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Calexico Arts Council Announces Call for Historians and Writers to Chronicle City’s Golden Era

-Editorial

In a major initiative to preserve and celebrate the diverse historical tapestry of Calexico, the Calexico Arts Council has launched a new project inviting historians and writers to contribute to the construction of the city’s historical memory. The project focuses on the period from 1930 to 1969, the golden era in the city’s development.

Coming off a successful first edition where the book The History of Calexico: The Origin, written by Yolanda Sanchez Ogas, was presented to the public with great success last year. This was a project that had been a dream of Carmen Durazo for more than 15 years. After much work and dedication, the first volume of the history of Calexico was published. 

Sanchez Ogas was tasked to collect historical data from various sources, including archives, books, artifacts, diaries, interviews, letters, newspapers, etc. that will help trace the history of the land, people, and culture from which the city of Calexico was founded and evolved.

“In this book, we will be talking about local government, economics, business, arts, and culture. We hope people can give us a lot of good information,” said Carmen Durazo, a board member of the Calexico Arts Council. 

Events like World War II and Vietnam happened during this time range so the public is invited to provide memorabilia about locals who fought in those wars so it can be included in the book. Durazo added that students from San Diego State University will help the researcher gather information. 

“A big one there is the cavalcade that was a binational pageant in the 40s and 50s. We will have meetings with the community either in groups or individually so they can give us their information,” Durazo said. 

The Calexico Arts Council aims to produce a comprehensive historical record that encapsulates the multifaceted cultural, social, and economic narratives that have shaped the city. Interested experts are encouraged to delve into a variety of historical materials including archives, artifacts, personal diaries, interviews, and more, to craft a narrative that honors the city’s heritage and its many ethnic communities.

The project will culminate in the publication of a book, intended to be the second in a collection that documents the city’s history. This initiative not only aims to educate and inform future generations but also to foster a deeper appreciation for the complexities of Calexico’s past.

Submissions are open from May 13, 2024, through May 28, 2024. Applicants are required to submit their resumes, references, and sample writings via email to carmendurazo1@yahoo.com. The submissions must include a methodological description of the research approach and a vision statement that reflects the project’s commitment to addressing issues of gender, race, and ethnicity.

The council will select three finalists to present their proposals in person. These proposals will be evaluated based on their depth of research, analytical insight, and relevance to the project’s themes. The winner will be announced at a special event organized by the council on June 11, 2024.

For more details about the application process or the project itself, interested parties are advised to contact the Calexico Arts Council at the provided email address.

This historical initiative represents a significant step towards preserving Calexico’s unique cultural legacy and promoting the understanding of its historical journey among residents and scholars alike.

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