Friday, September 25, 2009

Luis Fitch at Plains Art Museum

Plains Art Museum Presents
Day of the Dead Exhibition and Related Events

Fargo, ND – Plains Art Museum brings a full-size steamroller to its campus from 9 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 3 and Sunday, October 4. It will be driven over printing plates to create large prints in front of the Museum building. An exhibition of the work made called Day of the Dead: Latino Artists Create Steam Roller Prints opens October 8 in the Museum’s William and Anna Jane Schlossman Gallery and runs through January 3.

In collaboration with ArtOrg from Northfield, Minn., the work of Luis Fitch, Alexa Horochowski, Gustavo Lira, Doug Padilla, Maria Cristina Tavera and Xavier Tavera, all artists from Twin Cities Latino art collective Grupo Soap del Carazon, will be featured in the exhibition. The prints will be coupled with an ofrenda, an “alter-like” installation common in Day of the Dead tradition, made by artists Maria Cristina and Xavier Tavera.

Colleen Sheehy, the Museum’s director/CEO said, “This is a spectacular art-making event and exhibition you won’t want to miss. These artists have designed the print imagery based on Day of the Dead traditions. This annual Latino holiday is held in early November to honor the memories of people who have died, ranging from family and friends to public figures.”

Additional events in conjunction with the exhibition are:
· Youth Steamroller Printmaking events, 9 to Noon, Monday, October 5, at Red River Area Learning Center School, 1100 32nd Ave. S. Moorhead, Minn.; and 4 to 7 p.m. at Centro Cultural de Fargo-Moorhead, 1014 19th St. S. Moorhead.
· Day of the Dead Celebration Reception, Noon to 3 p.m., Saturday, November 7. The public is invited to observe Day of the Dead at the Museum with the unveiling of the ofrenda in the gallery; play loteria (Mexican bingo) with local artist Lana Suomala; listen to music by DJ Chris Molina of Suficiente Sound; and enjoy fiesta hors d’oeuvres and punch. The event is free.
· Fiesta de Mujeres (Celebration of Women), 6 to 9 p.m., Saturday, November 14. This Fiesta observes the 20th Anniversary Celebration of Mujeres Unidas (Women United). It includes a buffet dinner, mariachi band, folk dancers and Latina Awards presentation by Mujeres Unidas. The Fiesta is co-presented by Mujeres Unidas and Plains Art Museum and costs $5 per adult and $3 per child.

The exhibition is sponsored locally by Open Magazine and American Crystal Sugar and co-sponsored by the Mexican Consulate in St. Paul, Minn., in observance of the Bicentennial of Mexican Independence and the Centennial of the Mexican Revolution.

Plains Art Museum is located at 704 First Avenue North. It is accredited by the American Association of Museums and is a nonprofit, regional fine arts museum with plans to significantly expand its programs through its “Little artist in all of us” campaign. The campaign is raising funds for the Creativity Center for Lifelong Learning which includes the Fingerprints Interactive Education Gallery and working with Fargo Public Schools and other educational entities to build teaching studios. The campaign is also strengthening operations by enhancing the Museum’s endowment and visitor services. Museum programs are made possible, in part, by major funding from members of the Museum, The FUNd at Plains Art Museum, The McKnight Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature, the North Dakota Council on the Arts through an appropriation by the North Dakota State Legislature and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. More information is available at 701.232.3821 or at

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Luis Fitch presenting at UABC Annual Marketing Conference

Spanish language radio builds in Minnesota

Spanish language radio builds in Minnesota
by Marisa Helms, Minnesota Public Radio

Listen to feature audio You've got to work a little to hear Spanish language radio in the Twin Cities. There's a smattering of programs on community stations. But, if you know where to look, there are now two 24-hour Spanish language stations going head to head for listeners.
Minneapolis, Minn. — One station has dominated Twin Cities Spanish language radio for the past quarter century.
"This is Radio Rey, La Ley, 63WDGY Hudson, St. Paul, Minneapolis," booms a recorded ID spot. "Radio Rey. It's La Ley."
Guadalupe Gonzalez La Ley. That means "the Law." The standard.

Radio Rey, or "Radio King," is the creation of Guadalupe Gonzalez. He came to Minneapolis from Mexico in the early 1970s to work in a die casting factory, but says he fell into radio.

"You know, America," he says. "Everybody's got a chance. This should always make dreams for everybody."

Today, many call Gonzalez a pioneer, the godfather of Minnesota's Spanish language radio. Wearing his trademark grey fedora, Gonzalez says it's easy to understand the station's success and longevity.

"The people like it. Not because it's real professional, but because it's been so many years," he says. "Twenty-seven years service (to)the people. We got real country songs, just simple things. We don't do nothing way high."

