Struggling, Troubled Organization in Need of Help, Advising

This is a piece written on Aug. 26. After days of pondering whether or not to bother publishing it or giving the organization in this piece any importance or advice, I find myself pushed to this point.

To whom it may concern, consider this a constructive criticism and nothing more.

El Centro Cultural de México is moving out of a space, again, this time from the Knights of Pythias building on 5th and Broadway. Here we see this pattern reveal itself. But the most important question is, why? I’ve read one of their main figures say that a project or cultural center like theirs requires a permanent home and a firm base for longevity, trust me I know. I learned that my one of my projects could not sustain itself in a shaky and mismanaged environment in the Santora, much to my regret, but it is better this way because I cannot build momentum with my project only to get hit with a surprise eviction notice, due to mismanagement. Management which was out of my control, or co-control let it be known.

The word on the street concerning El Centro is that there is poor organizational leadership there. What is expected there is an idea somewhat like egalitarianism (not on a grand social scale but only as it applies to an organizational structure) where there is no hierarchical leadership, from what I understand. In other words, there’s more of a horizontal organization versus a vertical one.

The word on the inside of El Centro itself is that the organizational structure there doesn’t work. Yes, this coming from the people that go there and not the most visible or controlling, would-be leading etc, or the type to ask a Register reporter to leave, which happened during one of their meetings.

I started this Sentinel to argue for progress, and I’ll reiterate what I’ve said all along. More Latinos from Santa Ana need to become business and commercial real estate owners. Just look at the enormous potential of Santa Ana’s youth citywide. The youth, what a precious resource and some of that youth becomes twisted when exposed to an anti-business attitude and or images of a hammer and sickle, which once hung at “El Centro Cultural.” They’re supposed to focus on culture but culture is a front for propaganda in their context. What an affront to culture.

From an outsider’s viewpoint, I see areas where this organization needs improvement.

1. El Centro’s website hasn’t been updated since 2010. Their weekly class calendar hasn’t been updated since 2009. I know a person who has used the space and has run into scheduling conflicts, and this person is not listed on El Centro’s website. These are examples of a lack of organization.

2. When it comes to Mexican culture, there is one true and officially recognized and subsidized branch of government, which is the Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, (CONACULTA). From this arts council comes the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes (INBA), the Centro de Investigación, Documentación e Información Musical (CENIDIM) and many others for example. Do you see a pattern here? Do you see the organizational structure, divisions etc? The lack of structure at El Centro in Santa Ana shows me that there is a fundamental flaw in organization, unlike CONACULTA and how they operate, especially when it comes to culture.

3. Speaking of culture, there needs to be more cultural breadth when it comes representing Mexican culture. There is much much more to Mexican culture than what is offered there. Talk about self-assuming.

4. When it comes to dealing with landlords, a tenant, especially an organization, has to treat their stay there as a business. Want to know a good way to get on a landlord’s bad side? Um, I don’t know how about defacing the property? Good move.

5. Remove this fundamental difference, this anti-business attitude. To speak of buying a building (now you’re talking) is to think business. Now comes the important task of managing it.

6. Consider modeling this organization after CONACULTA or take from the Instituto Cultural Mexicano in Los Angeles, or the Plaza de Cultura y Artes at Olvera Street.

7. Lastly, I doubt that anyone has directed a constructive criticism at you.

8. No digan que nunca les he dado nada y es muy problema suyo si no aprenden a tomar consejos.


14 thoughts on “Struggling, Troubled Organization in Need of Help, Advising

    1. I read somewhere that they received a grant from the California Endowment and I know that they were also given money, not a large amount, by the National Association of Latino Arts & Culture, based in Texas. They also raise money through their events and by taking donations.

  1. Again, another batch of babadas from someone who knows nothing of what he speaks of. Pray tell if the Centro was “struggling,” how is it that it never missed a month of rent EVER at the Knights of Pythias building? How is it that the Centro has grown in programming and classes in those five years? How is it that its main event, Dia de los Muertos, has grown in less than a decade from wholly contained from its original space on Main and Edinger to now overtaking Fourth Street from Main to Ross? How is it that this “struggling” organization has spawned Breath of Fire Theater, Orange County Dream Team, Calacas, Barrio Writers, and other organizations that now stand on its own? Of course, “O” doesn’t have answers to these questions, nor does he want them, because the Centro is simply too radical for a strumming fool like him. I’m sure all those Zapatas at the Centro freaked him the hell out—HAHAHAHAHA!

