Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Honorary Committee member Shelley Morrison

I met Shelley Morrison in an adobe - no, really I did. Our first bit of conversation was about nopal recipes. Honest.

Most of you may know Shelley because her decades of prolific work on stage and screen. Or you may know her work as the voice of Mrs. Portillo, Manny's kindly neighbor. For others, the role she is best known for is Rosario, the feisty maid on "Will and Grace". To quote Shelley - Rosario was an "older Hispanic woman who is bright and smart and can hold her own".

History and heritage matter to her. She is of Hispanic descent, born and raised in the Bronx, her first language was Spanish and her parents were Spanish Jews. She embraces the spiritual tradition of the Lakota Sioux. Shelley and her husband Walter Dominguez have three sons and three daughters that were adopted through a traditional Native American ceremony.

Shelley is an advocate for the charities she cares about. A.N.G.E.L.S. Day and L.A. Shanti are but two examples. She has survived two bouts with cancer and she has raised money for the American Cancer Society.

Latino Heritage thanks Shelley for being a member of our Honorary Committee and look forward to talking with her about nopal recipes, among many, many other topics.

Honorary Committee member Wendy Fujihara Anderson

Wendy Anderson has lived in Pasadena all of her life. And what a life it has been.

A partial listing of her accomplishments includes active, leadeship roles in groups as varied as East West Players, Pasadena Chamber of Commerce, National Women's Political Caucus, and City Personnel Services.

She is a partner, Sake Institute of American/Sake Only Store, Pasadena, Kellye Wallett Studio, and her day job, President WOWQ Productions and Public Relations of Pasadena, CA.

And she is Co-founder, President and Producer of the Cherry Blossom Festival SoCal - attendance 60,000 in 2010. A 100% Volunteer Team produced, free event.

She has written and produced Camp Stories a show which gives 'voice' to images and impressions of life before, during and after the WWII Internment Camps of Japanese Americans.

Every year Wendy donates her time, donates her skills and her goodwill to our Latino Heritage parade & jamaica.

That's just the sort of person she is.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Sergio and Gracy

Sharing the story of the Danzon as solely being about two entrepreneurs who start a business with a silent partner would be succinct but lacking much of the story.

A more detailed version would include the work of the wives. Stella Nuñez Castro was Danny Castro's wife and partner: she helped with many different needs and tasks. Her story like many women's stories is less evident, but no less important.

Gracy is in the picture above taking reservations; Sergio is facing the camera.

Gracy in a publicity shot. It's easy to understand why Sergio fell in love with her and lovely voice. He described her voice as that of an angel.

There is something about Gracy that epitomizes the alluring grace that could be a part of the cha cha cha, mambo, and rhumba on dance floors like the Danzon.

Monday, April 18, 2011

An Evening at the Danzon - our fundraiser

Latino Heritage will be hosting an evening of music, entertainment, dancing, cocktails and appetizers on Sunday, May 1, 2011 at the Pasadena Senior Center. An Evening at the Danzon will be a recreation of the Latino social scene during the 1940s and 1950s in Pasadena. Guests will have the opportunity to participate in a social reenactment of times past while raising money for our programs, including the 13th annual Latino Heritage parade & jamaica to be held in Pasadena on October 15th.

The Danzon was a popular Latino Studio Club: a supper club with dance lessons, which flourished in Old Pasadena after World War II. The evening will include a dance lesson from Rose City Ballroom, era cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, and the musical styling of CAVA. Deborah Sanchez, Honorary Committee Chair for the event, encourages 1946-1954 era attire.

Latino Heritage, founded in 1998, focuses on bridging communities and generations while sharing the arts, culture, heritage and history of the Latino community of Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley. The group's best known project is the Latino Heritage parade & jamaica.

Price: $60-$78

Tickets can be purchased via http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1717510

Individual tickets are $78.00: discounted tickets are available for group sales.

Poster artwork - Silbina Lepe

Friday, April 15, 2011

Our Honorary Committee members

Over the next week I'll be sharing a bit about some of our Honorary Committee members. A privilege to work with them and to share a brief bio with you.

Dan Guerrerro agreed to be on the committee because he has long valued the work done by Latino Heritage. Dan is a very special guy. He is charming, urbane, and has a moderately wicked sense of humor. You know the sort of friend who is just a bit catty, but whose humor makes a party come alive.

Dan is also a phenomenal producer. Linda Ronstadt wants a Mariachi Festival - she calls Dan. Vikki Carr wants a program for her scholarship - she calls Dan. Edward James Olmos wants a well produced film festival - guess who he called.

