Josefina López, Artistic Director of CASA 0101 Theater believes that a museum about Boyle Heights is important and necessary because young people in this community have very little knowledge of the rich immigrant history of this community because it had always been portrayed as a ghetto by the mainstream media.
She believes that the Boyle Heights Museum housed at CASA 0101 Theater would be a powerful partnership because theater can make history come alive. Theater goers will discover Boyle Heights history and history buffs will discover the magic of theater. It’s a winning combination.
She has faith that the Boyle Heights Museum will also serve as an affirmation of the contribution Mexican-Americans have made to this country.
She wants young people in our community to have pride in where they live and wants new residents of Boyle Heights to have a powerful context so they appreciate the culture and history of this community.
Dr. George J. Sanchez, USC Professor of History and American Studies believes that the history of Boyle Heights has long been recognized as one of the most important in defining a new American reality of life in a diverse, working class community in the United States.
He believes that the Boyle Heights Museum will bring this rich history to life for people living in the community, as well as a broader audience of Angelinos interested in how people fought to have immigrants and people of all backgrounds living together.
It will also show that groups and individuals from Boyle Heights have learned to fight for their rights amidst often hostile surroundings and forces
wanting to tear the community apart.
He is delighted to have the opportunity to bring the stories of the past to current residents through this exciting partnership with CASA 0101 Theater.
The Mission of the Boyle Heights Museum is to preserve and celebrate the rich and important immigrant histories of the Boyle Height community so that all residents, including young people, will be inspired to join us in preserving this history for future generations.
People in the U.S. recognize the importance of this community to U.S. History, acknowledging the role that immigrants play in transforming Los Angeles into a model city of diversity, and celebrating Boyle Heights as the Ellis Island of the west coast.
Curator & Exhibit Designer
Priscilla Leiva is an Assistant Professor of Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies at Loyola Marymount University. Her research interests include relational ethnic studies, urban history and sports history, particularly as it relates to place making and community formation.
She is currently working on a book manuscript that examines how stadiums have produced and sustained racial meanings that shape ideas about the city and belonging. She is also the co-founder of Chavez Ravine: An Unfinished Story, an oral history and archival collaboration with residents of Chavez Ravine that documents a long history of displacement and its aftermath in Los Angeles.
Her public humanities work includes collaborations with the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, Imagining America, Los Angeles County Museum of Art and, most recently, Boyle Heights Museum.
Yesenia Navarrete Hunter is the daughter of Guadalupe and Alberto Marquez and grew up as a farmworker in Washington State. Yesenia’s art and public engagement brings her to scholarship.
She is studying with Dr. George Sanchez in the Graduate History Program at the University of Southern California. Her interests in American History focus on how immigrant communities make place in fragile spaces. One question guiding her work is: how do new immigrants use material practices such as music, art, and recipes to evoke memory and make connections to history? Yesenia centers her work around space, place, memory, community and individual art practices, and Indigenous studies.
Yesenia's art and scholarship are fueled by her role as a mother and wife, and deeply influenced by the music, poetry, and community-building elements of the practice of the fandango.
Karen Kwon is a first-generation student at USC majoring in Sociology. She was born in Los Angeles and raised in Koreatown. She is from of a family of four: her mom was born and raised in Mexico City and her dad was born in South Korea and raised in Argentina.
Due to her diverse racial background, Karen’s research interests focus on the identity formation of mono-racial and multiracial individuals: how social interactions, familial experiences, and the intersectionality of race and gender affect the racial identity of individuals, and the implications of having one or multiple identities.
Aside from her research interests, Karen is interested in the Boyle Heights Museum project to learn more about Boyle Heights and to inform local community members about the beautiful, tight-knit neighborhood they reside in.
Public Programming Team Leader
Ivonne Rodriguez is a life-long resident of South Central Los Angeles and proud mother of three children. Guidance and motivation from family and friends encouraged her to return to school in 2013, obtain her G.E.D. and transfer from LATTC. In the fall of 2016, she entered the University of Southern California as an American Studies and Ethnicities major just as her eldest son began his first year at Cal State University Northridge.
She currently serves as Project Specialist for the USC Neighborhood Academic Initiative, a college access and success program that works with resident families from the communities neighboring USC’s South L.A. and East L.A. campuses.
She is committed to serving first generation, college-bound scholars of color and families, like her own, and keeping stories of resiliency alive.
Public Programming Member
Karla Hernandez is currently a junior majoring in Communication at the University of Southern California. She grew up and went to school in the South LA area and is now working with a college prep program called USC Upward Bound that targets schools in that area.
Her research interests revolve around the interactions between different cultures and races. The Boyle Heights area is particularly interesting to her because it was a community of different races and cultures living among each other with little to no problems.
She look forward to learning about this community and being able to help tell its story.
Social Media Team Leader
Matthew Carrera is a second-year Graduate student with the USC Rossier School of Education. He is pursuing a Master of Education in Post-Secondary Administration and Student Affairs. Simultaneously, he is working on a graduate certificate in Nonprofit Management and Policy with the Sol Price School of Public Policy.
Matthew is a graduate of the University of California, Riverside and hold two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Sociology and Chicano Studies. He is a proud transfer student from California State University, Los Angeles and is a native to East Los.
Matthew has a genuine interest in establishing a museum in his community that can civically engage community members to learn about the historical context in which they live and can be representative of the identities of the community.