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Luis Valdez to speak at Chicano Graduation

STANFORD -- Luis Valdez, founder and artistic director of the internationally known El Teatro Campesino will be the keynote speaker at Chicano Graduation ceremonies at Stanford University Saturday, June 13.

Chicano Graduation ceremonies will run from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Kresge Auditorium. Chicano Graduation is a bilingual event for Chicano/Latino graduates and their families. During the ceremonies, student awards will be announced along with community awards given by the students.

Following the event will be a banquet featuring entertainment provided by mariachis and the Ballet Folklorico de Stanford.

Valdez founded the theater troupe El Teatro Campesino in 1965 during the Central Valley grape strike. Over the years, tours throughout the United States, Mexico and Europe have garnered critical acclaim and recognition including an Off-Broadway Obie Award in 1969 and Drama Critics Awards in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

A 1977 Rockefeller Foundation Artist in Residence grant enabled Valdez to create Zoot Suit, one of the most successful plays to originate in Los Angeles. Later, the motion picture version was nominated for a Golden Globe.

Valdez also directed the 1987 hit La Bamba, the story of seminal rock star Richie Valens, and has written and directed numerous other plays, motion pictures and television shows.

Valdez is a founding member of the California Arts Council and in 1990 received the Governor's Award. He holds honorary doctorates from his alma mater, San Jose State University, from the California Institute of the Arts and from Columbia College of Chicago.



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