The Center for Latin American Visual Arts (CLAVA) is a multidisciplinary arts center designed to serve as a regional catalyst for the preservation, development and promotion of Latino and Hispanic culture through the arts. CLAVA presents Latino artists working in the visual and performing arts, film, and literature in addition to supporting local artists and art organizations that celebrate Latino culture.

OUR MISSION: "To inspire, educate & enrich the Latino community in Chattanooga through art programs that enhance the importance of the Latino heritage and promotes pride as well as serve as a platform for local full-time and part-time Latino artists."

Our community and our children deserve guidance and education to develop pride for their heritage and collaboratively to improve their communities and society misconceptions. Resources are limited to the Latino community when seeking information of their ancestries therefore stakeholders must invest. Since the successful raising of our collective Latino youth is society's most fundamental even indispensable task, we are all stakeholders.

 

A community follows the value and passions of its members; each Latino community’s approach and methods are different but have one thing in common, pride for their heritage. Immersing ourselves in greater Chattanooga’s Latino community over the past six years, facilitated us to discover several forms and strategies for effectively involvement in collaborative works to develop CLAVA as a hub for the Latino community. CLAVA will successfully develop coalitions among local Latino businesses, schools with high Latino population, other cultural and art centers, the City of Chattanooga Office of Multicultural Affairs and museum stakeholders. These organizations frameworks our mission and vision of collaboration and community involvement.

 

CLAVA staff members will provide supportive educational programs to broad community and the smaller site-based communities, including partner and resource development, recruitment and matching strategies, ongoing art workshops for cultural appreciation, effective resourceful tools, and methods to gather and distribute information for new initiatives.

 

Although the primary focus is our Latino community, CLAVA will profoundly impact its African American, Asian American, European American and other communities as the Latino culture encompasses all. Adults who anchor our educational art programs will benefit in similar ways and to a similar degree as their children in terms of understanding their own culture, exploring facts about their culture, experiencing real diversity up close and personal through educational Q & A, and gaining knowledge through the arts. Moreover, the Latino community will become more engaged in the broader Chattanooga community and learn to embrace and meet other cultures otherwise would not encounter. These skills can be categorized as leadership skills and community-building experiences which are not always developed in the classroom.

 

Business professionals, community leaders and other influential Latino leaders can assist to increase our audiences capabilities and find a way to connect with our Latino community and support art programs and other cultural community events. Local businesses, cultural organizations, schools, and the Office of Multicultural Affairs will be given time-efficient options for sharing the world of heritage pride and research by providing support. Our entire community is strengthened and uplifted through a wide collaboration sharing CLAVAs mission.

 

We believe in openness. Different people see things from different perspectives and through their own filters and experiences. As such, it is important for our Latino community to learn about their heritage. Our programs will be open to assist the Latino community with their questions and thoughts about their ancestry and heritage, whether it is to improve their knowledge and understanding. CLAVA will have a comfortable and educational policy in terms of staff and educational art programs where the Latino community is welcome to propose new ideas to help in their growth. Only through such a culture of openness can we maximize the creativity and value of our community.

 

Due to such open engagement and interaction with the Latino community, we will create educational programs and solutions to existing questions. This provides CLAVA the ability to enhance and improve on what we are offering and to differentiate. Only then can we stay current with cultural and art events

and activities.

Alex Paul Loza 

Co-Founder and Executive Director

Alex Paul Loza is a visual artist with over 15 years of experience in the arts. Loza earned his BFA degree from Chicago's American Academy of Art were he trained in the classical academic painting and sculpting disciplines.

In 2016 he was awarded the Latino Leadership award from La Paz Chattanooga for his leadership and contributions in the Latino community. Most notably, Loza has committed himself to his community through a number of endeavors, including serving on boards such as the Advisory Committee for “Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art” exhibit at the Hunter Museum of American Art with its collection drawn entirely from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, member of the Latin American Advisory Committee for the Hunter Museum of American Art, member of RESUD a South American Contemporary realist artists group based in Lima, Peru. Today, Loza continues to engage with his community through public art and cultural events. 

Jocelyn Avendano-Loza

Co-Founder and Community Relations Director

Jocelyn combines her extensive marketing expertise, strategic methodologies, and personable communicative style to not only deliver successful results for her marketing clients, she also combines her passion of community building and philanthropy for CLAVA.

Raised in Chicago, IL, Jocelyn received her Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Foreign Languages and her Master Degree in Marketing. Jocelyn is the founder of the only Hispanic marketing agency in Chattanooga, Hoopla Marketing Now. 

 

Jocelyn is committed to her community through a number of endeavors, including serving on the board for the Office of Multicultural Affairs for the City of Chattanooga and committees for the Greater Chattanooga Colon Cancer Foundation and Chattanooga Women's Leadership Institute.

 

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© 2019 by Alex Paul Loza. All images are property of the artist.