2013-08-29 : ¡VivaFest! KQED and The Tech Museum of Innovation

Partner on Film Showcase

(San Jose, CA) – August 29, 2013 – For the fourth year, ¡VivaFest!, the San Jose Mexican Heritage and Mariachi Festival, partners with The Tech Museum of Innovation on a films series that showcases movies with Latino cultural heritage. New this year is a partnership with KQED to screen the Silicon Valley premiere of the new PBS series “Latino Americans.”

“It has been a wonderful partnership for ¡VivaFest! and The Tech to bring culturally appropriate and timely films to the festival,” said Marcela Davison Aviles, executive producer of the festival and president and CEO of the Mexican Heritage Corporation (MHC). “We are delighted to partner with KQED this year and to highlight the new PBS series, ‘Latino Americans.’”

An eclectic series of films showcasing the work of independent Latino and Mexican-American filmmakers opens Monday, September 9. Tickets available at The Tech or online at www.thetech.org.

“At The Tech, we are committed to making a positive difference in our community,” said Elizabeth Williams, vice president of marketing. “Through important, longstanding partnerships with the Mexican Heritage Corporation, we’re able to present a wonderful opportunity to understand different values and beliefs while building bridges across communities in Silicon Valley.”

Series Highlights:

Monday, Sept. 9, 6 p.m. — Screening and discussion with producer Ray Telles of an episode from LATINO AMERICANS, a landmark three-part, six-hour PBS documentary. This the first major series for television to chronicle the rich and varied history and experiences of Latinos, who have for the past 500-plus years helped shape what is today the United States and have become, with more than 50 million people, the largest minority group in the U.S. Led by Emmy Award-winning series producer Adriana Bosch and narrated by Benjamin Bratt, the series documents the evolution of a new “Latino American” identity from the 1500s to the present day, featuring interviews with close to 100 Latinos from the worlds of politics, business and pop culture.

Friday, Sept. 13, 6 p.m. — “ESCARAMUZA: Riding from the Heart” tells the story of Escaramuza Charra Las Azaleas, a team of first-generation Mexican American horsewomen on a two-year journey to represent California and the United States at the National Charro Championships in Mexico.

America’s original rodeo, rooted in the cattle culture of Colonial Mexico, Charreada blends the equestrian skills, handcrafted tack, elegant costumes, music, and food of that rich heritage into a living folk tradition. Between the men’s riding and roping contests, the female escaramuzas charras perform their perilous, precision horse ballets, bending and twisting their galloping reining horses around each other in intricate synchronized patterns, like weaving a hair braid at warp speed.

For the eight young members of Las Azaleas, “escaramuza”—skirmish—describes not only the danger and fierceness of competition, but the tug of war between New World modernity and freedom versus the Old World traditions and values embodied in their Charrería culture, where “to be Charro is to be Mexican.”

Wednesday, Sept. 18, 6 p.m. — THE HISTORY OF THE MARIACHI MOVEMENT IN THE U.S. is a new documentary film in progress by filmmaker Daniel Buckley, telling the story of the origins of the mariachi festival movement in the United States and its impact on the national landscape and educational system.

Visit www.thetech.org to purchase tickets. Tickets are $5/film for members of The Tech and $10/film for non-Tech Museum members.

About The Tech Museum of Innovation

The Tech is a hands-on technology and science museum for people of all ages and backgrounds. The museum—located in the Capital of Silicon Valley—is a non-profit, experiential learning resource established to engage people in exploring and experiencing applied technologies affecting their lives. Through programs such as The Tech Challenge presented by Cisco, our annual team-design competition for youth, and internationally renowned programs such as The Tech Awards presented by Applied Materials, The Tech endeavors to inspire the innovator in everyone.

About KQED

KQED serves the people of Northern California with a public-supported alternative to commercial media. Home to the most listened-to public radio station in the nation, one of the highest rated public television services and a leader in interactive technology, KQED takes people of all ages on journeys of exploration—exposing them to new people, places and ideas. As other news organizations have shrunk, KQED has expanded its efforts to cover the issues and events that are important to the Bay Area. Visit kqed.org.

About the Mexican Heritage Corporation:

The 22nd Annual ¡VivaFest!, the country’s only month-long, multi-venue celebration of the best Latino music, art, dance and combined with educational music and dance workshops and community conversations, takes place August 31 – September 28 throughout San Jose.

Produced by the non-profit Mexican Heritage Corporation, this destination event showcases and explores Latino culture, inviting a better understanding of its treasures and heritage. All ¡VivaFest! proceeds benefit the non-profit Mexican Heritage Corporation and San Jose Unified School District’s Joint Mariachi Youth Education Program which provides a rigorous standards-based music program in mariachi for students from diverse communities.


For photos and information:

Trisha Clayton, 415-346-4565, t.clayton@comcast.net

Judy Rowcliffe, 415-456-4131, jlrowcliffe@comcast.net