La Llorona at Mexican Heritage Plaza


La Llorona at Mexican Heritage Center

An epic tale of love, betrayal and vengeance is told in La Llorona, a new operatic musical drama based on a well known folk legend in Mexico and the U.S. southwest. La Llorona / the Weeping Woman is premiering at San Jose’s Mexican Heritage Center later this month. The San Jose show marks the third production of the award winning operatic musical drama by composer Hector Armienta, a nationally recognized Mexican American composer, who focuses on creating work that explores the Mexican and Mexican-American cultural experience.

La Llorona

“Anyone who has ancestral roots in Mexico knows this epic legend that has been told and retold in diverse ways by many cultures and through generations of storytellers,” says composer Armienta. “Some would say that La Llorona is the Mexican Medea.” At its core La Llorona is a story of revenge as it tells the story of of a woman who forsakes her people and betrays the river by falling in love and marrying a man of Spanish lineage. She later takes the life of her child by drowning her in a river. Did the river torment her into the act?

La Llorona is the second in a trilogy of work, Aquas Ancestrales/Ancient Waters, by Hector Armienta. The trilogy’s central themes and story relate to the spiritual and magical element of water, the role of destiny and free will in our existence, and the lives of the women in Armienta’s family, including his Mexican grandmother, mother and sister. When completed, the trilogy will consist of a bilingual chamber opera (Rio de Mujeres/River of Women), an operatic musical drama (La Llorona/The Weeping Woman), and a full-blown opera (La Muerte/The Murder).

La Llorona Mexican Heritage Plaza


About Opera Cultura


Our mission is to explore the Latino – Hispanic cultural experience through music theater and opera and provide opportunities for the community to participate as creators, learners, and performers. We accomplish this mission by supporting and producing the work of composer Hector Armienta, showcasing music by opera composers of Latino/Hispanic descent, and training young people through various educational programs. Further, it is Mr. Armienta’s vision and that of the organization to develop a core of work that serves as a cultural bridge between communities. In doing so, Opera Cultura extends the boundaries and definition of the art form.

School of Arts and Culture at MHP video



Guided by an eighteen-month community planning process designed to re-imagine Mexican Heritage Plaza’s future, a new vision for a School of Arts and Culture at MHP was created, embraced by the community and adopted by the City of San Jose in Spring 2011.

Our vision is to create a vibrant place of learning, culture and community that nurtures the soul and brings joy, skill building and a sense of belonging to children, families and all who participate.


Creativity and innovation are the lifeblood of our economy.
Arts and creative experiences help children develop critical thinking, communication and collaborative skills
Arts and creative experiences enhance children’s self esteem, cross cultural understanding, empathy and connection to their community and each other.
Our children have inequitable access to arts and creative experiences and no child should be turned away for lack of resources.

To narrow the opportunity gap in arts education and learning, nurture the joy, creativity and well being of our children and unleash the talent of our next generation of students, leaders, artists and consumers of culture.


We are leveraging a $32M cultural facility by providing unique and culturally relevant educational offerings of value to the children and families while creating a “community container” for arts programming with a network of multicultural arts partners.

Our sustainable business model is based on containing fixed costs and funding 1) community access and engagement through gross profit from market based rentals such as weddings and quinceañeras; 2) class offerings through tuition and donor supported scholarships; and 3) facility related expenses through City of San Jose operational support.

Lila Downs at Montalvo Arts Center


Fans love Mexican-American singer-songwriter Lila Downs for her smoky voice and her innovative mingling of rock, hip-hop, blues and traditional Mexican sounds.

Lila Downs SARATOGA Flyer English

Her most recent album release, 2011’s Pecados y Milagros (Sins and Miracles), debuted at No. 1 onBillboard’s Latin music charts. Now experience her music live as she makes a tour stop at Montalvo Arts Center. Drawing on the religious traditions of her ancestors, the Mixtec and Zapotec people, Downs creates a vision with her music that is both exotic and familiar. With a look that’s a bit like Frida Kahlo and a sound that’s a bit like Laurie Anderson, Downs brings a musical experience strongly rooted in both Mexico and America.

San José Summer Jazz Fest 2014


San Jose Jazz invites you celebrate its 25th Anniversary with them at their San Jose Summer Jazz Fest 2014.  They have another impressive line-up with truly amazing performers.  This year’s San Jose Summer Jazz Fest will feature over 100 bands and performers which include Poncho Sanchez, Ledisi, Pacific Bambo Orchestra, Con Funk Shun, Jimmy Bosch Sextet, Chris Bowers, Sake One (The CME), Futuro Picante and Orchestra Borinquen to name a few!  Silicon Valley Latino hopes to see you out there enjoying this wonderful event and shaking your grove thing!

