Conference on US-Mexican Issues Caps Off Term
In late May and early June, the Latin American Institute put on a conference addressing issues of policy in U.S.-Mexican relations and sponsored a classical music concert benefitting the UCLA Mexican Arts series, along with other events.
Near the close of the 2008 spring quarter, the UCLA Latin American Institute sponsored public events highlighting Mexico's relationship with the United States and its important place in the performing arts. UCLA faculty members contributed to both events.
A May 30 conference on U.S.-Mexico Transborder Issues brought major figures from Mexican politics and academia to discuss U.S. and Mexican policies on immigration, energy, higher education, and monetary and fiscal issues. Well over 100 visitors and UCLA students filled a conference room in Covel Commons for the day's speeches, presentations, and question-and-answer sessions.
In a speech looking towards a post-petroleum era, Porfirio Muñoz Ledo, a leader of the Mexican political left who advised the unsuccessful presidential campaign of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, rejected calls to speed the production and exportation of what remains of Mexico's oil. José Ángel Pescador Osuna, a former minister of education, sounded the alarm about slow progress in the internationalization of Mexico's system of higher education. UCLA's David Hayes-Bautista shared data on the little-discussed decline in immigration as a factor in the growth of Mexican and Latino populations in the United States, and discussed political and other consequences of the shifts. In all, more than 20 prominent scholars participated in the series of forums.
Three days of music-related events June 4–6 culminated on the final evening at the Walt Disney Concert Hall with a performance by the Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra, led by Maestro Enrique Diemecke, with proceeds benefitting the Mexican Arts Series at UCLA. The Los Angeles debut of the Mexican Philharmonic featured music by 20th-century composers Carlos Chávez, Arturo Márquez, José Pablo Moncayo and Silvestre Revueltas and the premiere of UCLA Professor Steven Loza’s América Tropical. The piece was interpreted by Los Ángeles Opera mezzo-soprano Suzanna Guzmán and accompanied by a narrative and multimedia imagery created by UCLA Professors José Luís Valenzuela and Judy Baca.
On June 4 and 5, José Antonio Robles Cahero, a musicologist at Centro Nacional de Investigación, Documentación, e Información Musical (CENIDIM), gave talks on contemporary musical trends in Mexico and the country's history of musical innovation. For the second discussion, offered as background for the June 6 concert, he was joined by Eugenio Delgado, composer and director at CENIDIM.