Our VoiceCulture

Media Mavens in the Making

George Garza • Jul 16, 2009

Embarking on a journey too grand to be considered a simple tour, my friends in Karma, along with fellow local musician Kim Cotton of the band Verity, and community organizer/ artist Stef Cmielewski of SACraftMafia make a triumphant trek northward to Detroit, Michigan. The group will convene with myself and leader of Texas Media Empowerment Project Deanne Cuellar to represent our Local 782 at the 2009 Allied Media Conference this weekend.

The immense implication of these individuals uniting to raise funds in hopes of spreading awareness of our coalition, our city’s music scene, and the depth of our movement beyond state borders and across the Midwest only strengthens my spirits as I continue to defend that San Antonio is bursting at the seams with creative class ambition.

With stops from Dallas and Houston through New Orleans and up to Chicago and Detroit itself, this troupe not only intends to deliver an aural assault of diverse proportions and deep lyrical messages, these artists also carry with them a cause beyond their own. The voyagers planned to use the performances along the way as opportunities to educate audiences about the ongoing battle to shut down the T. Don Hutto facility. (For background, feel free to read my blog “Music for Children Behind Bars“)

The mission began after a San Antonio visit by Jenny Lee, Program Director of Allied Media Projects, and Detroit emcee supreme Invincible. The two AMC organizers invited Local 782 to participate in what by several accounts is the most enjoyable and captivating retreat for today’s media justice advocates. Their words uplifted many, though it became clear that attending the conference was a reality few would be fortunate enough to experience.

Here we are, months later, and while after one-by-one our Detroit hopefuls had to bow out of the trip, the remaining group involved have fought solid adversity and have never looked back. Considering the present shaky situation with our local, national, and global economy, finding financial support has been difficult to say the least. Caution to the wind, my friends left San Antonio uncertain how the trip would pan out, in good faith that the universe would provide them the avenues by which this landmark event would come to pass, trusting that THIS IS DESTINY.

As I close, the sun has set here in Detroit, the water is calm outside my suite, and I await mi familia. I am confident that upon our return home, after what is sure to be a life-changing bath in a wealth of knowledge, we will be reaffirmed in our vision, and like video game characters who have “leveled-up”, we will be prepared to face bigger challenges as an undeniable relentless army of positive change.



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