VAPA: Intro. Letter

Program Development

The development of innovative programs that integrate VAPA have been a natural outgrowth of my life’s work in the arts and education. My major concern has been to facilitate venues to inspire critical thinking and creativity through discovery in learning that is at once fun and challenging. The programs I have developed range from long-term outreach programs to weeklong conferences integrating the international community with our universities and public schools. All programs required budgets, schedule coordination, communication systems, media contacts and publicity, and needs assessments and program evaluations.


While at UCLA, I facilitated master dance classes and lecture-demos focusing on the work of major dance innovators Jose Limon and Anna Sokolow, and was a co-founder and co-director of UCLA’s 1st Annual Mexican Arts Symposium. I also co-founded and co-directed an educational outreach program entitled Music, Movement, and Media Arts Project interfacing UCLA’s College of Fine Arts, Santa Monica/Malibu Unified School District, local businesses, and the community to provide much needed services and experiences in the arts to 2nd language and special education students.


I have worked with the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art as a coordinator/instructor to public school teachers from San Diego County in week long in-services for two years on effective ways and issues regarding integrating the arts into the core curriculum. This course challenged educators to consider the tremendous power of the arts in their own lives and society in general, and how creative infusion of the arts in all aspects of the curriculum can stimulate both students and teachers equally in particular. This program incorporated the experience of music-making to enlighten aspects of math, the process of drawing and the use of the visual arts to stimulate and motivate positive writing and reading experiences, the creativity of theater to experience the potential and possibilities inherent in the social and physical sciences, and the power and physicality of dance as a creative form of expression without the written or spoken language to expand on units in language arts. I also developed and presented similar weeklong programs for SDUSD’s BECA teacher interns (Bilingual Education Certification Alternatives), to inspire and educate future teachers about the importance of integrating the arts into the core curriculum.


I have created community dance ensembles that have developed into performing ballet companies including: the Lanuza Brothers Mexican Folkloric and International Ballet Companies, including flamenco. In Los Angeles I was involved with a non-profit theater organization named “Teatro Primavera”, providing programs and services to communities with Guillermo “Chino” Loo- a UCLA theater arts director. I have attended and volunteered for local, national and international educational conferences for students advocacy groups such as MEChA and BSU through UCLA and SDSU. I have also worked directly with church groups in developing musicals, choirs and special services and events such as summer VAPA and Bible camps through the following churches: The Good Shepherd Family Bible Church in Los Angeles with Pastor Samuel Gamboa; the United Methodist Church in San Carlos with Reverend Green, and more recently with Horizon Christian Fellowship (Mike McIntosh and Rob Glickman) and Apostolic Churches. I have presented numerous special assemblies and programs in LAUSD, SM/MUSD and SDUSD organizing activities, chairing community meetings, planning productions, and implementing projects through Title VII CETA funds, university-sponsored organizations, and corporate sponsorships.

Educational Technology & Computer Use

I have taught numerous courses on educational technology throughout Southern California for several years to both teachers and students at both the college and K12 levels mainly using it to enhance data analyses, research documents, and for organizing office business in general, and for MIDI-A/V applications in particular. I also understand online courses and the need to address a global audience inclusive of diversity in learning styles, cultural backgrounds and experiences. This is why courses need to be free of cultural bias, representative of a diverse population with adequate feedback mechanisms in place, and receptive to learning environments that promote openness and freedom to communicate with the professor. Courses need to reinforce enthusiasm for a student’s contributions and participation by engaging them to reciprocate their interests, strengths, and vision for class, and continue this engagement by posting regular messages to increase their involvement. I conduct pre and post test of all my students to ascertain their abilities and what they need to know in order to be successful in class. I design courses with clear expectations for student outcomes culminating with grades based on rubrics designed with activities, resources, and tasks to engage the students in exposing them to the possibilities while maintaining a certain level of sophistication to achieve mastery in their expected outcomes. Once I design the concept, I work backwards in establishing the kind of learning activities (lectures/readings/case studies/onsite visits/projects/lesson plans…), and the type of support students need, for example- posting sample lesson plans on the course website, having discussions with them through synchronized online discussions via microphones mounted on headsets, tapping into a chat box where a one-at-a-time presentation type of format would be used, and of course having hybrid lecture-online sessions.


I have many examples of using technology in the classroom and have given several presentations in diverse arenas such as: MOCA, SDUSD, IAC, SDSU, and more recently at the Computer Using Educators (CUE) conference. I use PDA’s, 160 gig i-Pods, MAC and WIN laptops, visual and audio projectors, diverse keyboards, rack modules, and synthesizers, laser pointers, cell phones, the internet, podcasts, DVD’s and CD’s, e-mail, and hyperlinks to teach multiple subjects and to integrate academics with the arts. I have designed and taught a MIDI Music Production program course to prepare students for a potential career in music studio production and related occupations. I have provided students with a broad base of knowledge in MIDI, GarageBand, ProTools, MOTU/DP6, and other Digital Audio Workstations (DAW) including sampling, sequencing, and synthesis. Final student products are CD’s, DVD’s, performances, compositions and written assessments. During the student walkouts a local magazine solicited a lesson plan from me that, though it was not published, was disseminated throughout school districts by classroom teachers. This lesson plan had several multi-media hyperlinks, an MP3, and internet visuals as an example of how teachers can use technology in their lesson plans.


