Multicultural residents of San Diego showcase photos of their rites of passage in new exhibit
Opening August 29, this new arts exhibit showcases multicultural traditions of the residents of southeastern San Diego
Rites of Passage combines cultural treasures on loan from the vaults of The San Diego Museum of Art (SDMA), San Diego Museum of Man, and Mingei International Museum, alongside pieces showing the significance of passages over a lifetime that were donated by the multicultural residents of southeastern San Diego, which includes more than 20 different cultural groups.
Rites of Passage will run from August 29, 2012 through January 2013.
The CCCA is San Diego’s newest cultural arts venue and home to an innovative partnership between Balboa Park museums, residents of southeastern San Diego, and the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation (JCNI). This partnership was formed to address how to better connect this culturally rich community and the celebrated arts district of San Diego. Rites of Passage is the first exhibition born completely from this joint venture.
“This was uncharted territory with a lot of learning and discovery,” said Anamaria L. Cabato, a community resident and member of the CCCA Learning Partnership. “In a way, this exhibit brings down walls and cultivates relationships of respect and sensitivity between various cultures.”
Micah Parzen, CEO of the Museum of Man, said, “This process has been extraordinary. We are partnering with the community to help them do something that is meaningful to them and in a way that the museum community really could never accomplish on its own. It is the right way to create a true community partnership.”
Rites of Passage is organized to reflect four specific passages through life: Birth and Youth, Coming of Age, Identity and Status, and Death and Beyond. The items on display and the unique, yet universal, ways different cultures celebrate milestones will be accompanied by storytelling videos, photographs, hands-on workshops, and exciting programs.
“This is the story of who we are as a people across the globe,” said Lisette Islas, Director of Community Organizing for JCNI, the non-profit organization supporting the exhibit in partnership with The Legler Benbough Foundation. “This exhibit illustrates that the treasures that mark the passage of time don’t just matter to us, they matter to the world.”
Examples of what guests will discover are a Sudanese community member’s story of how his culture uses a scarring ceremony to mark a boy’s passage into manhood, an indigenous Mexican xilonen (corn maiden) outfit that denotes a young girl’s coming of age, a display of wedding attire and traditions from different cultures, Zulu and Ndebele aprons used during pregnancy, baby carriers from Indonesia, a war shirt from the Blackfoot peoples of North America, a coconut grater used by Chamorro children when they begin contributing to the family, and many more.
“The exhibit represents six continents,”
The CCCA has hosted four shows all taking place within this new arts space in southeastern San Diego: Young Art, a youth arts exhibit with SDMA; Bold Expressions:
To learn more about Rites of Passage and the Center for Community & Cultural Arts, visit the website at CommunityAndCulturalArts.com.