All Calhoun County Cultures and Cuisines Parade of Ancestors Main Street, Port Lavaca, Texas
An example of the Art of Cultural Production, The Parade of Ancestors was part of the production of the All Calhoun County Cultures and Cuisines Parade of Ancestors.
The video above, spontaneously shot with a camera phone, captures the transformative catharsis and bonding achieved by ordinary people manifesting their cultural oneness by presenting their cultural differences as gifts to each other. Just as the marriage ceremonies of ancient sovereigns and the photo ops of modern treaty signers are a function of the persistence and diplomacy of others, the art of cultural production, particularly a genuine one, not produced nor performed by professionals, is as much about the process leading up to the event as the event. Actually more so, because it is the process of involving others that determines the extent to which the effect is cathartic and bonding. An authentic Cultural Production is an amateur one, and maybe should be by definition.
The production was catalyzed by the return of local Tejano musician and musicologist, Robert Ojeda after 30 years performing and teaching in Southern California. Ojeda won the support of retired County Judge and Episcopal minister Howdy Hartzog to organize the August 2011 program of the County Historical Society's observance of the 150th anniversary of the hurricane which destroyed the Port of Indianola to which many influential Texans trace their ancestors, as a multi-cultural event.
In January, 2012 Ojeda recruited Fabian Balboa, Peggy Dobbins, Joe Mireles, Rose and Joe Pena to help produce an annual multi cultural event designated by joint resolution of the Port LaVaca City Council and the Calhoun County Commission as the All Calhoun County Cultures and Cuisines Parade of Ancestors to be held March 16, 2012 and every third Saturday of March hereafter.
Background process of creating a small community cultural production. Some ingredients from the All Calhoun County Culture and Cuisines Parade of Ancestors as a case study.
A very different version, but with the same intent and effect of community catharsis and bonding, is Ekatva. The Parade of Ancestors was produced for a community of twenty thousand on the Texas Gulf Coast. Ekatva was produced for a community of six million in Gujarat, India and a diaspora of more than twenty thousand Indian-Americans. The scale and quality of the latter was much higher; but it was also an amateur production. It simply involved many more people and hours donated "for the love of it."
updated February 6, 2020 Now working off air on Art and Ideogy and W.I.T.C.H. for iLiana's panel at Vera List Center Feb 22,2020. Please come if you're in NYC. Please feel free to use anything here and I'll be honored if you do but please include a link to peggydobbins.net