HCCMidland was established in Midland, Texas in October of 1996 and became a non-profit organization in December of 1997. It was the dream of two women eager to help the young people of Midland to be proud of their heritage.
I was born in El Paso, Texas, but raised “en la frontera” until the age of 13. During the thirteen years in Mexico, my parents never had the means to put us in dance classes or any kind of sport. At my elementary school they taught “bailables” for Mother's day and at the age of 7, my interest in bailables regionales (regional dances) began. I would go anywhere that had a free class where I could see the older students perform. It was my dream to dance one time with one of those groups. This never happened, but my interest never died. At the age of 11, I swore to myself that one day I would be involved in an organization that would help kids be a part of an organization that taught them our rich culture. When I moved to Midland I wanted to find an organization that would teach Folklorico Dancing, so that I could involve my children at a young age; I never found one. It wasn't until Father Estrada, from Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Midland asked me if I knew anyone that would teach the Concheros Danza to the kids. I quickly took it upon myself and found someone that was willing to teach the children and had a dance background from Mexico. I got in touch with other mothers to bring their children and get them involved as well.
In December of 1996, a group of mothers got together at an informal church meeting to teach our children how to dance to traditional Mexican Folklorico dances and to honor our Blessed Mother Mary in a celebration mass at the Feast of our Lady of Guadalupe. The dance performance was a success; the children enjoyed themselves and thus the dream of preserving the Hispanic culture through “A Company of Arts” began.
We weren’t without challenges; however, the students that were joining were all girls. Boys were embarrassed to join, and to date in 2013, we face the same barrier with the boys. It has taken us a long time to be where we are now and have gone through many struggles, from facing discrimination, begging for a space for the children to practice their dances, asking for sponsorships and being rejected.
After 14 years of trial and error and facing many struggles we have a building for the students to call "home". The plan for 2012 is to begin teaching Art, Drama, Music and Speech. Folklorico Dancing, Mariachi Music, Singing, Latino Art, all these categories of art should be adding to a job benchmark with the State of Texas for students who want to continue their studies at a college and major in one of these fields. The HCCMidland is looking for teachers to hire to start with these programs.
Our Second Co-Founder
Mozella Garcia a huge promoter of helping young students to continue their education after high school, getting them involved in college and at the same time involve them in the arts. Mozella worked hard to get us established and approved as a 501c3 non-profit organization in 1997. Mozella became our First President and did everything possible to get us going with the dream. We worked together to make our guidelines, rules and regulations for our students. Mozella was the person behind the front line doing all paperwork necessary for this organization to be legal and in good standards with the State and Federal governments. The Hispanic Cultural Center of Midland, Inc., (HCCMidland) a Company of Arts, as we decided to call it, was legal, but did not have a place to call home. Through the years of the HCCMidland’s inception, we discovered that Midland was not very oriented in our Hispanic Culture. We knew that the younger Hispanic generation was forgetting about their heritage and culture and we wanted to re-capture it now and start teaching. Unfortunately, Mozella moved to El Paso in 2001 to finish her Doctorate degree in Education.
Warrior for the Cultural Arts!
Charlene Romero McBride joined us almost at the beginning stages of the organization. Charlene has been with us since 2001. Charlene was born and raised in Santa Fe, NM and grew up with her Folklorico Instructors, mom and dad. Mr. and Mrs. Romero taught her everything they knew on Regional Folklorico, so when we needed an Instructor she took over for 2 years. A mariachi group had been established in 2000 an when Charlene joined us she helped the Mariachi program in lots of ways. They did their first fund raising, and went to San Antonio, Texas to a workshop with Mariachi Vargas. For Charlene the Mariachi was her baby, but she had bigger plans for this program. She has done 9 Mariachi workshops to include a Mariachi Concert and in 2011 the first Mariachi Competition. Charlene accepted the Director position at the Hispanic Cultural Center Of Midland in 2012 and the Cultural Center has advanced in every way and she says she is still not finished. Come visit our beautiful center at 1311 E. Wadley. Please come see us, seran bien venidos!