Tia Chucha's Must Move -- But Our Spirit, Creativity, and Unity are Intact

Just after the holidays, Tia Chucha's Cafe & Centro Cultural was served with a notice forcing us to move. We have to leave by February 28, 2007. A powerfully energized and thriving bookstore/cafe/performance space/cultural center is to be replaced by high-tech laundry machines. The laundry company is apparently investing $8 million in the strip mall, something we can't compete with.

Maintain a vibrant community space? Of course not! Instead, make way for another laundry outlet! That's capitalism. Money follows money, not needs, not literacy, not community, or cultural expression. In the world we've inherited, most creativity and expression has to make big money, or it's out.

We created a space that requires a lot of personal and community investment. The community came to embrace Tia Chucha's and make this space its own. We plan to take the spirit, creativity, and unity we helped nurture to a temporary site as we plan and prepare to obtain a larger permanent site in the Northeast San Fernando Valley.

This is a time to come together, strategize, and work to keep Tia Chucha's viable as a cultural center while we explore our options. We will not give up. We will find a temporary space; we will also curtail our retail operations while we concentrate on our programming, events, outreach, fundraising, and growth.

We ask that you strengthen our efforts by writing letters in support of cultural spaces like Tia Chucha's that we can take to city, county, and state entities, as well as granting agencies, so that these spaces are safeguarded and provided the necessary resources to thrive. Send to: Tia Chucha's Cafe & Centro Cultural, PO Box 328, San Fernando, CA 91341.

We will also have a petition in support of Tia Chucha's at the store/center so that we can come back stronger, bigger, and better endowed than ever. We need this written support to show the various governmental bodies, developers, and foundations that this community will fight for the arts, music, dance, theater, writing, film, publishing, and a vital gathering place where we can share ideas, history, politics, economics, and our indigenous traditions and thinking.

Our strategy this year includes implementing a fundraising plan with a 5th Anniversary event at Tia Chucha's on February 17 from noon to 11 PM. We will also have another "Celebrating Words: Written, Performed & Sung" festival at Sylmar Park on May 19. And we have been approved to do a benefit event for Tia Chucha's at the Ford Amphitheater in Hollywood on July 29, 2007 at 6 PM. Sign up for our e-mail newsletter on our website -- www.tiachucha.com -- or call 818-362-7060 for more information.

--Luis J. Rodriguez Co-founder and Creative Director, Tia Chucha's Cafe & Centro Cultural

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.