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This document is a description of the Concilio de Arte Popular (CAP), a statewide coalition of artists and art organizations in California. The statement outlines the need for CAP given the high percentage of bicultural and bilingual people reflected in state demographics and the lack of art organizations that meet the needs of Latino artists. Along with justification for the coalition, the text outlines the history of its formation, funding sources, and programming. It ends with a description of the philosophical tenets of CAP, including the following beliefs: art as a tool for change; the artist as cultural worker; as well as the role of art within class struggle.


The document is valuable on multiple levels. Historically, it records the founding of an important statewide organization in California that sought to unite Chicano/Latino artists and art organizations for artistic support and collaboration, and also for political and cultural advocacy. It also serves to demonstrate the early beginnings of Chicano artists’ efforts to be united as well as the organizational entities to reach mutually beneficial artistic and political goals. Given the wording of the statement and its Marxist orientation, it may have been written by artist Carlos Almaraz (1941–1989), one of the founding members of CAP.

Tere Romo
Chicano Studies Research Center, UCLA, Los Angeles, USA