Alice resident elected to MAACI board

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Dr. Jilma "Jenni" Vinson, teacher at Alice High School, was nominated and elected to the Board of the Mexican American Art and Culture Institute (MAACI).

Dr. Jilma “Jenni” Vinson, teacher at Alice High School, was nominated and elected to the Board of the Mexican American Art and Culture Institute (MAACI).

The board was founded in 2019 with a goal to create a vast industry of film and art production in San Antonio and across South Texas.

“I am honored as a Tejano artist and I am looking forward to working with the board and to developing a network for our local artists,” said Vinson, who features her creative works on a clothing line with San Francisco-based company, Vida (https://shopvida.com/collections/jenni-vinson). She recently held a cultural display of her collection of works depicting life growing up on the south side of Alice, Texas at the Tejano Civil Rights Museum in Corpus Christi.

Vinson said, “I often combine my culture with the images created by master artists like Michelangelo’s hand of God to express how our beliefs as Mexican Americans are holy to us and we see our faith as touched by God too.”

The goal of the MAACI is centered around civil rights leaders and their stories, and Mexican American history-telling of their struggles to obtain equality and freedom from oppression while recognizing Mexican American Art and Culture associated to the historical era of the Mexican American Civil Rights movement.

Founders of MAACI are Peter Vallecillo and fellow board members, Crystal Holmes, business owner, President, and Roger Guevara, Legal Advisor and General Counsel.

“By solidifying San Antonio as the Mecca of the Mexican American film industry, we will have the ability to honor Mexican art and culture, provide talented locals with jobs, enhance the economy and tell incredible stories about Mexican American Civil Rights history,” said Peter Vallecillo, MAACI board member and Legislative Liaison. “Arguably the best part, young Mexican American kids will have more heroes to look up to.”

According to the Motion Picture Association of America, Latino audiences have the highest rate of moviegoers among ethnic groups in the United States, followed by Asians, Vallecillo said.

“With Latinos giving such strong support to the film industry, it would make sense for Latino characters to evolve from the stereotypical drug dealer to more respected roles. Fortunately, history has given us many strong Latino Civil Rights heroes whose stories need to be shared,” Vallecillo said.