Tia Chucha's has Moved -- We're not Closed

Wow, we’ve had a crazy month – with the benefit event on February 17 that brought around 600 people (we also raised $10,000 – thanks to everyone) – and Tia Chucha’s move. Let me tell you—it’s extremely difficult to tear down a café, bookstore, and cultural center (it was hard enough to create it). My wife Trini organized the move, and she did an amazing job. The staff came through, beyond their hours, but we also had an army of volunteers. They packed boxes, moved furniture and heavy bookshelves, unhooked computers, and even tore down some of the Mayan wood motifs and other specialty wood items we had at the shop.

The hardest thing to move was the café stuff (refrigerators, water heaters, espresso machines, ice makers, display cases, and more had to be removed along with pipes and electrical lines). Most of this stuff went into storage, many of which we plan to sell (anyone interested, please contact us). Some of these things went to our new temporary location in Lake View Terrace. The new space is less than half the size of what the old space consisted of, so we won’t have a café, but we’ll have some books, our offices, a little storage, and a performance space (we'll have some drinks for sale and hot water at least). More on this later.

Anyway, last Wednesday Trini turned in the keys. It was sad, heartbreaking really, considering how much money, work, love, and caring went into this space. But as we have been saying, Tia Chucha’s is not about any particular building or structure. It’s a spirit, an essential way to be alive, to be indigenous, to be active and conscious. We will take that spirit to the temporary location, and carry it forward until we create a new permanent or semi-permanent Tia Chucha’s in about two to three years.

It’s about knowing how to rise up stronger and more prepared out of any adversity and crisis, like the Phoenix renewed out of the ashes. It’s something we have to teach and model for our community, our youth, our families. We’re going to stay positive, hopeful. So we’re ready for our move, our next phase, our new beginnings.

Our resident Mexika Danza group, the staff, board members, and key volunteers held a beautiful ceremony last Tuesday, a day before we closed up everything. We buried some sacred medicine and other items near a tree in the back of the old space. We said prayers and a good many wonderful words about Tia Chucha’s – our impact, our importance, and the future. There were also many sentiments of thanks, so many thanks, for the blessings we’ve been bestowed and the community we’ve helped engender and grow.

Our new temporary location is at 10258 Foothill Blvd., Lake View Terrace, CA 91342. Our new main number is 818-896-1479 and our fax number is 818-896-1489. However, we are not yet open. We will inform everybody about our opening date – we’ll have a new Grand Opening event – and our plans for future workshops, events, meetings.

I do want to remind everyone to keep May 19 on you calendar. That day we’ll hold our 2nd Annual “Celebrating Words: Written, Performed & Sung” Festival at Sylmar Park, free to the public (with poets, bands, speakers, booths, books, and more).

And to set aside July 29, 2007 for the “Tia Chucha Under the Stars: First Annual Celebration of Community & Culure” benefit to be held at the Ford Amphitheater – 2580 Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90068 – from 6 PM to 8 PM. Our theme this year is “Si Se Puede/Yes We Can” and we’ll be joined by the bands Tierra, Ollin, Upground, and others. We’ll have poetry by John Densmore of the Doors and Luis Rodriguez, the Chicano comedy group, Culture Clash, and our host will be comedian Ernie G. Our Azteca Danza group will open the event and Power 106 DJs will be on hand for music and entertainment. Tickets are $30. You can get more information at the Ford Box Office at 323-461-3673 or go to our website at www.tiachucha.com.


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