Posted on June 5, 2022
The Latinx Arts Project/Carpinteria (Proyecto de Artes Latinx/Carpinteria), a grassroots group founded in 2022, will honor former students who attended Aliso Elementary School before school segregation ended in 1947.
The event commemorating the 75th anniversary of the desegregation of “Mexican-only” schools in California will take place from 5:30-6:30 p.m. on June 14 in the Aliso School Auditorium, 4545 Carpinteria Ave.
Before 1947, the Aliso school was reserved for “Mexicans only”. Although Carpinteria High School was integrated, few Mexican Americans graduated.
Americans of Mexican descent, born in the United States, were segregated in a number of schools across California before the landmark case, Menendez v. Westminster, integrated schools and “Mexican-only” schools banned in the Golden State.
The Latinx Arts Project/Carpinteria (LAP/Carpinteria) event will share plans for its Past, Present, Future mural project, which celebrates Latino culture and the history of Carpinteria. The organization will also unveil its new logo and release a short video. Visit www.latinxartsproject.org.
Former students ages 80 to 103, all born in California of Mexican descent, will attend the event and be honored. They include: Tomas Castelo, 80; Benito Villegas, 80; Lorenzo Martinez, 93; Salvador Campos, 95; and Josephine Villegas, 103.
Cinematographer Brent Winebrenner will show a short video featuring interviews with alumni.
LAP/Carpinteria will unveil its new logo, created by award-winning graphic designer/artist Larry Vigon and designed by Vigon with Cynthia Van Stein.
The Latinx Murals Project, co-founded by Suzanne Requejo and Leslie Westbrook, aims to create Latinx-themed murals in Carpinteria, where half of the town’s 15,000 residents are Latinx. More than 80% of Carpinteria Unified Public Schools students are Latinx.
The mural project is currently in the fundraising stage, Westbrook said. To donate, visit Go Fund Me https://www.gofundme.com/f/Latinix-Mural-Project-Carpinteria.
“Local artists will be invited to submit their design visions for consideration,” she said. “The result is intended to be both a vibrant visual testament to Carpinteria’s Latinx history and a way to bring all cultures together in our city.”
Guest speakers at the event will include Aliso School Principal Brett Weiberg; historian and former principal of Carpinteria’s main school, Jim Campos; Natalia Alarcon, member of the Carpinteria City Council; and Monica J. Solorzano, co-chair, Parents for Aliso.
In the 1930s and 1940s, the Aliso K-8 School provided showers for students in the Old Town and Hollywood sections of Carpinteria, as many of them lived in homes without indoor plumbing. The separate school was meant to be a funnel for this population into Carpinteria’s lemon industry: the workers needed for picking, packing, and shipping.
Carpinteria had two packing plants in town. The Carpinteria Mutual Citrus Association was “whites only” on the inside. Mutual Citrus became integrated during World War II. Labor shortage necessitated a change in their segregation policy inside the packinghouse during the war. Many women worked to wrap the lemons individually and package them for shipment.
On the other hand, CD Hubbard, founder of the CD Hubbard Fruit Company, liked the Latin American workforce and let Mexicans and Mexican Americans work inside the company’s packinghouse. .