Bringing Aztlan to Mexican Chicago is the autobiography of Jose Gamaliel Gonzalez, an impassioned artist willing to risk all for the empowerment of his marginalized and oppressed community. Through recollections emerging in a series of interviews conducted over a period of six years by his friend Marc Zimmerman, Gonzalez looks back on his life and his role in developing Mexican, Chicano, and Latino art as a fundamental dimension of the city he came to call home. Born near Monterey, Mexico, and raised in a steel mill town in northwest Indiana, Gonzalez studied art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Notre Dame. Settling in Chicago, he founded two major art groups: El Movimiento Artistico Chicano (MARCH) in the 1970s and Mi Raza Arts Consortium (MIRA) in the 1980s. With numerous illustrations, this book portrays Gonzalez's all-but-forgotten community advocacy, his commitments and conflicts, and his long struggle to bring quality arts programming to the city. By turns dramatic and humorous, his narrative also covers his bouts of illness, his relationships with other artists and arts promoters, and his place within city and barrio politics.
Jose Gamaliel Gonzalez is a Chicago-based artist and arts organizer. Marc Zimmerman teaches in the department of modern and classical languages at the University of Houston. His many books include U.S. Latino Literatures and Orbis/Urbis Latino: Los "Hispanos" en las ciudades de los Estados Unidos.