Chicano Legacy Project (2001-2017)

Since 2001, About...Productions' Chicano Legacy Project has drawn upon the rich history of the Chicano Movement of the 1960s and 1970s and has several integrated components:

RESIDENCY

Intergenerational Young Theaterworks program for East L.A. highest-risk youth!Greatest-risk students interview significant Chicano elders and collaboratively create short plays based on their lives and stories. In 2016, a selection of these plays were chosen to form the basis of a new script titled I:Witness.

PREMIERE

April 2017 premiered our original Chicano Legacy Project play, I:Witness!
For the first time in the history of the YT program, our student-written play was produced as a full production! Featured elders in the script included filmmaker Jesus Treviño, poets Marisela Norte and Gloria Enedina Alvarez, and muralist/visual aritst Yreina Cervantez. The Spring premiere was presented at Plaza de la Raza's Margo Albert Theatre.

ENCUENTRO

Free public program featured esteemed Chicana/o elders from the Chicano Legacy Project!Encuentros engaged audiences in conversation with Chicano Legacy Project elders, and also included excerts from the I:Witness script. In 2016, we partnered with the Chicano Resource Center at the East L.A. Library for our first Encuentro, which featured Jesus Treviño in conversation with Luis Torres. In Winter/Spring 2017, we plan to produce two Encuentros in the East L.A. area.

Now more than ever Latino youth need to be inspired to fulfill their academic promise. With nearly double the national dropout rate[1], Latino public high school students need to be empowered to graduate.

Since 2001, About...Production’s Chicano Legacy Project has worked to empower highest-risk Latino youth by drawing on inspiring Latino/a figures, and the rich and inspiring history of the Chicano movement of the 1960s and 70s, a period of dramatic civil rights activity. Although centered in the East L.A. community, students and many community members are unaware of this powerful history and the inspiring accomplishments of those affected by it.

Through About…Productions’ intensive 12-week Young Theaterworks Through the Ages residency program, students interviewed significant Chicano elders and collaboratively created short plays based on their lives and stories. At the end of the residency, professional actors alongside willing students performed the short plays for the public and their peers in culminating staged readings. Students saw their work come to life and were ultimately transformed through the 12-week process.

Since 2001, About...Productions Young Theaterworks program has served L.A. County’s greatest-risk youth high school students. Through innovative residencies, About...Productions works with students to improve literacy, communication, and collaboration skills. By harnessing these skills, students in the Young Theaterworks program receive higher grades in school, graduate high school at higher rates and most importantly, are empowered to become stewards of their community’s history.

[1] National Center for Education Statistics. (2012) Digest of Education Statistics 1960-2012.

Chicano Legacy Project events are co-sponsored by the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. Chicano Legacy Programs are supported, in part, by the California Arts Council, City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Eastside Arts Initiative, The Flourish Foundation, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, and the National Endowment for the Arts.