Mexican Community Cultural Initiative

Years of activity: 2000–2008

CTMD’s work in New York’s rapidly growing Mexican community resulted in the creation of two new community-led cultural organizations. Both the Mariachi Academy of New York and Mano a Mano: Mexican Culture Without Borders.

Objectives

The Mariachi Academy of New York was founded in 2002 as the first such academy for youth on the East Coast. Based in Spanish Harlem, the Academy teaches Mariachi repertoire, instrumental technique, song, and ensemble performance to a talented group of ninety-five youth. The Mariachi Academy’s popular touring ensemble performs at community events around the city. The Mariachi Academy received its 501(c)(3) not-for-profit certification in 2008 and is directed by Ramon Ponce, Jr., leader of the ensemble Mariachi Real de Mexico.   

Mano a Mano: Cultura Mexicana Sin Fronteras (Hand in Hand: Mexican Culture Without Borders) was created in 2000 and is dedicated to celebrating Mexican culture in the United States and promoting the understanding of Mexican traditions among immigrants, artists, educators and the general public. Mano a Mano partners with leading international organizations, museums, and local cultural partners to create landmark events and celebrations of Mexican culture. Mano a Mano received its 501(c)(3) not-for-profit certification in 2006.

Impact

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Contributors

Ballet Folklórico Mexicano de Nueva York – music and dance ensemble

Bola Suriana – music ensemble from Michoacán

Adriana Caballero – cultural activist

Calpulli Mexican Dance Company

Juan Castaño – dancer

Cetizlizti Nahuacampa Quetzalcóatl en Ixachitlan – dance group

Ita Chavez-Geller – Coordinator of Mariachi Academy

Concheros Citlaltonac de la Mesa del Santo Niño de Atocha – sacred dance group

Miguel Cossio – graphic designer, crafts specialist

B-Girl Anita “Rokafella” Garcia – dancer

Conjunto Hueyapan – son jarocho ensemble

DF Crew – visual artists

Los Diamantes de Puebla – norteña ensemble

DJ Sloe Poke – DJ

Estampa y Tradiciones – dance ensemble

Mayra García – cultural activist

Yolanda García – singer

Enrique Gonzalez – photographer

Antonia Guerrero – cultural activist

Gabrial Guzmán – cultural activist

J.R. – hip hop MC

Mayra Vargas de Kiesling – cultural activist

Margarita Larios – culinary specialist

Yolanda Leticia – singer

Alfredo (El Centuaro) Lima – guitarist, singer

Estela López – cultural activist

Humberto López – violinist

Caridad “la Bruja” De La Luz – hip hop artist

Mariachi Aguila y Plata

Mariachi Association of New York

Mariachi Real de Mexico

Aurelia Fernández Marure – dancer, craft specialist

Mexico Beyond Mariachi

Los Niños del East Harlem – dance company

Leslie Ogan – program volunteer

Renzo Ortega – visual artist, musician

Felipe Ortega-Gómez

Ramón Ponce, Jr. – guitarrón (large guitar) guitar, vihuela (small guitar), Director of Mariachi Academy

Ramón Ponce, Sr. – trumpet

Aldo “BocaFloja” Villegas Pozos – hip hop MC

Cathy Ragland, Ph.D. – ethnomusicologist, CTMD Project Director

Alda Reuter – dancer

Lucia Rojas – cultural activist

Zafiro Zatzin Romero – graphic designer

Guadalupe Ross – singer

Veronica Hernandez Shusman – cultural activist

Ernesto Villalobo – violinist

Semilla – son jarocho ensemble

Robert Smith, Ph.D. – sociologist

Emily Socolov, Ph.D. – folklorist, CTMD Project Director

Sones de Mexico – son ensemble

Suspenso del Norte – norteño ensemble

Guillermo Velázquez y los Leones de la Sierra de Xichú – son arribeño ensemble

Youth Ballet Casa Mexico – youth dance ensemble

Alejandro Zarate – craft specialist

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