DJ Nancy
Radio Rey broadcasts from a small storefront on East Lake St. in Minneapolis. The door to the cramped studio is not soundproof. Gonzalez simply walks in while DJ "Nancy" is on air, fielding calls during a dance concert giveaway.

"This girl's really good," he whispers. "This is where we do a lot of talking and this and that. And tricks."

Gonzalez plays Mexican regional music nearly all the time on his AM station. It's the sentimental favorite of his listeners, 90 percent of whom are from across Mexico.

Gonzalez is dismissive of competition. He says other Spanish language radio stations have tried to make it in the Twin Cities, but fail because their radio signal is too weak and they can't get the advertising revenue.

But now there's a new AM radio station just a mile away down Lake St. It's got lots of energy, money, and dreams of prying open Radio Rey's lock on the market.

It's called "La Invasora." The Invader.

Alberto Monserrate
Alberto Monserrate is president and CEO of Latino Communications Network, which owns La Invasora.

"One of the main reasons we use the name is because it was a popular name in Mexico, and most of our audience is from Mexico," he says. "But we did want to play a little bit with the concept of us invading the airways in the Twin Cities, and have a little fun with that, too. That's probably how the competition took it, that we were invading."

Observers say La Invasora could well give Radio Rey a run for its money and challenge its market dominance. That's largely because the station has a deep-pocket investor in New York. And, the station's owner also owns Minnesota's oldest and biggest Spanish language newspapers and magazines, including La Prensa and Gente de Minnesota.

Luis Fitch owns a design and marketing firm that helps corporate clients gain a foothold in the growing Latino consumer market.

"From an outsider, I think I would be really, really concerned with them," Fitch says. "What LCN offers, it's a complete package. If I was an advertiser, I would like to negotiate bigger packages than just radio. I would want to say, 'What else can you do for me?'" Luis Fitch It doesn't cost very much to advertise on Radio Rey and La Invasora: $100 to produce a one-minute ad, and then $40 to $50 each time it airs.

In the biggest markets in Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami or New York, you can't do anything for less than $200, and there's usually a requirement to buy multiple spots.

La Invasora's managers estimate the ad revenue for Minnesota's Spanish Language radio is about $1 million a year, but has the potential to grow to millions more as the market for Spanish language radio expands.

Marketing analyst Luis Fitch says advertisers who want to reach the Latino market should be interested in radio because it's hugely important to many Mexican immigrants living here.

Fitch says radio connects the community to cultural and political happenings, and many listen from when they wake up until they go to sleep at night. Fitch says most people listen four to six hours a day.

The majority of this target market are working at kitchens, at restaurants, they're working at hotels, they're gardeners, they're working on roofs. So they're always connected to radio.
- Luis Fitch, marketing analyst
"I'm going to generalize with this," Fitch says, "but the majority of this target market are working at kitchens, at restaurants, they're working at hotels, they're gardeners, they're working on roofs. And part of their entertainment is the radio. So they're always connected to radio. And radio's extremely, extremely important."

Given that listenership, it's not surprising the one thing both Radio Rey and La Invasora are focusing on is the current political situation.

As DJ El Vaquero talks to listeners about their favorite Mexican soccer teams from the La Invasora studio, Alberto Monserrate says the station is dealing with serious issues.

"It's usually the fun and games you're seeing now," he says. "But where we've really gotten the most response out of anything we've done is always been when we deal with the whole immigration issue."

Monserrate says his seven-month-old station was born with the current immigration rallies and recent boycott, called "A Day Without Immigrants." Both events aimed to raise the visibility of the economic and political muscle of Minnesota's Latinos.

Before the events this spring, Monserrate says station hosts exhorted listeners to show up and be heard at the demonstrations.

"It's a combination of something we felt we should do on the radio because it was very obvious that our listeners wanted it, and we felt we should be part of it ourselves," he says. "It's something our audience has responded like nothing else we've done."

La Invasora's competition, Radio Rey, also gave hours of airtime to promoting the rallies.

An estimated 30,000 people attended the April rally at the state Capitol. Many give Radio Rey and La Invasora credit for the big turnout.

The dominant English-language stations in the Twin Cities like KQRS and WCCO have little to fear from Radio Rey and La Invasora.

But Spanish language radio is undoubtedly a growing market. Clear Channel Communications has switched 33 of its stations nationwide to the Spanish language format. And the number one station in Los Angeles is all in Spanish.

Competition between Radio Rey and La Invasora is heating up. Radio Rey's owner, Guadalupe Gonzalez, recently learned his ratings are dropping. La Invasora, on the other hand, is talking about expanding its reach to the FM dial.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

ID Design for Life (Part 2) PBS TV

Life (Part 2) is an innovative PBS series by and about the whopping 26% of the American population who are 45 and older (and you know who you are).