    1. I take it that you don’t see the removal of that org from this latest space as a problem? Of course not, we’re talking about the infallible centro cultural. Don’t you see that those projects that have sprouted from said organization can be jeopardized and or interrupted because of the nomadic and confrontational nature of those would-be leaders controlling (more like running the org out of places) the organization?

      Struggling because it’s being kicked out dweeb. Am I hallucinating? No. This org is being kicked out you sad sad self-proclaimed Mexican. You refuse to accept criticism and you know you are wrong you petty pesky bothersome scrub.

    1. Of course not. You’re the “culture of resistance” that resists the changes and improvements in the Downtown, ethnic diversity and criticism. You prove time and time again that you are unwilling to listen to advice and that’s why this organization struggles establishing itself in one space for long. You guys are infamous for not listening to other ideas. Bravo and applause.

  2. And to think it was just yesterday that we crossed paths, if you were so forward in your thoughts in person or a man of truth than maybe your actions in person would match the conviction of your criticism…yet I find myself asking you the same questions when you attacked my association with el centro & my students, what have you done for our community, for the youth or even for the “business model” you propose? You are a paid teacher at a community college…who do you mentor on your own time? What financial investment have you made into the city? I challenge you to not speak until your actions prove success not just for yourself, but for the idea of making our community a better place than what you criticize. Sarah Rafael Garcia, Barrio Writers Founder, in support of Teacher X & fan of The Mexican!

    1. Please, I’ll reiterate what I said the last time we ever communicated:

      1. You know nothing about me because you don’t know the types of sacrifices that I’ve made and what they’re for.

      2. Correction, I’m employed by Santa Ana College and the University of California.

      3. Mentoring? Ever heard of thesis work? You have failed to comprehend me because you don’t know what my studies are about and how they can benefit the community at large. All in due time.

      4. When and how did I ever “attack” your association with your students? That’s a lie. I did, however, question your sympathizing with an organization that has shown a communist slant, particularly through the displaying of a hammer and sickle, I do remember seeing that and I do confirm questioning your sympathizing with an organization like that. I remember you being that broken record coming out against the changes in the downtown, and that way of thought is very much in line with that “culture of resistance.”

      5. Whether or not the whole organization thinks the same way is questionable because I’ll say it again, there are people that go there that have told me that they don’t agree with the horizontal decision-making structure in place there.

      6. I have put my money where my mouth is, but you haven’t been around to see it.

      7. You got upset at me and stopped talking to me because you didn’t like that I disagreed with you about the changes going on downtown. You verily sounded like those that scream foul over an inevitable process of change.

      8. As far as crossing paths goes, you’re the one showing odd behavior when you severed all communication with me and then you approached me like nothing ever happened. That was just ridiculous from my standpoint. I didn’t know we were on those terms. Quite frankly, I was amazed at the nerve you had to approach me.. I was sitting there looking at a two face.

      9. After you came up to me, tapped me on the back and greeted me and so on I thought that maybe you had good intentions of mending a severed communication and I thought, ok. That is, after the initial amazement of your unexpected, undesired and incongruent approach. But now you come here representing “the Mexican’s” fan club and you show your true colors.

      10. Keep the line severed.

  3. Thank you for reminding me why my energy is best spent on youth, they can keep an open mind and recognize when we should let go of our differences. Keep having your opinion, but note that the rest of us are not seeking your approval or even your support. Sarah Rafael Garcia

    1. An open mind is one that doesn’t resist the changes going on Downtown. An open mind is one that doesn’t try to get musical acts to fall in line with the point of view that they shouldn’t perform in the Downtown to show solidarity with the “struggle.” Ergo, my use of the gerund “struggling” used to describe those at el centro that are in favor of resisting changes.

      I have no problem with you or however many of your cohorts don’t want to take advice, that’s nothing new, but you do have people within that org that don’t agree with how everything is done and do not follow blindly. For awhile I thought I was the only person in Santa Ana with this stance and I’m glad that I’m not.

  4. […] A Criticism of El Centro 33.740537 -117.899233 Advertisement LD_AddCustomAttr("AdOpt", "1"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Origin", "other"); LD_AddCustomAttr("theme_bg", "fff"); LD_AddCustomAttr("theme_border", "777"); LD_AddCustomAttr("theme_text", "222"); LD_AddCustomAttr("theme_link", "004276"); LD_AddCustomAttr("LangId", "1"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Autotag", "entertainment"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Autotag", "technology"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Autotag", "books"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "opinion"); LD_AddSlot("wpcom_below_post"); LD_GetBids(); Share this:FacebookLinkedInTwitterEmailPrintLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

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