And this year’s award goes to:…

Tomás Benitez will be the 2019 Lummis Day “Noisemaker Award” honoree at the Lummis Day Community Foundation’s annual fundraiser dinner on Saturday, April 6, 6:30 pm-10:00 pm at the Highland Park Ebell Club, 131 South Avenue 57 in Highland Park.

 About the honoree:

Tomás Benitez has been an advocate of Chicano/Latino arts and culture more than 40 years. Currently he serves as Grants Manager for Plaza de la Raza Cultural Center for the Arts and Education, founded by Margo Albert in 1970. Benitez has served as a consultant to the Smithsonian Institute, the President’s Council for the Arts, The National Endowment for the Arts, the University of Notre Dame, USC, UCLA, the Mexican Fine Art Center Museum, Chicago, and the California Arts Council. He has lectured in Berlin, Mexico City, London, Glasgow, Tel Aviv, and Pretoria South Africa, as well as numerous cultural centers, major institutions and universities throughout the United States on Chicano art and culture.

On the board of Californians for the Arts and California Arts Advocates, Tomás is a founding member of The Latino Arts Network of California (LAN) and a former Commissioner for the County of Los Angeles Arts Commission, in the 1st District. Recently, he has been writing an online, ongoing saga The Gully about his home life in East Los Angeles. Several of his East Los Angeles stories were published by Blue Heron in an anthology of new American fiction. Currently he is editing two collections of writing for publication this year.

The “Noisemaker Award,” is named in reverence to the famous entertainments held by Charles Lummis for writers, artists and dignitaries in his Northeast Los Angeles home. The award is presented to a person whose work and contributions to the community are consistent with the mission of the Lummis Day Community Foundation, ‘to celebrate the arts, history and ethnic diversity of Northeast Los Angeles through educational and cultural events and to promote cooperation among people of all ages and backgrounds.' Previous honorees have been former Los Angeles councilmember Ed Reyes; playwright, filmmaker and actor Richard Montoya; literary journalist and best-selling novelist Hector Tobar; local artist and activist Amy Inouye; and, community activist and Southwest Museum champion, Ann Walnum.