On April 22, 1970 a rag tag group of artists, activists, and community members joined forces and took over the land underneath the San Diego-Coronado Bridge in Barrio Logan. At the time, construction was about to begin on the building of a California Highway Patrol substation. For many years, residents of Barrio Logan had been promised a park. Seeing the pending creation of a CHP substation was the straw that broke this barrio’s back.
City College student Mario Solis, the Paul Revere of Chicano Park, discovered bulldozers on the site and immediately began to spread the word. He burst into the Chicano Studies class of professor Gil Robledo and let all present know what was going down under the bridge. At noon, Chicano high school students from San Diego High and other area schools walked out and marched to the construction site.
Protesters formed human chains around the bulldozers. Many demonstrators planted trees, flowers and cactus. The community wanted their park. As the crowd swelled to over 250 people, construction on the site was called off. The community took action and occupied Chicano Park for a total of twelve days. With many protesters coming from outside of San Diego after hearing the news of the occupation.
A newly formed Chicano Park Steering Committee was created to negotiate with the city and state. The CPSC became the caretaker of the park from its inception to the present day. Everything that you see in Chicano Park, from the kiosk to the playgrounds to the benches and water fountain. Every single amenity within Chicano Park was created because the Chicano Park Steering Committee fought for it. Even Cesar Chavez Park on the San Diego Bay was created because of the CPSC’s work on the All the Way to the Bay campaign. There would be no bay access for the community of Barrio Logan without the efforts of the volunteers of the Chicano Park Steering Committee.
In 1973, the first murals began to grow on the cold, concrete pillars of the San Diego-Coronado Bridge. This year marks the 40th anniversary of when the shadows under the bridge began to brighten with the colorful hues of a burgeoning mural movement. Today these murals continue to represent a peoples history of struggle and hope. A living, breathing symbol of a vibrant culture willing to stand up and defend its rights and interests.
As the years roll along the Steering Committee continues it’s function as caretaker of the park. They recently oversaw the mural restoration project and the naming of Chicano Park and the monumental murals to the National Register as American treasures. And every year the Chicano Park Steering Committee continues to organize a park wide celebration honoring the takeover and founding of Chicano Park.
The theme of this year’s Chicano Park Day celebration is Chicano Park: Aztlán’s Jewel & A National Chicano Treasure. The celebration will take place on Saturday, April 20, 2013 from 10:00am until 5:00pm.
There will be two stages of live entertainment featuring reggae, hip hop, mariachi and rock & roll music. A midday ceremony coordinated by Danza Azteca Calpulli Mexihca will take place as well as performances by numerous ballet folklorico groups and a keynote speech by Josie Talamantez regarding her work on getting Chicano Park listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There will also be food, arts & crafts and community vendors, a display of classic lowrider cars and a children’s art workshop led by master muralist Victor Ochoa among many other things going on that day.
Come out to one of San Diego’s most authentic cultural celebrations and celebrate the takeover of a little piece of land under a barrio bridge. For more information on Chicano Park please visit. [http://chicano-park.org]
Here is my Las Monthly Ondas event list, in chronological order, of some of the happenings that are taking place in San Diego in April. By no means is it a complete list (for more events click on the Calendar tab at the top of the page). These are things that I’ve personally chosen to highlight because they take place in Barrio Logan and surrounding communities or have some personal significance to me because of the issue or who is organizing them. My selection is totally biased. Enjoy.
April 3 @ 6:30pm – FREE
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised and Chavez: Inside the Coup
Two documentaries related to the 2002 coup against Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.
Libros de Groundworks
9500 Gilman Dr. (0323 UCSD Student Center), San Diego, CA
For more info call (858) 452-9625.
April 6 @ 7pm
“CANNABAZAAR” A tribute to Cannabis Culture Art Exhibition
Featured artists include Cathy Lee, Anita Toke, sik.star, Hiroko Reaney, LaceFace Glass and Trollita. Plus, live entertainment, food, beverages, vendors, raffle and more. Raffle donations benefit SD ASA and SD NORML. Art exhibition runs April 2-15, 2013
3536 Adams Ave in Normal Heights
For more info visit. [http://www.artlabsd.com]
April 6 @ 7:30pm
Lucha Libre: Noche de Retos y Revanchas
MPW and Family Gym presents an evening of Lucha Libre featuring El Jalisco & Mr. Tempest vs Mortiz & Tony Casanova.
101 17th St. in the East Village
For more info call (619) 218-2431.
April 6-May 5
Federal Jazz Project
A new American play conceived and written by Richard Montoya of Culture Clash. Sizzling new American jazz with music composed and curated by Gilbert Castellanos. An unforgettable story, directed by Sam Woodhouse, about an unbreakable bond between two sisters named San Diego and Tijuana.
San Diego Rep
79 Horton Plaza in Downtown
For more info visit. [http://www.sdrep.org/show.
April 7 from 12-4pm – $20 for adults, $10 for Children 8-12yrs
Chicano Park Fundraiser Posolada
Posole, música, prizes and great company. All to support the 43rd celebration of Chicano Park Day.
La Casa de Zepeda-Gomez
1047 Calle Escarpada
Bonita, CA 91902
For more info call Chelo (619) 754-5818
April 8 at 6:30am – $40 per ticket
15th Annual Cesar E. Chavez Community Breakfast
Inspiring hope, promoting wellness and fighting for justice! This annual breakfast strives to promote the life and legacy of American hero Cesar E. Chavez.
