San Diego reception for Cuban Five art show a huge success
Art, poetry of Antonio Guerrero featured in historic exhibit
by Abel Macias
May 13, 2011
Reprinted from Liberation
More than 150 people filled the historic Centro Cultural de la Raza in San Diego on May 6 for the opening reception of the Cuban Five exhibit, “From My Altitude: The Art and Poetry of Antonio Guerrero.” The event was sponsored by the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five and the San Diego Friends of Cuba.
The night was filled with culture, solidarity and most importantly the movement to free the Cuban Five.
The event began with a delicious lasagna dinner donated by the Judy Forman of the Big Kitchen Café. The organizers of the event also provided plenty of other homemade food.
After the dinner, the MCs welcomed local poet Jim Moreno who performed one of his inspiring pieces. The first keynote speaker was Marjorie Cohn, immediate past president of the National Lawyers Guild and professor at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law. Cohn did a great job explaining the legal defense behind the case and why the Five should be freed from prison.
Local artist Tema Quiñonez shared her wonderful voice in a song titled “Sol Redondo” dedicated to the working and poor people. Later she would sing an amazing solo of “Homenaje al Comandante.” She was followed by keynote speaker Gloria La Riva, coordinator of the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five. La Riva had just returned from Cuba after participating in their May Day celebrations and receiving Cuba’s Friendship Medal, awarded to people outside of Cuba who have worked tirelessly to support the Cuban revolution.
After solidarity statements from several local organizations, including the Party for Socialism and Liberation, Unión del Barrio, Friends of Cuba and the International Action Center, the program concluded with two more amazing women. Sylvia Telefaro of the African American Writers and Artists of San Diego shared a fiery spoken word piece calling for “Freedom!” The final poem was written by Antonio Guerrero of the Cuban Five and was shared by Muriel Jencks, long time labor organizer and activist who participated in the famous 15-month strike by New Mexico miners in 1950. That struggle was made into the historic film “Salt of the Earth.”
Afterwards, those who remained in attendance gathered in the gallery for a solidarity photo [below] that would be sent to the Cuban Five to raise their spirits and let them know the community of San Diego is fighting hard for their freedom and in defense of Cuba.
The exhibit will continue to be on display until May 28, when it will then travel to Houston, Texas in its tour across the United States to raise awareness about the struggle to free the Five. A closing reception is planned for May 27, where an art auction is planned to raise additional funds.
For more information contact Abel Macias at 408-219-8891 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
People show their solidarity with the Cuban Five at a historic art show opening in San Diego, May 6.
Photo: Gloria La Riva