Cal Humanities

"Part of resilience is finding joy, finding beauty, finding love."

— George Takei, Actor, Author, Director, Activist

"Part of resilience is finding joy, finding beauty, finding love."

— George Takei, Actor, Author, Director, Activist

Join us for our Final Pulitzer Conversation in Oakland!

Image – School of Arts and Culture

As part of a national celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Pulitzer Prize, California Humanities is convening a series of discussion forums throughout the state through the Pulitzer Prize Centennial Campfires Initiative. We are partnering with the California Arts Council for the finale in the series, a celebration of arts and humanities in California including youth performances and conversation on arts and humanities education. Tamara Alvarado, Executive Director, School of Arts and Culture encourages us to celebrate National Arts and Humanities Month by enjoying all that we have in our own backyards. Please join us as we conclude our On the Road series and celebrate the arts and humanities.

For more info on this forum and the series, please click HERE.


Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Artist and educator Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
Morton Subotnick, electronic music pioneer and Pulitzer Prize finalist
Sarah Crowell, Artistic Director at Destiny Arts Center
Jordan Simmons, Artistic Director at East Bay Center for the Performing Arts.

6:30PM – PANEL

In My Own Backyard by Tamara AlvaradoIn My Own Backyard by Tamara Alvarado
Sometimes I get caught up in the challenges of living in the Bay Area, the rents are high, the traffic is brutal and the rat race can get a little overwhelming. Then a few weeks ago, I received an email about this amazing program going on Oct. 26th put on by California Humanities and the California Arts Council Most of the time, we scroll through emails deleting most, saving a few. This one I saved. I saved it because I wanted to reflect on some of the people that will be a part of this conversation and how they have impacted my work.

Flashback to 2004, I had a little more than a year under my belt as a newly minted executive director of a place called Movimiento de Arte y Cultura de Latino Americana (MACLA) in downtown San Jose. I was invited to become a part of a group called the National Performance Network and participate in an annual convening of presenters. What did I know about performance art? Very little, Marc Bamuthi Joseph and his work was part of my introduction. His performance(s) were unlike anything this child of immigrants with limited arts education had ever seen. His work blew my mind and I found myself asking “What do you call this? Is this a play? A poem? A dance piece?” I felt pride when I watched his work, here was something that spoke to me as a child of immigrants sorting out my place in the Mexican diaspora. The power of his work is that it is specific and universal at the same time. I hold on to that idea in my work at MACLA and now at the School of Arts and Culture at Mexican Heritage Plaza.

This is National Arts and Humanities Month across our nation and what better way to celebrate it than to hear from world class artists and cultural activists that are also are our local friends. This is happening in your own backyard! Don’t tell me it’s too far and that there is too much traffic. Make some time to listen to these fantastic creators of movement, sound and music. Individuals that have shifted my thinking and cultural practices, who have lifted up a mirror to better see myself and my community. I am grateful to Bamuthi, Sarah, Jordan and Morton for inspiring me to transcend my day to day existence.