Design for Carnaval

The California African American Museum presents a workshop for children and adults, designing costumes celebrating Carnaval in Coyolillo, Veracurz, Mexico. The workshop is related to the exhibit "The African Presence in Mexico: From Yanga to the Present," which runs through June 1, 2008.

Saturday, April 26, 2008
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
California African American Museum (CAAM)
600 State Drive, in Exposition Park
corner of Figueroa Street and Exposition Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90037

The following events are being held in conjunction with the California African American Museum exhibits The African Presence in Mexico: From Yanga to the Present and Common Ground -- Now - June 1, 2008.

Saturday, April 26, 1 - 3 PM -- Design for Carnaval

  • Carnaval is one of the most important events in the city of Coyolillo, located in Veracruz.  In the spirit of Carnaval, design a costume for this festive event.
  • This celebration illustrates that the city is in many ways more connected to African and Caribbean culture than that of inland Mexico.
  • Karla Williams guides this workshop.  Ages 7 to adult.  Children must be accompanied by an adult.
  • For reservations call (213) 744-2024.

Saturday, May 3, 1 - 3 PM  --  Mexican Musical Roots/workshop & performance

  • Son Jarocho, Mexican music unique to Veracruz, combines indigenous African and Spanish rhythms.
  • Stomp your feet, sing and play as Son del Centro, a group of students, teachers and activists dedicated to exposing people of all ages and backgrounds to Mexican traditions, presents this interactive musical workshop.

Sunday, May 11, 1 - 3 PM  --  African By Legacy, Mexican By Birth

  • Writer Marco Villalobos discusses his experiences of the Afro-Mexican communities of Oaxaca, Guerrero and Veracruz, traveling with photographer Ayana V. Jackson.
  • Both collaborated on an exhibit and book titles African By Legacy, Mexican By Birth.
  • Following the Q & A, Mr. Villalobos will sign copies of the book.

Sunday, May 25, 1 PM  --  What Happened to the Voodoo Queens in Mexico?

  • Dr. Patrick Polk, lecturer/senior museum scientist in the UCLA Department of World Arts and Cultures explores the presence of African traditional religion and spiritual practice in Mexico while emphasizing the colonial period and how these ritual practices relate to the broader African Diaspora.

About the African Presence in México exhibit:

The existence of Afro-Mexicans was officially affirmed in the 1990s when the Mexican government acknowledged Africa as Mexico's "Third Root." For nearly 500 years, the existence and contributions of African descendants in Mexico have been overlooked, although they have continued to contribute their cultural, musical, and culinary traditions to Mexican society through the present day. This groundbreaking exhibition provides an important opportunity to revisit and embrace the African legacy in Mexico and the Americas while creating significant occasions for cross-cultural dialogue, exchange and presentations for all age ranges and backgrounds. No exhibition has showcased the history, artistic expressions, and practices of Afro-Mexicans in such a broad scope as this one, which includes a comprehensive historical range of artwork including contemporary artistic expressions. The exhibition is organized by the National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago. 

A companion exhibit to the African Presence in México exhibit is the Who Are We Now? Roots, Resistance and Recognition exhibit.

African Americans and Mexicans are the two largest communities of color in the country. The National Museum of Mexican Art and the California African American Museum hope that this exhibition, Who Are We Now? Roots, Resistance, and Recognition, will help Mexicans and African Americans to look at their groups' identities in light of the history they have shared both in the United States and in Mexico. The title of the exhibition refers to three phases of a timeline. The timeline charts the course of collaboration between the two groups in the U.S. since the U.S. won independence in 1783. Roots shows collaborations such as the Underground Railroad to Mexico, a network of people who helped formerly enslaved Africans escape to freedom, and the Black Seminole Migrations. Resistance describes the ways in which the two groups have influenced each other's efforts to resist oppression and assimilation. Recognition illustrates the two groups' recognition of their shared history. The artwork tells two parallel stories: that of Mexicans and African Americans interacting in the U.S. and that of African Americans moving between the U.S. and Mexico.

Common Ground – now - June 1, 2008

The exhibition Common Ground is organized by CAAM and inspired by The African Presence in Mexico: From Yanga to the Present which originated with the National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago, Illinois. Twenty one African American and Latino artists have provided contemporary pieces that explore the complexity of Black/Brown relationships in Los Angeles and California at large.

Common Ground includes paintings, drawings, collages, photographs, prints, videos, assemblages and mixed-media work, going from artists with a powerful and direct voice that demands undivided attention to others with a more exploratory approach, to those who uncover aspects of well known subjects from a very unique, fresh perspective. A few appear more introverted, bridging between peoples in an almost mystical, meditative manner. Artists displayed are Edgar Arceneaux, William Attaway, Milton Bowens, Dennis O. Callwood, Castillo, June Edmonds, Patrick "Pato" Hebert, Mildred Howard, Nery Gabriel Lemus, Samella Lewis, Dominique Moody, Andrés Montoya, John Outterbridge, Elliott Pinkney, José Ramírez, Favianna Rodríguez, Cindy Santos Bravo, Matthew Thomas, Timothy Washington, Carla Weber and Richard Wyatt.

Terreno en Común

La exposición Terreno en Común ha sido organizada por CAAM y está inspirada en La Presencia Africana en México: De Yanga al Presente, originada en el Museo Nacional de Arte Mexicano de Chicago, Illinois. Veintiún artistas afro-americanos y latinos presentan obra contemporánea que explora la complejidad de las relaciones entre gentes de piel negra y marrón en Los Angeles en concreto y en California en general.

Terreno en Común incluye pinturas, dibujos, collages, fotografías, grabados, vídeos, ensamblajes y obras de técnica mixta, creadas por artistas con una voz poderosa y directa que requiere una atención exclusiva, o que buscan una exploración artística que manifiesta lo inesperado dentro de lo familiar. También los hay más introvertidos, quienes favorecen el acercamiento entre los dos grupos de una forma meditativa, casi mística. La lista de artistas incluye a Edgar Arceneaux, William Attaway, Milton Bowens, Dennis O. Callwood, Castillo, June Edmonds, Patrick "Pato" Hebert, Mildred Howard, Nery Gabriel Lemus, Samella Lewis, Dominique Moody, Andrés Montoya, John Outterbridge, Elliott Pinkney, José Ramírez, Favianna Rodríguez, Cindy Santos Bravo, Matthew Thomas, Timothy Washington, Carla Weber y Richard Wyatt.

About the History of CAAM, visit

Location:  The California African American Museum (CAAM) is located in Exposition Park at the corner of Figueroa Street and Exposition Boulevard, west of the 110 (Harbor) Freeway. The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Sports Arena are adjacent to CAAM.

Hours of Operation for Museum Galleries:  Tuesday - Saturday 10:00am-5:00pm; Sunday 11:00am-5:00pm

Admission:  Free; parking - $6.00; for parking enter at 39th and Figueroa Streets; for map, directions to CAAM, visit


Museum hours on Saturday are 10 AM - 5 PM. Come early or stay after the discussion and visit the exhibits.

Cost : Free and open to the public; For reservations call (213) 744-2024. Parking is available for $6.

California African American Museum (CAAM)213-744-7432

Sponsor(s): , The California African American Museum. Information about non-ASC events is forwarded for informational purposes and does not necessarily reflect opinions of or endorsements by African Studies personnel.