The Guadalupe Board doesn't distribute board agendas or reports to the public, so there's no way for me to give you details, but I will uplink the video from the meeting this weekend on the vlog.
About fifty people in the audience, very orderly. In other words, nobody threw chingazos. Two policemen watching us.
There were seven boardmembers, two new ones - both business types. No artists. As usual, they sat around a table facing each other - not the audience. Falta de respeto, and it was pointed out at the meeting.
From Juan F. Aguilera, the Board Chairman, who actually turned to the audience halfway through the boardmeeting and made a short speech. Here are some excerpts:
"If you hear things out there that the board doesn’t care, wants to destroy, I’ve instructed them [not to talk to the public] and they’re honoring the request... I’ve been concerned that our funders are being notified.
I had a meeting with Councilwoman Patti Radle, very important, nice [meeting].
At the end of the day the people that are gonna be hurt are our employees and our community.
I’m very concerned with our employees...there’s not a conspiracy there’s a lot of information but the information is not supposed to be coming from this board, this group.
[These are]privacy matters and you would not want anyone to be talking. [I assume Aguilera was addressing the discrimination suit that's been brought against the Guadalupe by Dolores "Dee" Zapata Murff, and the firing of former Interim Executive Director, Mary Jessie Garza].
We’re hurting the Guadalupe ladies and gentlemen, this is what's gonna happen we’re just burning and slashing everything around us and we’re not gonna have anything left over.
And the Conjunto Festival is one of the best we’ve ever had we’re telling them [the employees] where are the sponsors we’re jumping on the staff to make sure we get that money.
We need you to help us out.
Mr. Ruiz next meeting we’re all gonna be facing the audience. I don’t know the history I think the meetings of the Guadalupe has always been like this...but not intentionally."
After this, people started to leave. But the Financial Report was just beginning.
After this, people started to leave. But the Financial Report was just beginning.Again, I could barely hear Loretta Zevallos, the new Comptroller hired by R. Bret Ruiz. She seemed nervous, turning into herself as she spoke. I had to strain to hear her.
"Item no 2 is the cashflow. March 1.
Starting with $2,000 only. Waiting on the cashflow from the city. That’s the position. I expect to receive it next week." She asked for questions from the Board. None came.
I have lots of questions about this, and so should you. The Guadalupe receives city dollars, lots of them, and there's nothing "private" about their financial affairs, they should be an open book. The Guadalupe should have nothing to hide from the public. If the Guadalupe is near financial collapse - it is not our fault. It is the Board's responsibility to always ask hard questions about cash flow, financial projections, profit/loss, etc. etc. etc..
If the Guadalupe is in worse financial shape now than five years ago when Maria Elena Torralva-Alonso became Executive Director - then it is the Board's fault. It is the Guadalupe's Board of Directors who is responsible for the Guadalupe's extreme expenditures regarding the Veladora and the empty Visual Arts Building; it is the Guadalupe Board' who approved the hiring of R. Bret Ruiz, and didn't check his credentials - and who have allowed him to fire, terminate, or lose seven employees.
The Boardmeeting ended soon after. As they went into Executive Session - boardmember Gwendolyn Diaz called for a meeting - the boardmembers didn't look at me or respond to my request to be interviewed. Except for Gwendolyn Diaz, whose interview I will uplink.
To steal Aguilera's quote, let me conclude with this: It is the Guadalupe Board who has almost destroyed the Guadalupe, Ladies and Gentlemen.