Sounds of Cultura: AARP Arizona Hispanic Connection

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AARP Arizona Hispanic Connection is a radio-social media platform to educate the community about relevant issues, connect all Hispanics and highlight the accomplishments of Latinos. Recently, members of the organization created a mural celebrating the achievements of the community.

José Cárdenas: IN SOUNDS OF CULTURA,A-A-R-P ARIZONA HISPANIC CONNECTION IS A RADIO-SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM TO EDUCATE THE COMMUNITY ABOUT RELEVANT ISSUES, CELEBRATE LATINO ACCOMPLISHMENTS, AND CONNECT HISPANICS OF ALL GENERATIONS. ONE OF THE PROJECTS WAS TO CREATE A MURAL HIGHLIGHTING LATINO ACHIEVEMENTS.

Alex Juarez: WE ARE LOCATED IN PHOENIX, ARIZONA ON SEVEN STREET BETWEEN PORTLAND AND ROOSEVELT AND THE SITE OF OUR BEAUTIFUL MURAL.

David Murrieta: I CAME UP WITH THIS IDEA BACK IN JANUARY BECAUSE I KNOW IN SAN ANTONIO THERE IS AN AARP MURAL IN DOWNTOWN SAN ANTONIO AND I SAID MAYBE WE CAN PUT ONE HERE. WE DID RESEARCH ABOUT THE ARIZONA LATINOS AND WE HAVE
David Parra: A NEW PLATFORM CALLED AARP HISPANIC CONNECTION. IT HAS A FACEBOOK PAGE AND RADIO PROGRAM AND THE MURAL IS PART OF THE BIGGER PICTURE EFFORT TO EDUCATE, CELEBRATE AND CONNECT HISPANICS.

SOT: WE WANT TO MAKE SURE EVERYBODY IN THE COMMUNITY SEES THE GREAT ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF LATINOS IN THE STATE OF ARIZONA.

Steve Jennings: WE ARE CELEBRATING THE DIVERSITY OF OUR ORGANIZATION AND THE STRENGTH OF OUR GREAT STATE AND COUNTRY AND THE DIVERSITY OF ITS PEOPLES.

Brenda Holt: I BELIEVE IT IS GOING TO BRING FURTHER AWARENESS TO THE CONTRIBUTIONS THAT THE HISPANIC LATINO COMMUNITY HAS MADE AND I THINK THE TRAFFIC THAT IS GOING TO COME THIS WAY AND SEE IT AND I THINK THEY WILL BE INTERESTED AND STOP BY AND START TAKING PHOTOS OF IT.

Catherine Miranda: I THINK WE HAVE ALL AN APPETITE FOR UNITY AND WHAT BETTER TIME AND PLACE IN SHOWING OUR FUTURE LEADERS AND OUR PAST LEADERS.

Dana Kennedy: I JUST LOVE WE ARE REALLY GOING OUT TO THE COMMUNITY AND ENGAGING AND CONNECTING THEM AND INSPIRING THEM TO BE PART OF THE COMMUNITY AT-LARGE.

SOT: THE COMMUNITY HAS TAKEN OFF A LOT AND THEY LIKE THE CONCEPT OF EDUCATION, CELEBRATION AND CONNECTING THE COMMUNITY.

José Cárdenas: JOINING US TONIGHT TO TALK MORE ABOUT A-A-R-P ARIZONA HISPANIC CONNECTION ARE DAVID PARRA, A-A-R-P'S MULTICULTURAL OUTREACH DIRECTOR. ALEX JUAREZ, A-A-R-P'S COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR AND DAVID MURRIETA, THE MURAL'S ARTIST. GREAT PROJECT. I WANT TO TALK ABOUT THE MURAL BUT DAVID, LET'S TALK ABOUT THE CONCEPTION OF THE HISPANIC CONNECTION. WHAT WAS THE MOTIVATION?

