Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Welcome to East of The L.A. River

Dear All,

Welcome to East of The L.A River, a blog that has been long in coming.

I'll explore things that catch my eye and ear as well as the ocassional note about the world of language, culture, the arts, healing and food.

More than anything I am a musician. And even though I don't always play for an audience on a stage with fancy lighting and the finnicky stage manager, music is at the heart of how I see and interpret the world.

Years ago I spoke to Roger Bobo, principal tuba player with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. At the time I was looking for a tuba teacher for a young student whose family could not afford private lessons. In our conversation we both lamented that the public school system in Los Angeles had given itself a lobotomy by getting rid of the arts. And although a few aspects of the arts have trickled back into the lives of L.A.'s children, for the most part the doors of access to arts education in Los Angeles remain slammed shut. With every budget crisis emanates the old howling, the cry for getting rid of the frills, for getting rid of the things of the soul, for getting rid of the arts.

Still, among the tenacious beauty of thorny cactus flowers and potted geraniums overflowing in recycled bathtubs and coffee cans, through the miracle of oral tradition, in the obsidian of ancient memories and the vibrant energy of a volcanic youth, the people and their arts continue to thrive East of the L.A River. We are inevitable.

© María Elena Gaitán, 2008 All Rights Reserved


Patssi said...

Your friend

Nancy said...

Gracias a dios y dioas that you are doing this! I love it...and look forward to getting a little bit of Maria Elena in my life on a daily basis!

sylvia villagrana said...

Bravo Maria Elena!

I'm so lucky that my niece Monica thought of sharing this wonderful site with me. I'm sharing the information I learn with my friends. I'm 71 yrs. old and never knew there was so much I didn't know. Thank you. Auntie Syl!

robert barkaloff said...

Hi Chola,

It's me. Been looking for you. Went to Chavez Ravine but didn't find you there.

Hope you are well. Love your blogs!

Miss you,robert

Alma said...

Hola Mujer
It's me...alma from Jarocha.
Leo and I have been thinking about you and missing you.
we now live in the Bay Area.
email me...maquitico@yahoo.com

Amanda Starshine said...

Thank you Chola for your inspiring blog. I was fascinated to learn about the history of amaranth on Mexico and mesoamerica. Would love to hear you music as well.