Hilton San Diego Bayfront
1 Park Blvd across Harbor Dr. from Petco Park
For more info visit. [http://www.sdchavez.org/
April 12 at 6pm – FREE
Bones, Butterflies and Dreams
A solo art show reception featuring the dream induced gothic like skeletons and butterflies of Chillicothe, Ohio artist Abril Andrade Griffith. The exhibit runs April 9 to May 5.
Centro Cultural de la Raza
2004 Park Blvd in Balboa Park
For more info visit. [http://www.
April 12 at 4pm – FREE
Cesar Chavez Celebration Speaker: UFW archivist LeRoy Chatfield
Former UFW member and archivist LeRoy Chatfield will present his recollections of the early years of the UFW. Chatfield was a chief advisor to Chávez from 1962 to 1972.
Cross-Cultural Center at UCSD
9500 Gilman Drive #0053
For more info visit. [http://ccc.ucsd.edu]
April 13 at 10am
An annual march organized by Unión del Barrio honoring Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata. Their demands include: a fair educational system; communities without violence; and humane comprehensive immigration reform.
Chicano Park in Barrio Logan
For more info email. [firstname.lastname@example.org]
April 18-20 @ 7pm
Let the Eagle Fly: The Story of César Chavez
This powerful new musical directed by William Virchis tells the inspiring story of how, César Chavez, an unassuming ex-farm worker with an eighth grade education challenged and overcame one of California’s most powerful industries.
Lincoln High School Performing Arts Center in Lincoln Park
4777 Imperial Ave
For more info email. [email@example.com]
April 20 from 10am-5pm – FREE
43rd Annual Chicano Park Day Celebration
Come celebrate Chicano Park’s 43rd birthday with music, lowriders, danza Azteca, food, vendors, ballet folkloric y más.
Chicano Park in Barrio Logan
For more info visits. [http://chicano-park.org]
April 20 at 4:30pm
Quinto Sol & Revival
The Roots Factory presents live music by Quinto Sol & Revival.
The Roots Factory
1878 Main St. in Barrio Logan (in the alley behind Ryan Bros)
For more info. [http://www.therootsfactory.
April 20 at 7pm – FREE
Earth Day Group Art Show
Voz Alta Project Gallery presents Earth Day Group Art Show featuring work by Keith Stone, Leo Nava, Sumo, Rob Benavides, Rhashad Monroe, Anselmo Garcia, XR Moon Tooth, Chato, Herman Plasencia, Armando de la Torre, Ivan Camarena and more.
Voz Alta Project Gallery
1754 National Ave in Barrio Logan
For more info. [http://www.facebook.com/
April 21 from 10am-5pm – FREE
2013 San Diego Earth Fair
Set in Balboa Park, the 24th annual EarthFair is the largest free annual environmental fair in the world. With around 70,000 visitors and more than 400 volunteers, the event features exhibitors, a food pavilion, kids area, live entertainment, parade, art show and a “clean” car concourse.
For more info visit. [http://www.earthdayweb.org/
April 21 from 11am-7pm – FREE
Multicultural Earth Day
All people welcome at the World Beat Cultural Center’s Multicultural Earth Day. Featuring Prezident Brown, Earl Zero, Quinto Sol, Revival, Pachamama, Bateke Beat, Reggae Angels and Egyptian, African & Brazilian Drum & Dance
World Beat Center
2100 Park Blvd. in Balboa Park
For more info visit. [http://www.worldbeatcenter.
April 25 from 5-7pm – FREE
Celebrating 10+ Years of Latin Jazz with Bill Caballero
An artists reception featuring the photography of Robert Sanchez. Hosted appetizers and beer & wine available for purchase.
1805 Newton Ave. in Barrio Logan
For more info visit. [http://blueprint-cafe.com]
April 27 & 28 – FREE
Adams Avenue Unplugged
This event will feature over 180 live musical performances staged both inside restaurant, bars coffeehouses and galleries lining the neighborhood and on community stages peas throughout the district. Headliners include Chunky Sanchez and Los Alacranes with Louie Perez and David Hidalgo of East LA’s Los Lobos.
Adams Ave in Normal Heights
For more info visit. [http://www.
April 29 at 7pm – FREE
Open Mic Jazz and Spoken Word Jam
John Padilla and Dave Rivas present an Open Mic Jazz and Spoken Word Jam in honor of Federal Jazz Project.
San Diego Rep
79 Horton Plaza in Downtown<
For more info visit. [http://www.sdrep.org]
Regular barrio happenings:
San Diego Public Market
Buy organic fruits, vegetables and other goodies every Wednesday and Sunday from 9am-2pm at the San Diego Public Market, 1735 National Ave., Barrio Logan. For more info visit. [http://www.
Latin Jazz Jam
Check out one of San Diego’s finest musical treasures, Bill Caballero, as he hosts his weekly Latin jazz jam every Thursday from 7-10pm at Voz Alta Project, 1754 National Ave., Barrio Logan
Sobreruedas en el Barrio: A Neighborhood Market
Micro-businesses and community vendors have come together for this twice monthly, Sunday afternoon neighborhood mercado. April 14 & 28 from 10am-2pm on 30th St. and Imperial Ave. in Sherman Heights.
If you want your event to be considered for a future Desde la Logan listing send an email with event info to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christina Perez says
Thank you for spelling out a grand part of Chicano history and shining a light on the positive effects people can have when deciding to move forward on a greater vision. Que viva Chicano Park, a true gem of San Diego and beyond!