Community Voices | Jacobo Lovo/Latino Arts


Why did Latino Arts Inc. sign up as hosts of On the Table MKE?

Latino Arts Inc. is continuing to take an active role as a community partner and as an arts organization that works for the benefit of our community through its programming. A strong focus of our mission is to use the arts as a vehicle to promote cultural growth within Milwaukee, by preserving and sharing the beauty of the Hispanic culture and traditions. On the Table MKE presents Latino Arts with an opportunity to bring interested participants together to have an open discussion on how cultural education and the arts play a role in building up our youth, community and the development of economic components within Milwaukee as a whole.

How do you think this conversation can advance Latino Arts mission?

As the managing artistic director of a nonprofit organization rooted in rich cultural history, I am very interested in collaborating with individuals and other local organizations to cultivate a greater sense of community and to embrace cultural differences as strengths to continue to make Milwaukee great. Working within the idea that the arts can be used as a vehicle, in its many forms, to create unity, empathy, and opportunity for economic growth, I would like to explore how culture and education are two wheels on this vehicle. Through discussion, I aim to collaboratively identify what other community members recognize as wheels and identify common interests, goals, and potential programming; roads that need to be built in order to make positive impacts on youth, community, and our local economy.

What actionable steps do you hope will come from this conversation?

Latino Arts is open to growing current collaborations, along with exploring and developing new ones. Through this conversation we hope to envision future collaboration possibilities and to discuss the steps that participants can start taking now to contribute. We would identify what roads have already been established, where roads may be missing and ways to collaborate to build them so we can use arts as a vehicle to shuttle our youth in to become a better Milwaukee. The key to this discussion will be to discuss how are we, as individuals and organizations, creating opportunity for the youth in our city to be active members within our community.

What project(s) are you currently working on?

We are excited to be collaborating with schools from the greater Milwaukee and southeastern Wisconsin area to participate on a group exhibition titled “Here We Make Our Home”. This exhibition will task lead educators from each participating school to construct through collaboration with their fellow teachers an interdisciplinary project-based unit. Each participating school will develop their own individual unit and approach that will interpret the exhibition’s title, through the use of birdhouses as a metaphorical visual element.

This project aims to create a respectful dialogue within participating schools on the journey and immigration story students possess through family heritage or even personal experience. This project invites the participating teachers to explore with their students the visual, poetic, metaphoric imagery that the migratory nature of birds provides along with the idea of home and settlement, which a birdhouse can represent. The exhibition opens Dec. 1, 2017.