David Parra: I HAVE BEEN WITH THE AARP FOR 14 YEARS AND TRAVELLING THE STATE DOING A LOT OF EDUCATION. IN MY TRAVELS, I REALLY LEARNED A LOT ABOUT THE COMMUNITY AND A LOT OF THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS THAT THIS COMMUNITY HAS CONTRIBUTED TO ARIZONA. SO, THE IDEA WAS THAT WE NEED A PLATFORM TO HIGHLIGHT ALL THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS ON THE ONE HAND THAT IS ONE OF THE OBJECTIVES OF THIS PLATFORM AND ALSO BRING ISSUE EXPERTS. YOU KNOW? WE HAVE LOTS OF ISSUE EXPERTS IN ARIZONA THAT CAN ADDRESS HISPANIC ISSUES SUCH AS EDUCATION, HEALTH, FINANCIAL SECURITY, EVEN HISTORY. SO OUT OF MY TRAVELS AND WORK FOR AARP AND OBSERVATIONS IN TALKING TO THE COMMUNITY WE CONVENED OVER 20 COMMUNITY MEMBERS TO PRESENT THE IDEAS OF THIS PLATFORM AND EVERYONE LIKED AND AGREED WE NEED THE PLATFORM TO HIGHLIGHT AND EDUCATE.

José Cárdenas: ALEX, YOU ARE THE COMMUNICATION DIRECTOR. WHO ARE YOU COMMUNICATING TO THROUGH THIS PLATFORM?

Alex Juarez: IT IS MEANT TO CONNECT WITH THE BILINGUAL HISPANIC. AARP AND DAVID HAS DONE A GREAT JOB IN REACHING THE MONOLINGUAL SEGMENT. THIS IS HERE FOR THE CULTURAL HISPANICS. AS A NATIONAL ORGANIZATION, WITH ABOUT 87870,000 MEMBERS IN ARIZO WE WANT TO REACH THE LATINOS THAT ARE RECEIVING THE INFORMATION IN ENGLISH BUT IT REALLY DOESN'T RESONATE TO THEM. WE WANT TO HAVE A PLATFORM WHERE THEY CAN FEEL PROUD ABOUT IT. NOT ONLY THE MEMBERS BUT THE COMMUNITY IN GENERAL IN ARIZONA.

José Cárdenas: I WANT TO TALK ABOUT THE PLATFORM. I KNOW IT IS SOCIAL MEDIA RADIO BUT WHERE DOES A MURAL FIT INTO ALL THAT?

Alex Juarez: THE MURAL CAME AS AN IDEA AS PART OF THE CONNECTION OF THE HISPANIC COMMUNITY. THERE HAS BEEN A LAUNCH AS WELL IN SAN ANTONIO, LOS ANGELES, AND HOUSTON WHERE THEY HAVE A COMMUNITY MURAL. THE IDEA CAME FROM THERE AND A LATINA FROM ARIZONA BROUGHT US THIS IDEA. SHE TRAVELS ALL OVER THE NATION AND WORKS ON THOSE PROJECTS. WE LOVED THE IDEA AND THOUGHT IT WOULD BE A PERFECT COMMUNITY TO CONVENE THE COMMUNITY TO HELP US PAINT THIS MURAL. SO WE GOT TOGETHER WITH A LOCAL ARTISTS AND THE CONCEPT JUST STARTED BEING DEVELOPED. DAVID AND I STARTED THROWING IDEAS OF WHAT WE COULD HAVE IN THE MURAL AS CONCEPTS OR ICONS OR LANDSCAPES OF THE LATIN COMMUNITY AND THE COMMUNITY IN GENERAL.

José Cárdenas: DAVID, YOU HAVE BEEN MURALS FOR A LONG TIME. WHAT WAS YOUR THINKING IN TERMS OF WHAT YOU WANTED TO SEE IN THIS PARTICULAR MURAL?