Some of the equipment that I own and use to teach and perform includes:

DP6/MOTU828mk3, XT-MIDI, 24i, ProTools LEII, ADAT/DAT/CD mastering capabilities, AudioDesk, Finale, MacBook Pro with Leopard, MAC G4 Dual Tower, i-Mac, Korg OASYS-88 and Korg Triton Extreme 88 sampler-sequencer-synthesizer workstations, Hammond XK-2 and Hammond B-3 organs with a Leslie 122, Korg Karma Workstation, Korg 01Wfd Workstation, Roland XP-30, E-mu Carnaval rack system, Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-770, Alesis SR-16, Alesis Sumo 300, 2-Peavey KB300 systems, 4-Mackie SR active speaker systems and 2-Mackie SR sub-woofers, Panasonic Digital Camcorder (0-lux) and digital cameras, cable internet/CDR, DAW’s, f/x processors, Behringer mixer boards, and other rack-mounted systems and peripheral A/V equipment.


I understand from a practical practitioner's experience how A/V systems and educational technology work in and out of the classroom. I appreciate them as necessary tools and equipment to be installed in all classrooms, implemented into daily instructional strategies, and personnel training to be ongoing in order to optimize its use for both instructional and learning activities and lessons. I also understand the importance of educational technology for administrators as a necessary tool for research, documentation, quantifying information, creating data bases, presenting information to the staff, producing PowerPoint presentations and other multi-media productions, and for staying organized and in touch with the latest research-based strategies and information.

Professional Activities, Publications, and Awards in both Academia and the Arts (VAPA)

A publication entitled “Transgressive Discourse of Resistance and Possibility” the 2nd monograph of the Bicultural Studies in Education Project at Claremont Graduate University, edited by Dr. Antonia Darder, included a chapter from my dissertation entitled, “The Politics of Magnet Schools: A Case Study of an Urban School District”. My dissertation entitled “Racial Isolation, Educational Equity, and the Right to Equal Access: The Carlin Case and School Integration” was published in the fall of 2008 by VDM in Germany and is available worldwide under the ISBN #978-3-639-07329-4. During my summers with SDCOE’s Migrant Education Program, I was inspired to write and dedicate to the migrant farm worker population a book-musical entitled “The Desert Rose”, the 2nd work from a work-in-progress trilogy entitled “Máscaras Mexicanas: Past-Present-Future”. The overture, music, songs, lyrics, arrangements, and thematic material are orchestrated and have been recently recorded with vocals.


I have collaborated with dance, video, film, and theater producers, directors, writers, visual/media artists and choreographers on innovative projects as composer, musician, and musical director. I created original musical scores for the feature-length Academy-Award nominated documentary “In the Name of the People”, a film and TV special entitled “1492- Revisited” with Dr. Paul Espinosa, and innovative laser-generated animation features nightly in Westwood’s outdoor theater for the Los Angeles Olympic Arts Festival. In live theater I created an original score for a UCLA production of “The Legend of Pancho Diablo”, and worked extensively with Sam Woodhouse, Doug Jacobs and many visiting playwrights/directors at the San Diego Repertory Theatre to create and produce original musical scores for some of their most innovative theatrical productions including:

“Quinceanera/Sweet 15”, “Don Quixote”, “da Kink in my Hair”, “So, Here’s the Thing”, “Corridos- Remix”, “Marriage is Forever”, “Thin Air- Tales of a Revolution”, “Orinoco”, and “Man of the Flesh”. Other productions where I was the Music Director, multi-key-boardist/music producer include: “Christmas Carole” (multiple productions), “6 Women With Brain Death or Expiring Minds Want To Know”, “Suds: The Rocking ’60’s Musical Soap Opera”, “Are You Lonesome Tonight”, “Burning Patience”, and “Dracul”. I have also worked as MD at other theaters for the following shows: “Songs for a New World” (USD), Limonade Tous les Jours” (Charles L. Mee, Moxie Theater), “Zafra: Flamenco-Jazz” (Antonio Vargas), “A Time for Change: American Chemical Society” (Copley Hall), “London Is Calling My Name: The British Invasion Musical” (’60’s Rock Musical), “Antonio Vargas Dance Theater: Flamenco Mosaic” (SD-SCPA), “Christmas Cantata with Horizon Ministries” (Copley Hall), “She Loves Me” (Lambs Players), “Dixie Highway” (Hahn Cosmopolitan Theater), “The Pastorela” (S.D. Old Globe), “Teatro Primavera” (L.A.), “The Crucifixion” (Canada), and “The Fanlights/Los Soles Truncos” (S.D. Old Globe).


Bands and band leaders I have played in/for include Tito Puente, Poncho Sanchez, Mongo Santamaria, El Chicano, Little Richard, Buddy Miles, Changing Times, The Emergency Exit, Johnny Nelson, Johnny Martinez and His Salsa Machine, and several other bands on TV, radio, video and stage productions. I am also a professional flamenco dancer and master Mexican folklorist, play the alto saxophone, am a flute collector, and enjoy playing acoustic Latin-jazz piano music and heavy synthesizer-based rock music. I am currently completing a musical-style CD entitled “Ace of Gold” about the life of a legendary Mexican hero Emiliano Zapata that was originally commissioned by San Diego’s Old Globe Theater. “Conversations with My Father” (CWMF) a Latin-Jazz/acoustic original-music CD promo-package was released at a major benefit concert for the city of Escondido at the California Center for the Performing Arts in 2003 and I am currently completing CWMF-2. Some of my musical contributions in L.A. are published in “Barrio Rhythms – 1940-1980” by Dr. Steven Loza at UCLA. During the fall of 2008 I completed a new commercial Latin-pop CD entitled “Arranca!”, a collection of 12 new songs featuring my daughter Celeste on vocals, and am currently completing “Arranca! 2”.