an interview with Mrs. Dominguez
Patricia Dominguez, Pilsen resident and President of Carlos Theatre Productions, is a proud supporter of Yollocalli. She often makes monetary and in-kind donations and attends nearly every event! Below is an interview with Mrs. Dominguez by Fabian Vasquez.
Left to right: Fabian Vasquez, Patricia Dominguez, Vanessa Sanchez, Brenda Hernandez, Miguel Aguilar
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I was born and raised in Chicago, and my parents were from Mexico City. I went to UIC where I got my BA and then my masters at Roosevelt University where I studied Spanish literature and writing.
After helping my friend to promote her play, almost 22 years ago, I saw the need for children’s theater. So, I started writing and producing plays with children, and performing at festivals.
Then I became a puppeteer. I wrote a few stories- one on nutrition and hygiene, one on the history of music, another on reading- that I did for the Children’s Museum and eventually played in Mexico; some even won awards.
Then I started doing workshops for parents and children: encouraging parents to make art, and teaching them to learn to read to their children using puppets. It has always been a big passion for me.
Were you exposed to the arts as a child?
Yes. Not only painting and fine arts, but theater and dancing, everything! I was very active and they kept me busy. It has always been important to me.
I’m an orphan, and it was my foster mother, my mother, a single parent, who gave me all of this love and love for the arts and nature. It’s the same thing that Yollocalli does. Our community comes from hard situations, but here it’s a family and that makes a difference. They give art and knowledge and awareness that there is something else out there.
How did you hear about Yollocalli?
I’ve lived in Pilsen for almost 60 years. I have been a huge supporter of the National Museum of Mexican Art since it opened. And when Yollocalli opened, as an extension of the museum, I was supportive. I just loved the passion of the young people.
Why do you give so much to Yollocalli youth?
Working in children’s theater for the last twenty years, I have seen the decline of the arts, and art supplies, and music in all the schools. Money is becoming more limited. It’s very sad. When I see programs like Yollocalli, when I see the passion of the teachers and the personnel, and the students, it gives me more passion. That’s why I give. You can see how art influences our children and our youth. Its important what Yollocalli gives to our community; it’s a great hope.
I also own an art gallery. So when I help out for Yollocalli’s closing exhibitions, I understand the importance of these events. There is an excitement and an awareness that the young artist has, he has to explain his art, he must socialize, be articulate, and that is very important for young artists who show their work to be able to do this. This is an important thing that Yollocalli teaches without really teaching.
What would you like to see next for Yollocalli?
I know you might feel fear of losing the building, but there are people in the community- art galleries, churches, cafes- who will reach out to help you. Maybe the satellite programs will open the doors to new programming. You will still do good and I know everyone will want to help you.
What else do I want to see next? Obviously, you are already doing a great job expanding, adding more classes and helping more youth. I would like to see more grants, and more awareness in the community. I know what you do, but I would like my neighbor to know what you do, and the whole community!
Thank you Mrs. Dominguez for your love & support!