Friday, July 25, 2008
Dallas librarian educating masses about Tejano music
Carolina Martinez is spearheading a community-wide effort to educate everyone about the unique contributions Tejano music has made, not only to the music industry, but to Texas.
What is Tejano music?
If you live in Texas, that question should be a no-brainer. Unfortunately, not enough Texans know, especially the music’s cultural significance and ties to the Lone Star State.
One woman wants to change all that. Her name is Carolina Martinez and she is spearheading a community-wide effort to educate everyone about the unique contributions Tejano music has made, not only to the music industry, but to Texas.
“In conversations with people out in the community, I have come to learn there is a great deal of confusion about the music and a misconception about its vitality,” said Carolina.
A librarian with the Al Dia newspaper, Carolina heard that the annual Tejano convention was coming to Dallas next month and she thought it was a shame that Dallas didn’t have more more to show for our strong, but little appreciated, connection to the homegrown music genre.
Luckily, Carolina met a couple of Tejano collectors with some “amazing” collections and a Tejano artist photographer who were all willing to share what they had with Carolina to jumpstart the creation of the first in a series of community Tejano projects.
Billing the series, “Tejano Progressions,” Carolina tells Latina Lista that the first project is a photo exhibit that will be on display throughout the month of August on the fourth floor at the downtown branch of the Dallas Public Library.
For right now, Carolina has only gathered enough material to fill one wall but, as she says, it’s a start. She is already busily planning the next exhibit which will focus on the DFW Tejano music scene — but she needs help.
So she is sending out an appeal for photos, posters, music, banners, fliers and any Tejano music paraphernalia from as far back as she can find it. She says she is also looking for personal stories along with photos.
While the library exhibits are temporary, Tejano Progressions will live on in cyberspace where Carolina has created a web site where she will post contributions as an ongoing and permanent tribute to the genre.
However, Carolina truly envisions Tejano Progressions as only the first step in recognizing Tejano music. According to Carolina, the sky is the limit as far as ideas to celebrate the genre. From creating a traveling Tejano music exhibition to Tejano dance troupes visiting area schools to even a local competition and dubbing it “Tejano Idol,” Carolina is excited about the potential to spread the word about Tejano music.
“Tejano music is very much alive and kickin’ it’s just living a life similar to many Mexican Americans/Chicanos — a marginal life, not Anglo or mainstream/ not Mexican. So, it is ignored,” said Carolina.
To help with Tejano Progressions or learn more about the upcoming exhibits, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pegasus News Content partner - Latina Lista