Written by H. Clent Bowers for THE ARTISTS FORUM MAGAZINE
Edited by Amos White V for THE ARTISTS FORUM, INC
Photos: Courtesy of BMI
5 out of 5 stars
CRLA HONORS CHEECH MARIN, LOS LOBOS, AND FRANK ROMERO AT ANNUAL GALA
LOS ANGELES (February 10, 2009) Last night, this years Californian Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA) Tequio Fundraiser & Humanitarian Award Gala was held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. The event celebrates CRLA‘s 43 years of helping those who cannot be heard or speak for themselves and honors artists who contribute to the the cause of helping the Latin community’s downtrodden. This years CRLA honorees included Cheech Marin (of the comedy duo Cheech & Chong ), musicians Los Lobos, and legendary visual artist Frank Romero. The evening was hosted by comedian Carlos Mencia.
CRLA is a nonprofit organization at the forefront of justice for underserved members of the Latin community. Low-wage Latin workers have found a singular champion in CRLA, comprised of dedicated lawyers who have pledged to defend their legal rights. All proceeds from this gala event will benefit the organization’s commitment to no-cost legal services, community outreach, and education workshops gear toward aiding California’s working poor, and individuals and families in need.
From the red carpet entrance, to the delicious dinner, to the silent auction of original art, the night was filled with beauty, joy, and thanksgiving as CRLA acknowledged the power and necessity of those artists among us who take a stand for the positive development of a society. These points were magnified by a sobering speech from Cheech Marin, who was introduced by his long time friend Tommy Chung (bringing cheers and tears from the crowd). And, it is with pleasure to announce that Cheech and Chung are reunited and will be on tour very soon.
Marin, who owns the largest collection of Latin art in the world, parlays his celebrity to the continued awareness and development of Latin culture by putting his collection on exhibit around the world. He educates people about the life, beauty, struggle, and spirit of the a Latin people. Marin said that the artist has the ear of masses and can speak out for those individuals who need help. It is evident that CRLA and artists both seasoned and new will continue to do their part to right the inequalities of under-served members of the Latin community, while preserving the diverse cultural aspects of Latin American heritage for future generations.
Also in attendance were be 2009 Grammy / Latin Grammy nominated Mexican rock band Jaguares, Gabriel Inglesias, Big Tank, and raising rap star Down A.K.A. Kilo, who mentioned in a personal interview for The Artists Forum that he hopes his new movie coming out based on his hit single Lean Like a Cholo will help to continue the huge surge of appreciation for Latin American arts. I am sure it will, given his positive vision for the future.
The evening continued with an auction of famous paints which raised several thousand dollars. Artist Frank Ramero spoke of his life as an emerging artist until the present day. Los Lobos brought the room to its dancing feet with a Latin beat until late into the evening.