Califas Legacy Project: Documenting our region’s Chicano/a cultural treasures

The Califas Legacy Project is a multi-year, multi-medium, collaborative endeavor launched by Museo Eduardo Carrillo to document the legacy of five Central Coast Chicano/a cultural treasures: Guillermo (Yermo) Aranda, Amalia Mesa-Bains, Eduardo Carrillo, Ralph D’Oliveira, and Carmen León. Nine organizations are contributing to a series of events and exhibitions taking place between January and April 2021 (full schedule here).

The development of  Califas The Ancestral Journey/ El Viaje Ancestral  accordion book, December 2019.

Califas: The Ancestral Journey/El Viaje Ancestral
A collaboration with Moving Parts Press

In recognition of this need to focus on the Latinx artists of the Central Coast Califas: The Ancestral Journey/El Viaje Ancestral is being produced jointly by Museo and Moving Parts Press as an integral part of the Califas Legacy Project. In order to capture the public mural and installation forms in which these artists work, the artists created a one-of-a-kind collaborative “mural,” hand painted in an accordion-fold book with an assemblage shadow box on the cover. The book was designed and letterpress printed by Felicia Rice of Moving Parts Press and co-published with Museo Eduardo Carrillo. A commercially printed trade edition of the book is being given to libraries, schools, and other youth-serving organizations in the Central Coast region. Learn more about the book on the Moving Parts press website here.

The Monterey Museum of Art has the book on display in their virtual exhibit devoted to the work of Chicanx and Latinx artists of the Monterey Bay Crescent here.

The MMA is also showing more books and broadsides from the Moving Parts Press Chicanx/Latinx Series in their virtual exhibit here.

The Santa Cruz and Watsonville public libraries have developed a suite of banners to launch of the book this winter. Find all of these events here.

We recognize the need to bring visibility to the vacant places in our culture’s art history through sharing the work of our region’s leading Chicano/a/x artists. Books need to be in people’s hands and the art needs to be part of people’s social consciousness.

Califas Legacy Project Documentary

Integral to the Califas Legacy Project is a documentary film by Wallace Boss. He records the artists in their own words and films them in their studio settings. It will complement and enhance the programming this coming summer and fall.

Collaboration with Young Writers’ Program

The sixth book in Hablamos Juntos series will come out this Spring. It will feature the Califas Legacy artists. The annual reading at Bookshop Santa Cruz offered by our long-time collaborator, the Young Writers Program, will feature some of the young authors reading their narratives inspired by the artists’ images. Join us.

Traveling exhibition

Exhibitions of the Califas project celebrate Latino arts in the Monterey Bay Crescent and begin in January 2021 at the Monterey Museum of Art. Other books from the Moving Parts Press Chicanx/Latinx Series will also be on view in Felicia Rice in Virtual FLUX at the museum.

The online Califas Legacy Project exhibitions launch on March 5, 2021 on the Museo Eduardo Carrillo and Santa Cruz Art League web sites. A virtual reception and panel discussion hosted by SCAL takes place the evening of March 5th. Museo’s Google Cultural Initiative exhibition launches on sequential Tuesdays beginning March 9, 2021.

A series of banners of the book, CALIFAS The Ancestral Journey/El Viaje Ancestral, is on display in the windows of both the Santa Cruz Public Library  and the Watsonville Public Library. Santa Cruz Public Libraries has been awarded a California Humanities grant for this programming.


Thanks to the Arts Council of Santa Cruz County, Santa Cruz City Arts, and hit & run press for their support for this project.


Share your thoughts

Would you like to know more? Please contact us with your questions and thoughts, or post a comment below. We welcome your input.


5 thoughts on “Califas Legacy Project: Documenting our region’s Chicano/a cultural treasures

  1. So good to see Ralph D’Oliveira speaking of his experience in the early days of the Chicano Movement. He and the area artists of the Tortuga Patrol worked in synch with the goals and values of artists from the Royal Chicano Air Force, Galeria de La Raza, Self Help Graphics, Centro Cultural de La Raza, Centro de La Gente, La Brocha del Valle, Casa de La Raza and others in cities and towns across California. These artists along with teatros, poets, filmmakers, photographers, musicians and dancers lifted our communities to incorporate a new vision of ourselves. We of the RCAF salute Ralph and the artists of the coastal region of Santa Cruz and Watsonville.

  2. I was in Teatros Chicanos, from Sonoma CSU in early 70’s, to San Diego’s Centro Cultural de la Raza. We were a part of the artists doing their painting or building. In San Jose, in early 80’s, I was a part of the women’s teatro Teatro Huipil, all beautiful experiences in Chicano/a theatre. We taughts the youth and community about positive roles for Chicanas. Thank you Juan. You were in California Arts, since Juan Felipe Herrera was the Director of Centro Cultural, those many years ago. It was all good

  3. Hi contacting you regarding the legacy progect. I was a member of “La Brocha Del Valle, along with Ernesto Palomino, Sal Garcia, John Sierra, Fernando Fernandez, Lee Orona, John Ibarra, and others…..

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