San Jose Jazz Summer Fest

Recap Dia de Los Muertos at National Hispanic University

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Teatro Visión’s MACARIO: A Visual Spectacle

Teatro Visión’s MACARIO: A Visual Spectacle

Written by Peter Allen


Teatro Visión is about to embark on the most ambitious production in its 29-year history. Working in collaboration with nationally renowned playwright and screenwriter Evelina Fernández, esteemed composer Russell Rodríguez, and Los Lupeños choreographer María De La Rosa, the Latino/Chicano theater company based in San José will unveil a world premiere bilingual theatrical adaptation of the classic Mexican novel and film, MACARIO.

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As envisioned by Artistic and Production Director Elisa Marina Alvarado, Co-Director Rodrigo García, and a stellar team of commissioned artists, Teatro Visión’s MACARIO will incorporate culturally vibrant music and dance to create a visually exciting spectacle and celebration of el Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Bringing MACARIO to the stage has been a decade-long goal for Alvarado, who worked for over three years to secure the rights to adapt this story to the stage and was granted exclusive permission by the author’s family to do so. The result is a bilingual work that Teatro Visión expects to resonate with diverse audiences and could become a local Día de los Muertos tradition.


MACARIO is set in the late 1700s, pre-independence era of Mexico. Often compared to Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, the parable-like story features three spirits who attempt to persuade a poor working man (Macario) to reflect on his choices when he comes into the fortune of having a full turkey to eat. It is a work steeped in magic and history that has become part of the fabric of Mexican culture. The play is set in old Mexico, but its themes are universal and just as relevant in the United States today — especially in these tough economic times.


Originally written by the mysterious B. Traven — who also authored Treasure of the Sierra Madre — MACARIO was made into a film, released in 1960, which won 12 international awards, including festival prizes at Edinburg and Cannes. It was also the first Mexican film to be nominated for an Academy Award. To this day, it is considered a classic of Mexican cinema.


In this time of growing awareness of the vast injustice of inequality between the rich and the poor, MACARIO is a poignant story of the wit, cleverness, and determination of those who live “hand to mouth.”


Teatro Visión’s MACARIO debuts October 10-20, 2013, at the School of Arts and Culture at Mexican Heritage Plaza, 1700 Alum Rock Avenue in San José. Performances will be in Spanish with English supertitles. Tickets are available online at and are priced between $10 and $40.


About Teatrovision:

Teatro Visión is a Chicano theater company with nearly three decades of service to the community. The main stage productions amplify the voices of Latinos, create a dignified and empowering sense of identity, inspire action, build respect and understanding, and explore the social and psychological experiences of Latinos.

Over 29 years, Teatro Visión has commissioned, developed, and produced over 50 works for an audience of more than 110,000 patrons. These works include the World Premiere production of Silvia Gonzalez’s EL VAGON (Boxcar), which won the 2004 Repertorio Espanol’s NuestraVoces national playwriting competition, and the 2011 West Coast Premiere production of Rudolfo Anaya’s BLESS ME, ULTIMA.

Teatro Visión regularly provides free performances via partnerships with more than 100 local schools and organizations. as well as teatro training programs for artists, service providers, and educators. The education programming engages students to strengthen their critical thinking, self-confidence, communication, and problem-solving skills. This, together with the open pricing structure and bilingual presentations, ensures that the work remains accessible to a broad community.


Interview with Sheriff Munks of San Mateo County


MACLA is an inclusive contemporary arts space grounded in the Chicano/Latino experience that incubates new visual, literary, and performance art in order to engage people in civic dialogue and community transformation.


Sabor del Valle 2013

Sabor del Valle is a magical evening of wine and food tasting, art, live music and dancing under the stars. This year it will take place on Friday, July 12, 2013, at History San Jose, Kelley Park. The fundraiser will benefit youth educational and medical programs:

~Rotaplast –
~Jose Valdes Math Institute –
-Teen Challenge Women and Children’ Center

Early Bird (Before June 15) $49.00
Pre-Sale Tickets are $60.00 per person
Tickets at the door will be $80.00 if available


What is the HIVE? – Ben Van Horn

iconexiConexión is a groundswell of “emerging” Latino professionals that elevates its members leadership aspirations and reboots their career objectives by paving a portfolio of capacity building tools and redefining the traditional.

iConexión is a national membership “hive” of Latino professionals that nurtures career and entrepreneurial engagement, delivers relevant “net-weaving” experiences and cultivates its members to mold their own personal and professional “blue sky” vision.

iConexión is a national movement and delivers an alternative to engage passions, professional aspirations, and coaching insights to Latino emerging professionals.

ben vhorn-LoRez