This North Texas Art Collective Is Representing For Latinos

Podcasts, parties and art shows are how this collective hopes to give voice the Latin community in North Texas and beyond.

By Hady MawajdehDecember 5, 2017 9:30 am, , ,

When you listen to Eva Arreguin and Rafael Tamayo chop it up on their podcast – “De Colores Radio,” you’re no longer just walking the dog or sitting at the bus stop. Instead, you’re in a room with a couple of good friends. And y’all are talking about Selena.

But the podcast isn’t just about pop culture or celebrities. The hosts reflect on national news and politics. They interview local artists and community advocates. And they debate whether conchas or empanadas are the best sort of pan dulce. It’s all through the lens of what it’s like to be a Latino experiencing life in North Texas.

“Oh my god we all feel like we’re choking,” says Eva Arreguin. She’s talking about how she feels as a Latin woman in north Texas. “We have to do something, because we need to have our voices heard.”

Arreguin is 23 years-old. She works at the education non-profit Big Thought, connecting children with arts programming. But when she’s not doing that, she’s working on the ‘De Colores Radio’ podcast.

“There’s a huge Latino, or LatinX, population here,” Arreguin says. “And you don’t see much of it represented as far as power, media or any of that stuff goes.”

Arreguin and her sister Pat Arreguin  are north Texas natives. They grew up in Grand Prairie. And they attended school at the University of North Texas in Denton. And they say that it blows their mind that despite the significant number of Latinos in the region that they’re not seen or heard from in the media.

“So I really was like, ‘We need to have something here. We’re present here. We need to be seen, heard, felt… all of it,’” Arreguin says.

The Arreguin sisters both studied media and Latino culture in college. And that’s where the idea for “De Colores Radio” was born. But after school, neither of them was really in the position to just up and start a podcast.

Both women began working at the Oak Cliff Cultural Center, Eva leading art projects with kids, Pat helping staff  plan events. And that’s where they met Rafael Tamayo, who manages the center. Together, they launched the podcast eight months ago.

The three consider themselves a sort of arts collective. They throw parties and curate themed art shows that champion causes like the Black Lives Matter Movement.

“Whatever it is that drives you or that you love to do in a way that says ‘I’m expressing myself in my most honest and trues form,’ we’re here to let you know that we’re supportive of it,” says Tamayo.

The collective’s home base is the Oak Cliff Cultural Center. Tamayo’s also an actor, a rapper, and a co-founder of the annual Sneaker Expo – KIXPO. He grew up near Uptown, back when the area was known as “Little Mexico.” He’s seen what it looks like for a city to change and for minorities to be pushed aside. Art changed his life.

“The reason I didn’t end up like some of my closest friends and family who made the biggest mistakes in their lives,” says Tamayo, “was because I had these art outlets. And so I was able to navigate my way through life through these expressive forms that I discovered.”

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