By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
The Mavs will win if this happens...mark my words!
We should not miss the central theme of the story. Though we all need redemption and forgiveness, only the rare few ever manifest that perfect mix of humility and dignity as displayed in Big Murk. Thanks for helping remind me that there are bigger things in life deserving of our time and resources.
The problem with the Dallas Observer has always been that you're so smart you're not wise. I am so glad that you did this story on "la Cora Cabrona," as we call her ("Cora! Cora! Cora!" January 25). She deserved every drop of ink you gave her. The reason that there is tension between Cora and our community is that she is Mexican. More than once, Cora told me that Chicanos (like me, though she pointed out that I was an exception) were culturally lacking. This isn't surprising to me; my mother, who was Mexican, also thought the same thing. Twenty years ago, Cora brought my heritage back to me because the racist practices of this city accomplished their goal: the decimation of our culture in the hope that we would assimilate. To a large extent, that happened. Enter "la Cora" to this abyss, and she gave many people hope again. (Anita Martinez doesn't count, by the way--that's tourist fluff.) In other words, Cora was a psychological player in the Latino community's cultural determination. But not of the community, because she doesn't respect us as equals. Mexicans have had a totally different experience with race than we have, and that is something that Fowler and other gringos don't know or don't confront because the pochas/chicanas/patas rajadad like me do.
I sat on the Commission for Cultural Affairs when the bond package that included the Latino Cultural Center was passed. I put it up for the vote when others tried to talk me out of it. Diana Flores (now trustee of the DCCCD), among other strong Latinas, threatened Domingo when he tried to weenie his way out of supporting the center (he was running for mayor, and he didn't want to upset the rich gringos). Cora was not a player in this teatro, but her husband Jeff was. And I have always felt they should have a place in the center, though not the only one. At the time, I knew that the Latino community wasn't sophisticated in the fund-raising and cultural department--they had never had a cultural center before. But it was time. It was just time, and the Latino community in Dallas deserved it. Even if it takes another 10 years to get built.
For this, I thank Cora for giving me so many years of great art. But the greatest art, Chicano theater, Chicano voices, Chicano artists, are going to "kick nalga" as never before.
Barbara Renaud Gonzalez
Film critic, WFAA-Channel 8
She was very astute in her observation that most of this show looks like well-known artists of our time. What she fails to step back and notice is the fact that a museum curator selected this show! He chose 46 artists out of a field of about 200. About the only thing you got right in your review, Ms. Rees, was Nancy Mladenoff and Catherine Chauvin's work. They were the only artists chosen that had much merit. Yes, you can always second-guess a juried show, but two of 46 is pretty pathetic. It's too bad they couldn't have a slide projector running during the opening and show the work the juror did not deem worthy.