David Murrieta: IN THE MURAL I WANTED TO INCLUDE MANY ICONS FROM THE LATINO COMMUNITY. FOR EXAMPLE, EL PASTOR AND WE HAVE THE CONDUCTOR ON THERE. AND WE ALSO HAVE THE DOS 41 AND EVERYONE FROM PHOENIX. WE HAVE ANIMALS FROM THE SOUTHWEST. WE HAVE CACTUS WHICH IS NATIVE FOR ARIZONA. IT IS COLORFUL AND WHEN YOU PASS BY IT YOU WANT TO LOOK AT EVERY ITEM IN THE MURAL.

José Cárdenas: THE VIDEO GAVE US A SENSE FOR HOW BIG IT IS BUT WHAT ARE THE SPECIFIC DIMENSIONS?

David Murrieta: 15 FEET HIGH, 29 FEET WIDE. IT IS PAINTED IN LATEX PAINT AND TOOK FOUR WEEKS TO COMPLETE.

José Cárdenas: YOU JUST COMPLETED.

David Murrieta: A WEEK AND A HALF AGO.

José Cárdenas: AND HOT WEATHER.

David Murrieta: I LOVE PAINTING SO THE WEATHER DIDN'T BOTHER ME. AS LONG AS I HAD MY WATER AND HORCHATA I WAS OKAY.

José Cárdenas: DESCRIBE THE FORMAT OF THE RADIO SHOW.

David Parra: IT A 60-MINUTE PROGRAM. WE PICK A SUBJECT AND I BRING SUBJECT EXPERTS ON. WE LIKE TO BRING A VARIETY OF EXPERTS. PREFERABLE THREE TO FIVE. THERE IS FOUR SEGMENTS. BUT AT THIS POINT WE ARE JUST TOUCHING ONE ISSUE AT A TIME. WE HAVE DONE SHOWS ON HISTORY. WE DID ONE ON CASTA. WE DID A SHOW ON EDUCATION WHICH IS A BIG, BIG ITEM HERE IN ARIZONA AND THEN FINANCIAL SECURITY. SO AGAIN IT IS 60 MINUTES. WE BRING ISSUE EXPERTS AND ALEX AND I ARE THE CO-HOST OF THE SHOW. WE CREATED A LATINO JINGLE. WE ARE DOING REALLY WELL. THE COMMUNITY HAS RESPONDED VERY WELL. I HAD A MEETING WITH THE COMMUNITY MEMBERS BEFORE WE LAUNCHED AND WE WANTED TO MAKE SURE THEY WERE PART OF THIS. AARP IS LITERALLY OFFERING THIS PLATFORM FOR LATINOS TO REACH OUT TO LATINOS.

José Cárdenas: ALEX, TALKING ABOUT THAT OUTREACH. THIS IS NOT RECRUITMENT FOR AARP. IT IS MORE WHAT? AARP PROMOTING THE HISPANIC COMMUNITY.

Alex Juarez: THAT IS CORRECT. WE DON'T MENTION ANYTHING ABOUT BECOMING MEMBERS OF AARP. EVENTUALLY AS THE FOLKS FIND OUT THEY ARE IN THE COMMUNITY THAT COULD LEAD INTO MEMBERS BUT THAT IS NOT THE PRIMARY OBJECTIVE OF THE PLATFORM AND THE RADIO SHOW AND PARTICULARLY THE MURAL. IT IS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR US TO BE PRESENT IN THE COMMUNITY AND HIGHLIGHT THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF LATINOS. THE HISTORY OF LATINOS WHERE WE TALK ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF HOW LONG LATINOS HAVE BEEN IN THE UNITED STATES. YOU KNOW, YOU PROBABLY KNOW THIS BUT SPANISH WAS THE FIRST LANGUAGE SPOKEN IN THE UNITED STATES EVEN BEFORE ENGLISH. SO THIS IS A GREAT ACCOMPLISHMENT.

José Cárdenas: EXCLUDING THE NATIVE AMERICAN LANGUAGES.

Alex Juarez: FIRST EUROPEAN LANGUAGE I SHOULD SAY.

José Cárdenas: HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU ARE REACHING THE PEOPLE YOU WANT TO REACH?

