madmedia's annual art party puts the fun in fundraising

Madmedia began in 1998 when founding member Elijah Rios premiered his multi-media performance piece, Max the Monster, at Jump-Start Theater. Rios and the actors formed such a bond

click to enlarge culture_madmedia_330jpg
Past madmedia productions include the provacative play, Jotos del Barrio, which established Jump-Start attendance records in 2002. File photo by Mark Greenberg
during rehearsal that they committed themselves to work together on future projects.

"Although our mission statement has changed over the years, our guiding principle has always been collaboration among all disciplines of art, including music, spoken word, performance art, visual art, and any other medium," says long-time member Paul Pfeiffer.

The group has worked with over 250 San Antonio artists and organizations since its inception. Its first major production, Pocho/a!, an evolving performance piece that examines cultural identity in America, debuted at Jump-Start in June 1999, and garnered such critical and public praise that it returned the following year for two lengthier runs. Madmedia established Jump-Start attendance records with its 2002 production of Jotos del Barrio. The organization collaborated with the Guadalupe Theater to produce CineRevolución in 1999, a film festival that featured short, contemporary Latino films. Most impressively, several dozen madmedia members worked at the downtown YMCA for years, introducing youngsters to a variety of artistic mediums and giving them an opportunity to experiment on their own.

Unfortunately, madmedia's programming doesn't come with corporate sponsorship. Not willing to stand around bookstores harassing innocent customers, madmedia decided to raise funds by throwing

First Friday, May 2
$7 adults, $10 minors
River Walk South Arts Complex
347 Blue Star
annual art parties. In April 1999, the first fundraising party showcased the variety of talent the organization had attracted. Although the event was a relatively low-budget affair - held in a South Side backyard with a makeshift wooden stage, some roasted corn, and a couple of kegs - it was hugely successful, thanks to the participating artists, bands, and DJs.

This year, madmedia will take over a couple of warehouses at the River Walk South Arts Complex at Blue Star. Six bands (including Pistola and Sexto Sol), a dozen DJs (including Klassen, Simple Love, and Dish 1), and more than 20 visual and performing artists will showcase their talents during the nine-hour event. There will be works from Alex Rubio, Vincent Valdez, Cruz Ortiz, and Juan Miguel Ramos, and a performance by poet Amalia Ortiz.

"The manifesto is our one big fundraiser, and hopefully we will raise enough money to fund our projects in the upcoming year," says madmedia member Maria Ibarra. Future plans include another encore performance of Pocho/a! Ideally, madmedia manifesto IV will raise enough funds to support this and new productions. This is SA's chance to support the arts, and what better way to do so than to admire some paintings, dance to some music, and munch on some roasted corn. •

More by Jason Gossard



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