The University Folklórico Summit (UFS) 2015 is coming to University of California, Irvine this Saturday and Sunday, February 14–15, 2015. UFS is an initiative of Danzantes Unidos that brings together collegiate folklórico groups to empower a new generation of university leaders. This year’s theme, “Fostering leaders, enriching our communities” captures a series of educational workshops in which participants will learn how to be sustainable as a student organization and establish a long-lasting legacy.
The summit kicks off with a social event on Friday, February 13th where participants can meet one another and enjoy some fun activities. UFS will encompass a weekend of educational and enlightening insight that participants can bring back to their groups.
On Saturday, UFS will open with a workshop titled “A Pathway to Leadership” led by Dr. Olga Najera-Ramirez. Dr. Najera-Ramirez is an Anthropology professor at UC Santa Cruz and the Advisor of Grupo Folklórico Los Mejicas de UCSC. Her experience in the academic field will provide participants with exemplary ideas and guidance on how a university folklórico organization can create a successful plan and learn how to become a sustainable organization.
Following this workshop, Lalo Garcia, a respected cultural artist from Los Angeles will explore the ideas of pursuing a career in the arts. Mr. Garcia’s experience as a principal artist and consultant in numerous cultural arts programs in Southern California will bring participants a new perspective for “Folklórico as an Art.” Garcia’s influence in Mexican art will provide a cultural and educative background.
Leticia Garcia, a PhD student at UC Irvine will lead a workshop called, “Community Outreach” with advice on how to become involved in the academic and local community. Community support is essential to becoming a successful organization and Leticia Garcia’s involvement with co-founding UC Irvine’s Brown Bag Theatre Group will be able to offer participants with insightful resources on how to gain community support both in their respected university and in the local city.
Lorena Becerra, the Founder/Director of Los Danzantes de Pacific will lead the last workshop on Saturday. Becerra’s experience in founding a successful folklórico group will teach participants the basics on how to run a student organization. This workshop, “Folklórico 101” is the backbone to sustaining a student organization.
On Sunday, UFS will continue with a session led by Dr. Maria Patrice Amon, a PhD graduate of UC Irvine Drama Department and a J.D. from California Western Law. Fundraising can become one of the most frustrating aspects in maintaining a club. Dr. Amon’s experience with co-founding UC Irvine’s Brown Bag Theatre Group and Financial Executive of Ballet Folklórico de UCI will provide participants with insight and resources on how to become financially sustainable.
Lastly, Itza Sanchez, Advisor/Artistic Director of Grupo Folklórico Luna y Sol de SJSU will lead participants in a movement workshop. She will utilize her over 20 years of folklórico dance experience and training with Ballet Folklórico de Amalia Hernandez to provide participants an exciting folklórico dance experience.
To conclude the summit, participants will enjoy lunch while listening to a musical performance by Los Angeles-based Son Jarocho group, Conjunto Xi. Overall, participants and special guests of UFS can expect a weekend of educative, cultural, and artistic insight that will inspire university students to become leaders and enrich their communities.
This post was written by Athalia Magaña, Director of UFS 2015 and President of Ballet Folklorico de UCI.