CMC " Spring Valley to screen preview of ‘La Raza de Colorado’
Colorado Mountain College will present a sneak preview of an upcoming Rocky Mountain PBS original documentary about the history of Latinos in Colorado.
The two-part PBS series is titled “La Raza de Colorado” (“The Race of Colorado”). The college’s free half-hour preview will be Friday in the New Space Theater of the CMC’s Spring Valley campus. A reception begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by the preview at 7 p.m. and a discussion led by PBS staff.
Georgi Whitmore Aibner, director of bilingual education for CMC, was instrumental in bringing the preview to the Roaring Fork Valley.
“I think it will be very informative for everyone in our community,” she said. “It provides some good background knowledge for everyone, and an opportunity for good, open discussion.”
The complete PBS series will air in two separate one-hour time slots starting in July. The first episode of the two-hour documentary is “La Historia” (“The History”), and the second half of the series is “El Movimiento” (“The Chicano Movement”). “La Historia” covers the period from the 1500s to 1940, while “El Movimiento” covers the 1960s and ’70s.
To create the documentary, Rocky Mountain PBS producer Lisa Olken conducted more than 30 hours of interviews with 20 different subjects, filling up 54 videotapes. The subjects included the internationally known poet and author Lalo Delgado; Juanita Herrara, who worked with Cesar Chavez and the Colorado grape boycott; nationally known Chicano multimedia artist Emanuel Martinez; Polly Baca, a former Colorado state legislator and Clinton administration staffer who now heads LARASA; Shirley Otera, heir to La Sierra (Taylor land grant); and Flo Hernandez Ramos, CEO of KUVO-FM.
Among others, Olken also interviewed Dr. Luis Torres and Dr. Antonio Esquibel, both of Denver; Dr. David Sandoval, of Pueblo; and Dr. Priscilla Falcon, of Greeley. Olken and the Rocky Mountain PBS production staff also traveled throughout the state ” from the San Luis Valley to Greeley to La Junta ” to shoot video. The staff has taken several hundred photographs and is acquiring additional images and film from across the nation. The 1970s band El Chicano composed music for the production.
“This, simply put, is not your traditional historical documentary. It’s a spicy, rich and colorful production that, hopefully, will set new standards for how documentaries are done from now on,” Olken said. “It’s also not a typical Anglo, whitewashed view of Mexican, Latino or Hispanic history and culture. It’s their history as told through the people who lived it ” their experiences, their remembrances and their analysis of the people, trends and events that shaped the Latino community in Colorado.”
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