Chisme Arte was a publication of the Concilio de Arte Popular, a statewide arts advocacy group founded to interconnect and stabilize the network of Chicano arts organizations throughout California. Organizational members of the Concilio included The Galeria de la Raza and The Mexican Museum in San Francisco, The Teatro Campesino in San Juan Bautista, The Royal (Rebel) Chicano Air Force in Sacramento, Mechicano Art Center in Los Angeles and The Centro Cultural de la Raza in San Diego.
In 1976 Concilio de Arte Popular, which was funded through the California Arts Council, obtained a grant to produce a publication devoted to the creative endeavors of Chicano artists throughout the state. Though originally based in Sacramento, Chisme Arte moved to Centro de Arte Publico's Highland Park studio through the efforts of Carlos Almaraz, Guillermo Bejerano, and Victor Valle, and with the blessing of Jose Montoya. While the publication was meant to reflect the statewide network of artists and their regional organizations, after the move to Los Angeles Chisme Arte became a much clearer reflection of the Los Angeles' 1970s Chicano art world.
By the end of the 1970s, after almost a decade of Chicano art activism, Chicana artists began to produce a Chicana feminist iconography grounded in movement ideologies, but with with a more critical reading of the role of women in Chicano/Mexicano culture. These artists began to contribute to the Chicano visual arts landscape in a much more visible way and gained more local - as well as national - attention. The seminal piece by Sybil Venegas, "Conditions for Producing Chicana Art" was published in a 1977 special "la mujer" edition of Chisme Arte. This article was one of the first scholarly articles written on Chicana artists and, for many of the artists, it was the first time they had ever been written about.
Forming Chisme Arte
Writer Guillermo Bejarano describes the beginnings of Chisme Arte and the writers and artists who expanded upon the political agenda explored in their works.
A Role Reversal
Victor Valle began a process of urban theorization from the perspective of the Latino, pointing towards a cosmopolitan future in which Mexican-Americans are the majority.
The End of Chisme Arte
Family obligations and financial difficulties forced the closure of Chisme Arte, but not without launching the career of many notable writers during its 11 year run.
A Collective Magazine
Victor Valle recall the openness of the magazine, covering a range of issues from class, race, and gender, all through a pan-Latino perspective.