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.