Dan is the son of the iconic Lalo Gurerero and has worked in show business for 50 years. He wrote and produced his one man show Gaytino which covers his career and so much more. "Guerrero dishes up comedy with teeth” writes the San Jose Mercury News. If you get a chance, you really must see it.

We are very fortunate to have Dan serve on our Honorary Committee.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Guerreros at Lalo's

The flyer for our fundraiser has a lot of history in it. I've written about the Danzon in earlier posts. If you look back to earlier posts you'll a bit about how this Studio/Supper Club came to be in Pasadena.

The folks below are members of the familia Guerrero. Their daughters Pat and Rosie have long shared their family history with Latino Heritage and we have in turn shared the history at the parade & jamaica or at workshops we've offered.

I could fib and say that this photo took place in Pasadena, but it didn't. It took place at Lalo Guerrero's night spot - Lalo's in East L.A. There's a lot of detail in the photo, but every time we talk about their family I'm surprised to learn yet another fact.
Among the facts I can easily share is that Mrs. Guerrero was quite the seamstress. The dress she is wearing (lace collar) was probably designed and then sewn by her. Mr. Guerrero played baseball on a team that was based in Pasadena.
We'll plan to have this image, and others from this era on exhibit at our fundraiser.

Tickets can be purchased ahead of time via Brown Paper Tickets: here is the link -

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

While strolling down the Paseo...

James and I just about bumped into each other. We knew about the Rose City Ballroom but it was located on Fair Oaks, almost in South Pasadena. So what a surprise to see Christian and Annette at their new digs at the Paseo.

Christian Perry has his own show on the Arroyo Channel, choreographs and dances on Dancing with the Stars. He and Annette Nicole are award winning dancers. Annette has also served on the Pasadena Northwest Commission. You've also seen them in the Rose Parade, but may not have known their names or known that they live and work in Pasadena.
Summertime will be filled with dance in the main mall and they'll be leading the lessons. I've never been a participant, but have seen the lessons and it always looks like folks are having great fun. Sounds like a win, win, win situation all 'round.

They asked me to spread the invitation to their second anniversary celebration of
Rose City Ballroom in Pasadena.
The event will take place on April 16th, 7:00P.M. at the
Historic Raymond Theater
125 N. Raymond Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91103
There'll be performances, refreshments, and a red carpet all free of charge.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Save the DATE!

On May 1st Latino Heritage will have its first formal fundraiser at the Pasadena Senior Center.
An Evening at the Danzon will be a recreation of the Latino social scene during the Post World War II years in Pasadena.

Guests will have the opportunity to participate in an evening that will include a dancing lesson, cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, and dancing to live music. The schedule is listed on the image.

The Danzon was a Studio Club that existed on Holly Street from 1947 to 1954. Daniel Castro, Sr., and Sergio Lopez, Sr. who had the dream of the Danzon and later managed it.

Having a supper club was very much a part of the Mexican American scene during this era. The couples in the flyer are members of the Guerrero family at Lalo Guerrero's club in East L.A. Also pictured is Gracy Lopez, a glamorous and talented beauty.

Individual tickets are $78. Tables are available at $60/ticket. Tickets will be on sale beginning Monday, April 11th via Brown Paper Tickets.

As the flyer states - period attire will be encouraged!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

So many entries, so many choices.

It was grand to see the number of entries for this year's contest, only down side was having to pick a first and second prize winner.

Thanks to Joan and Nadia, PUSD/LADD office, for all their work. Thanks to judges Dr. Kathee Bautista, Maritza Espinoza Canto, Liz Espinoza, Porfirio Frausto, James Grimes, and Dr. Thelma Reyna.

They deliberated with each other about the content and technique in each piece of art and essay. If you go to the link at the end of this blog you can see images of the artwork. Great work all.
Art (1,2)
Noeli Chavez, Helen Hu
Emily Kendall Hancock, Stephanie Alvarez
Grant Posner, Jesus Torres
Julio Turunu,
Onix sulema silva, Douglas Ventura
Essay 9 (1,2)
Alejandro Montelongo, Lily Arzili
Jada Luna-Diaz, Noor Aburumman
Matthew Arnst, Valerie Sbrocca
Kelly Ramos, Chan-Soo Kim
Honorable Mention -
Oh Yeah Awards!
Art (1,2)
Ashley Bonilla
Brenda Lopez, Noah Igler
Yolanda Munoz - Class Project
Jonathon Aguilar, Chris Ovando

http://language-assessment-and development.pusd.schoolfusion.us/modules/groups/integrated_home.phtml?gid=942978&sessionid=0e6317261a998131b72e7b6f15a