“Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.”
–Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dear La Peña Staff, Board, and volunteers,
It is hard to believe that 2012 is nearly here. I want to take this moment to express my gratitude to all of you who done your part in keeping La Peña alive and well this past year. Your commitments in time and donations have sustained us.
Despite having financial set backs and the loss of staff, I feel La Peña will be a leaner and healthier organization in 2012. I am especially inspired by the work of the 2nd Generation Committee in mobilizing and organizing people for the Occupy Movement and for raising the critical issues of the deepening of inequalities in American society. Yes, we are the 99%!
Besides participating in the greater movement for peace and social justice, the 2nd Gen has concretely improved the La Peña lounge area. Working on Dec. 24, 25, 26 and 27 they have beautified the space with a new fresh paint job, re-varnished the wood paneling, added a very cool bar to the wall, added a new stage, hung the large speakers, and installed new sound equipment. The 2nd Gen committee has also been active in programming youth oriented programs in the lounge as well as in the theater space. Their spirit is invigorating. I applaud their energy and accomplishments. Their work has inspired us all. A special thanks to Sudia and Craig for getting the 2nd Gen together more than a year ago!
In 2012 I look forward to working with each one of you to strengthen La Peña and deepen our impact in the community. This coming February 11th La Peña is working with the Black Choreographers Festival in presenting Marc Joseph Bamuthi’s dance piece “Word Becomes Flesh” at the Laney College Theater in Oakland, one block from the Lake Merritt BART. This is a piece that La Peña originally commissioned in 2002 and premiered at the Alice Arts Center (now called the Malonga Arts Center), in Oakland in 2003.
The piece toured nationally and has since been restaged using funds from the National Performance Network Re-Creation fund and support from the James Irvine Foundation. Bamuthi has re-created the piece using 5 dancers and is essentially a choreographed poem about becoming a single young father from a Black male’s perspective. We are especially proud to be presenting this piece and look forward to seeing all of you there on Feb. 11, 2012.
See you all in 2012! In peace and solidarity,