Alex Juarez: WE ARE TARGETING ON FACEBOOK. OVER A 1,000 PEOPLE HAVE LIKED THE PASSENGER. WE WILL PUT RADIO -- PAGE -- ADS AND NEWSPAPER ADS THAT TALK MORE ABOUT THE PLATFORM.

José Cárdenas: IT WAS CLEAR FROM THE VIDEO THE MURAL WAS A COMMUNITY EFFORT. YOU GOT A BUNCH OF OTHER PEOPLE INVOLVED IN DOING THE PAINTING. HOW DO O YOU DO THAT? YOU HAVE THE ARTIST AND THE ONE WITH THE TALENT. HOW DO YOU MAKE SURE OTHERS DO IT THE WAY YOU WANT TO DONE?

David Murrieta: IT IS LIKE RUNNING AN ART CLASSROOM. I HAVE CERTAIN STUDENTS PAINT CERTAIN SECTIONS AND UPPER LEVEL SKILLED PAINTERS, CHILDREN OR ADULTS WITH SKILLS, AND I WILL HAVE THEM DO MORE TECHNICAL PARTS OF THE MURAL. AT THE END OF THE DAY, I COME AND LOOK AT HOW THEY PROGRESSED AND I WILL DO SOME REPAIRS AS I SEE FIT AND ADJUSTMENTS BUT I WANT TO GIVE THEM CONFIDENCE OF GETTING THE EXPERIENCE. THE EXPERIENCE OF PAINTING MURALS IS GREAT FOR CHILDREN AND GIVES LIFE LONG EXPERIENCE.

José Cárdenas: DAVID, THERE ARE SOME BIG ISSUES OUT THERE RIGHT NOW THAT ARE OF CONCERN TO A LOT OF PEOPLE ESPECIALLY HEALTH CARE. HOW ARE YOU ADDRESSING THAT WITH THE LATINO COMMUNITY?

David Parra: WHEN THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT WAS SIGNED INTO LAW IN 2010 I WAS PROBABLY ONE OF THE FIRST ONES INTO THE COMMUNITY SPEAKING LIKE CRAZY TO BE FRANK WITH YOU ON THE ISSUE. NOW THAT THE EFFORTS TO LITERALLY REPEAL AND REPLACE THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT, AARP IS INVESTING LOTS OF RESOURCES TO OPPOSE THE CURRENT FORM OF THE REPLACEMENT. SO WHAT WE ARE DOING IS LOTS OF, YOU KNOW, RADIO ADS ON TV AND IN THE COMMUNITY AS WELL WE DO PRESENTATIONS TO INFORM THE COMMUNITY WHAT IS IN THIS BILL PARTICULARLY --

José Cárdenas: IS ANY OF THAT SPANISH LANGUAGE COMMUNICATION?

David Parra: BEING BILINGUAL I DO BOTH LANGUAGES. I AM ON THE RADIO IN SPANISH TWICE A MONTH WITH A LOCAL SHOW AND WE HAVE OUR OWN PLATFORM AND I GET INVITATIONS ON THE RADIO AND TV. WE ARE EDUCATING THE COMMUNITY ON THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT AND WHAT IS BEING PROPOSED.

José Cárdenas: APOLOGIZE WE ARE OUT OF TIME BUT I ASSUME THAT WILL BE A TOPIC ON ONE OF YOUR SHOWS.

David Parra: EXACTLY.

José Cárdenas: AND THAT'S OUR SHOW FOR THIS EVENING, FROM ALL OF US HERE AT HORIZONTE AND YOUR ARIZONA P-B-S STATION, I'M JOSE CARDENAS, GOOD NIGHT.

Video: "HORIZONTE" IS MADE POSSIBLE BY CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE FRIENDS OF ARIZONA PBS, MEMBERS OF YOUR PBS STATION. THANK YOU.

David Parra: AARP Arizona

Alex Juarez: AARP Arizona

David Murrieta: Artist

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