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Panel Discussion: Latinx Art And/As Activism in Wisconsin

March 19 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Patrick Martinez, Civil Disobedience (Thoreau), 2020. Neon, 24 x 30 inches. Courtesy of the Artist and Charlie James Gallery.

MMoCA invites you to join us for an exciting panel discussion about the past, present, and future of Latinx activism in Wisconsin! The discussion will be streamed on Facebook Live.

This program is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Patrick Martinez: Signs of the Times, currently on view at MMoCA’s new installation space, The Shop. You can see Martinez’s neon works through the Museum’s State Street windows!

The discussion will be moderated by Madison poet and essayist Dana Maya. Panelists are listed below. This event is free and open to the public.



Dana Maya

Poet, public writer, and educator Dana Maya is transnational: she is from the Mexican diaspora, which includes Colorado, Veracruz, New York, Texas, California, and now Wisconsin. She received her Master’s in English with a focus on Chicanx Literature and Culture and race, gender, and queer studies. She has taught literature and poetics at Madison College, the University of Texas-Austin, the Grassroots Leadership College, and other institutions. She has collaborated with artists and activists on projects for social change for almost three decades and has written with the Spontaneous Writing Booth collective for over 15 years. Her work has appeared in Feminist Formationsthe Voltathis/that/lit, the anthologies Listen to Your Mother, and Basta:100+ Latinas against Gender Violence, and on buses, memorial sites, stages, and other public sites. Recent projects have responded to youth incarceration, gun violence, mental health, immigrations, longing and belonging.


Araceli Esparza

Araceli Esparza, Latinx Poeta. MFA graduate from Hamline University, with strong migrant farmer roots, and recently co-edited a poetry anthology with Flying Ketchup Press, The Very Edge Poems, that can be bought at local bookstores and Amazon. She was named Wisconsin’s Most Influential Latina 2018 (Wisconsin State Journal/Madison 365). Araceli is the owner of MWM Productions, a digital social justice company that helps build bridges to donors and audiences to create a positive impact on marginalized communities.

She says about being a writer, “To me, being a Latinx writer means to be able to catch fires, to bring forth something from labor and sweat, to have enough when there’s not a lot.”

Follow her on Instagram @araceliesparza_speaker for more Chingona Bruja talks, classes, and events follow @mwm_pro.


Andrea-Teresa Arenas

Andrea-Teresa “Tess “Arenas, PhD, was born on the southside of Milwaukee, is the founder and lead of the Wisconsin Latinx History Collective which will document Latinx history over the next four years in partnership with the Wisconsin Historical Society, Chicanx Latinx Studies, UW Madison, and Chicana Por Mi Raza Digital Memory Collective.  Arenas also created the Somos Latinas Digital History Project which features oral history interviews of Latina activists over the age of 50 and co-author of Somos Latinas: Voices of Wisconsin Latina Activists (WHS Press 2018) which received an IPPY Book Award in the Women’s Studies category and an INDY Book Award in the Social Justice category. While Assistant Vice President for Academic Diversity and Development at UW System Administration (1989-2005), she crafted Plan 2008: Educational Excellence Through Race/Ethnic Diversity 10 year strategic plan to guide the UW System’s 26 campuses and assisted campuses in creating their local version of Plan 2008. Arenas has been active in Latinx communities for over 40 years in Milwaukee, Racine, Waukesha, and Racine, Wisconsin, Chicago, IL, and San Antonio, TX. In addition, Arenas has been active in the UW System’s Women’ Studies Consortium. As a founding member and first President of the Wisconsin Hispanic Higher Education Council (WHCHE), which lobbied for the first Latinx UW System Regent appointment and founding member of the Latina Task Force which challenged nonprofit organizations, municipalities, and other institutions to include the needs of Latinas. From 2005 to 2015 Arenas served as Director of the College of L and S, UW Madison’s Office of Service Learning and Community Based Research. In addition, while at UW Madison, Arenas was a faculty affiliate in Chicanx Latinx Studies and over the 10-year period offered students over 60 service learning or community-based research opportunities at nonprofit organizations serving people of color and low-income people across the state. Arenas retired form UW Madison in 2015. Arenas is also co-authoring a book on the life of Mario Compean, one of “Los Cinco” who created the Mexican American Youth Organization and La Raza Unida Party.


Eloisa Gomez

Eloisa is the Chair of Comité por el Voto Latino/Latinx Voter Outreach, a committee of the League of Women Voters of Milwaukee County to expand voter education and registration within Milwaukee’s Latinx communities. She is the co-author of the book, Somos Latinas: Voices of Wisconsin Latina Activists, (Wisconsin Historical Society Press), a book that summarizes the activism of 25 older Latina activists from Wisconsin.

Eloisa has been involved in Milwaukee’s social/racial justice issues for numerous years. In 1980s, she served on the Board of Women of Color News, a short-lived but groundbreaking publication by women of color; was a participant in the Community Historians in Residence Program in association with the WI Historical Society for which she conducted oral history interviews of Milwaukee’s early Mexican and Mexican-American residents in Milwaukee; and she received a WI Humanities Grant for Latinas en Wisconsin, a Photo Essay of Latinas in Wisconsin.  Her academic partner for the project was Alverno College.

Between the 1980s-1990s, she became a founding member of the Latina Task Force and the WI Council on Hispanics in Higher Education (WHCHE) both were collective efforts to promote empowerment of Latinas and the Latinx community overall.  Eloisa has served on various local, state and national advisory and nonprofit boards, including the Latino Historical Society of WI and the Catholic Campaign for Human Development at the local and national level.

Eloisa is conducting community research on contemporary Latina activists in Milwaukee and enjoys writing poetry. She lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. https://shop.wisconsinhistory.org/somos-latinas-voices-of-wisconsin-latina-activists


Añamarie America Edwards

Añamarie America Edwards is a multidisciplinary Artist raised in Theodore, AL. In her work, she carefully combines the intentions of photography, sculpture, performance, and painting to express her personal narrative through linguistic emotion about her experiences as an Afro-LatinX Woman, and reflecting experiences of activism, mental exploration, and resilience. She challenges herself to think about how thoughts and memory can be used as a material in her work.


March 19
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
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