The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
In this document, Ana L. Cardona, a Chicago-based artist, argues for a national and ethnic art based on the experiences of Chicano and Puerto Rican communities in the United States and counters the idea of the universality of art. The "raza art" term, she explains, encompasses the artistic production of Chicanos and Puerto Ricans while also recognizing their differences in ideology and aesthetics.
The text by the educator and cultural producer Ana L. Cardona was published January 1, 1976, in Raza Art & Media Collective Journal, which was published in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Partly a manifesto, it positions raza artists, which include Puerto Ricans and Chicanos, against mainstream, homogenized American culture. It also seeks to establish a history for raza art by citing artists' experiences (including members of the group Con Safo, Felipe Reyes and Santos Martinez, who were students at the University of Michigan in the mid-1970s). Cardona was the co-founder of the Raza Art & Media Collective in 1975 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, along with other artists, historians, and art historians including Jesse Gonzalez, George Vargas, Zaragoza Vargas, S. Zaneta Kosiba-Vargas, and Michael J. Garcia. Cardona also was involved with the statewide arts and cultural organization in Michigan, Nuestras Artes de Michigan [Our Arts from Michigan] in 1978 and later Artes Unidas de Michigan [United Arts of Michigan] in 2002.