big to allow them to come and drop off a picture,” Velazquez said.

Forty local organizations and dozens of parent and youth volunteers participated in putting on the three-day event.  The celebrations started October 31 with a Halloween festival that included free candy and movie screening and ended yesterday with the final viewing of the altars.

Councilmember Felipe Fuentes hosted the event as an effort to revitalize the Van Nuys Boulevard corridor, where Pacoima City Hall is located, and to celebrate the community.

“It’s precisely what this building was designed for,” he said.  

Up until recently, the city hall building was unoccupied since it was finished in 2009 because of leasing complications, said Fuentes.  Now the five suite building houses Pacoima Beautiful, the Los Angeles Police Department’s Community Relations office, and Fuentes’ field office.  But he wants the location to be more than just a place for residents to  submit their complaints.

“In addition, to us trying to solve people’s city problems, it’s also a place that should bring together sort of people to celebrate what it is to be a member of this community.  And that’s what we are trying to do this weekend.”

Director of the Parent Center at Pacoima Charter School Eva Torres sits next to the altar she built in honor of Marsha Finch and Mr. Snader, two Pacoima Charter teachers who recently died of cancer.

Director of the Parent Center at Pacoima Charter School Eva Torres sits next to the altar she built in honor of Marsha Finch and Mr. Snader, two Pacoima Charter teachers who recently died of cancer. Photo by Guadalupe González/ El Boletín

Snacks and coffee were provided, and nothing was sold to avoid commercializing the event, said a volunteer.  Not even those coveted purple Día de los Muertos shirts provided to volunteers.  There was live musical acts and children were able to do some painting of their own.

Elsa Gonzales, a long-time Pacoima resident, stopped by with her three children after their soccer practice.

“It’s close, and my husband heard about it at Pacoima City Hall and we came by to see if it was still on,” she said.  It was her first Día de los Muertos event she has ever been to, she said, and is looking forward to more community events like this.

Photo by Ana Rosa Murillo/ El Boletín

Photo by Ana Rosa Murillo/ El Boletín