OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Latino playwright to speak on education

11/08/2005

CORVALLIS, Ore - Latino playwright and director Luis Valdez will offer his views on education in a talk at Oregon State University beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 15.

Free and open to the public, Valdez's presentation, "21st Century Education: Accounting for the Past and the Future," will be held in the university's LaSells Stewart Center.

Valdez directed the 1987 film "La Bamba," which chronicled the life of singer Ritchie Valens, as well as the 1982 film "Zoot Suit," focusing on the zoot-suit riots of 1940's Los Angeles.

Born in Delano, Calif. and growing up as a migrant farmworker, Valdez urges students to impart creativity, passion and determination into their drive for education.

Valdez is the founder and artistic director of the Teatro Campesino, a theatrical troupe founded on the strike lines during California's 1965 table grape strike. He created "actos" or short skits performed to dramatize the cause of the farmworkers.

He is a council member of the National Endowment of the Arts, and a founding member of the California Arts Council. In 1984, he was awarded a National Medal of the Arts.

Valdez's visit is part of the OSU Convocations and Lectures series. The Convocations and Lectures Committee hosts three to four major speakers each year intended to broaden the intellectual and spiritual knowledge of the community. In the past the committee has brought such speakers as Doris Kearns Goodwin, Michael Moore, Ray Suarez, Winona LaDuke and Anita Hill to the region.