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Catalan and guitar. The lessons were intense, especially since Spanish is her second language. Soon after her trip to Spain, she befriended a


Latino composer and learned some traditional Mexican songs, and she began to play a few public gigs, eventually landing a regular gig at the Mainstage Theatre. It was then that she discovered an empty


building space in Pilsen and applied for funds from a nonprofit organization called MAGI (Modesto A. Gomez, Inc.), a social enterprise based in El Paso. Her proposal was accepted, and thus was born the MAGI Cultural Art Center. “I thought a new cultural arts center in Pilsen


would be the perfect outlet to help artists of all different forms and allow me to express myself and work in a studio,” says Martinez. “I thought it would be a perfect way to bring people together in the community.” She began hosting concerts and traditional


performances called fandangos. Fandangos are community celebrations that showcase Son Jarocho and Son Huapango music and dance and feature traditional folk instruments and Spanish lyrics. Performers dance zapateado- style (percussive foot tapping) upon a tarima, or raised platform, around which people circle and sing, everyone moving in syncopation with the music. “It’s beautiful music, and it can go on forever.


It’s based on improvisation,” says Martinez. “The fusion of music from Spain, rhythms from Africa, and poetry from indigenous people comes together in a fandango.” Martinez understands the therapeutic effect


that art and music can have on people who have seen hard times, especially children. “People don’t realize how powerful express-


ing themselves through the arts is,” she says. “If they can strum a guitar and sing, they’re going to feel empowered. Or if they make a drawing, they realize they can create something. So I tried to build a forum where that was possible, where you could try new things and allow yourself to create.” Whether she’s singing, teaching, or painting


artwork for a play, there’s a clear passion that motivates her life’s work. “The reality is that what you’re passionate


about—if you’re serious about it and you follow it—you can do something with it,” Martinez says.


Learn more at www.mercedesinez.com, www.sonmonarcas.com, and www.magi-cac.org.


NEW AT LSC: Sea Change, now on display at the Institute of Environmental Sustainability, is the first of two purchased sculptures from artist Richard Hunt (pictured, with LUMA director Pam Ambrose). The second, Angled Angel, will be installed on the Kenmore walkway.


Celebrating a decade Loyola’s Center for Catholic School Effectiveness marked its


10-year anniversary by naming the center in honor of Rev. An- drew M. Greeley, a pioneer in the study of Catholic education. Fr. Greeley often referred to himself as a “bridge builder”—a scholar bringing faith to the secular university and a priest bringing scholarship to the work of the Church. The center like- wise strives to bring scholarship to Catholic school practices, and to bring Catholic identity and mission to the scholarship that informs academic rigor and excellence. The center was established in 2003 to leverage the resourc-


es of the School of Education and the University in support of improving and sustaining excellent K–12 Catholic schools.


The Center for Catholic School Ef- fectiveness celebrated its 10th anniversary on April 14 and was renamed the Andrew M. Greeley Center for Catholic Education. Pictured are Greeley’s nieces and nephews along with staff from the center.


ANDREW M. GREELEY CENTER FOR CATHOLIC EDUCATION


SPRING 2014


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