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This document is a proposal for a symposium on the state of Chicano/Latino art practices and education in California. According to the anonymous author, the conference would be organized around panels of visual artists, musicians, and various other performers who would come together to discuss their respective experiences and encourage the development of solutions to the problem of low recruitment of Chicano/Latino students in fine arts-related disciplines at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). The document includes a brief reflection on the changing status of Chicano/Latino culture in California throughout the 1970s, and the steps that have been taken since then to improve awareness of and support for key organizations that have suffered funding cuts for community programs and city and county services. The symposium is proposed as an antidote to the kind of cultural amnesia that has caused Chicano/Latino artistic production to suffer in recent years and is intended to underscore the diversity of movements within the Latino artistic community and promote a dialogue between concerned parties from various disciplinary sectors.
Though unattributed, the proposal is a valuable historical record of the issues of and debates about Chicano/Latino art in the 1970s and ‘80s. The proposal begins with a historical overview of the political and artistic developments during the 1970s and the difficult state of cultural institutions in the mid-1980s, which is countered by the growth of younger cultural groups. The proposal offers an insightful look at how campus organizations, in this case, the CSRC [Chicano Studies Research Center] at UCLA became important sites for the discussion and dissemination of Chicano/Latino art and culture.