portoluz is focused on presenting programs /public events and buiding the organizational infrastructure to pursue site acquisition for the new HotHouse.
portoluz develops public interdisciplinary cultural programs that otherwise enhance our collective understanding of disparate cultural practices and traditions.
In producing programs, portoluz actively seeks curating partners and other academic and institutional collaborators to conceive and develop program content and build diverse audiences. At present, portoluz is presenting a variety of arts and humanities events throughout the metropolitan region.
This year, in a fashion similar to the way we produced WPA 2.0., a brand new deal, portoluz is presenting an overarching thematic framework for its 2013-14 public events and programs.
Old and New Dreams intends to loosely explore themes related to immigration, migrations, exiles and transmutations of borders. Working in a multi-disciplinary context, portoluz will seek to commission new work, collaborate with institutions to bring to Chicago in keynote presentations -the public intellectuals and grassroots organizers who engage the theme through their research and discourse, continue to present seldom screened films and historical ephemera and connect audiences in an interactive and iterative process that helps explore urgent social issues of our time.
Son Jarocho Exchange Project
With support from the MacArthur Foundation’s International Connections Fund, portoluz is organizing a year-long series of concert programs, workshops, and community-based exchange activities centered on the Son Jarocho cultural tradition from southern Veracruz, Mexico.
Like other musical genres of Latin America, Son Jarocho is characterized by its Indigenous, Spanish-Arabic and African “roots,” that are credited with developing the style throughout the colonial period, over 350 years ago. In addition to furthering the quality and knowledge of jarocho music in Chicago, this exchange project encourages examination of the historical interaction among these cultural groups and its significance in furthering cultural dialogue and synergy today.
Chicago-based musicians and other cultural workers will travel to Veracruz for intensive workshops and immersion in the cultural life that has nurtured the genre over centuries. Renowned musicians from various communities in Veracruz will visit Chicago for presentations at accessible cultural venues including festivals, schools and community-based organizations.
Invited musicians from Mexico include members of the Vega and Utrera families who, in 2012, received one of Mexico’s highest honors, the Premio Nacional de Ciencias y Arte – the National Prize in Sciences and the Arts for their collective work in preserving and disseminating the Son Jarocho tradition. In total, portoluz expects to bring members from six different families from Veracruz to Chicago – a total of 35 different presenting artists - over the course of 2013.
Following are brief biographies of the performers. A table of proposed festival activities follows and is also included.
PROJECT: Organizational Development -Building the new organization
portoluz was founded by Marguerite Horberg and incorporated by a group of successful longtime practitioners in the fields of arts, technology and social enterprise who came together after identifying a need for more progressive community-based cultural centers that develop resources and applications for the greater good. portoluz successfully achieved the benchmarks of its start-up phase, from incorporating, to drafting strategic and business plans, recruiting and developing a new board of directors, launching volunteer committees and fundraising. Now the organization is in its second phase of development and focusing on increasing capacity and preparing for facility development.
PROJECT : portoluz Site Acquisition
To date, the organization has organized a site acquisition committee and visited over 85 potential sites. Currently, the board is focused on pre-acquisition activities that will strengthen its abilities to purchase and operate a permanent site.