NEW VIDEO SERIES: The Front Porch Sessions

A central part of Los Cenzontles Academy’s mission over the past 30-years has been to expand the range of possibilities and expectations—historically kept stagnant by most public institutions—for youth and families living in a largely Mexican-American community. Cultivating inner strength and resilience in young students has always been a chief aim of the methods employed by our teachers.  Weeks ago, we moved our Academy classes online, and provided virtual instruction at no cost to students and their families and avoiding discontinuity in our instruction has provided critical reassurance and stability to youth and parents alike.

The Front Porch Sessions occupy a place in this larger effort to address the impacts of the current public health threat and restrictions on social gathering on a community that is particularly vulnerable to the health and economic impacts of Covid-19. Los Cenzontles has long worked hand in hand with families to support youth, and along with the move to virtual instruction, Los Cenzontles shifted its teaching focus toward building and training family bands.

With the aim of demonstrating how sharing culture and art can strengthen connections within families, even during this time of great anxiety and disorientation, Los Cenzontles Founder and Executive Director Eugene Rodriguez, along with several of the Academy’s teachers, ventured out with the film crew—donning face masks and observing social distancing—and filmed the families singing, playing, and dancing together in front of their homes. The Front Porch Sessions turned that sacred place between their private and public lives into a performance arena to demonstrate their skills, cultural expression, joy and resilience.

You can watch a trailer for the Front Porch Series by clicking here. And to watch each of the seven videos, visit Los Cenzontles Academy’s Facebook page.