It is more important than ever to continue to understand, voice, and create a space for the creation of art and culture along the U.S.-Mexico border, particularly among low-income women workers. Practicing art along the border is critically important to our survival as human beings, especially when it is art that celebrates our identity and builds on the assets of community building and resistance.
We actively engage in discussions with artists to generate broader ideas about the future we envision in our community: a place where we can walk and play safely, where neighbors know one another, and where art and health are integrated into the fabric of life such as through community gardens with art and music workshops.
We continuously reaffirm the critical importance of Mercado Mayapán as a site from which this vision can be (and is being) built.
In 2011, we presented a play titled, Las Siete Necesidades in collaboration with Leonardo Martinez. Because it took the entirety of our staff to put on the performance, community members were informed that the kitchen would be closed due to staff participation in the play. We feel this is a significant metaphor of the woman worker literally carving a space in her workday to produce art.
Throughout the year, Centro Mayapan hosts a variety of live music and cultural programming free of charge to all of our patrons.
Some of our most prominent recurring festivals are the Mole Festival (July) and the Corn Festival (September). In addition, we host El Paso’s longest running Day of the Dead Festival the last weekend of October of each year.
Yet, our approach goes beyond hosting performances. We are promoting Mexican culture and traditions through participatory cultural events that include music, arts, dance, and gastronomy. We host an annual ‘Feria de las Artes’ – a participatory arts festival, where community members can not only witness art but experience and create it.
For a current list of events, visit our calendar.
Gabriel Gaytan leads a painting workshop at the 2011 Feria de las Artes
We established Museo Mayachen, a community-based museum, to document our own history through oral interviews and the development of historical archives for our neighborhood and community.
Our first exhibit focused on the history of the woman worker of Mexican origin in El Paso. We also created an exhibit about farm workers.
Most recently, we launched an exhibit that chronicles the history of the Chicano movement in El Paso.
[Video of opening of Chicano Exhibit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwN4dBE8638 ]