Friday night the Ohio Chautauqua will feature scholar Fred Blanco’s living history performance as Cesar Chavez, who was born March 31, 1927 and died April 23, 1993.
Chavez was a labor and civil rights activist and reformer who, along with Dolores Huerta, founded the United Farm Workers labor union to protect the rights of migrant workers. Chavez brought national attention to his cause by organizing non-violent protests, boycotts, legislative reform efforts and hunger strikes in the spirit of Gandhi and Martin Luther King. In 1968 Chavez went on a widely publicized 25-day fast promoting non-violencee, which ended with an outdoor Roman Catholic mass.
For 30 years, Chavez tenaciously devoted himself to the problems of some of the poorest workers in America. The movement he inspired succeeded in raising salaries and improving working conditions for farm workers in California, Texas, Arizona and Florida.
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Fred Blanco has appeared on stage and screen for 20 years, performing with the national touring troupe, Traveling Lantern, and the street theatre company, The Bad Puppets. Featured on radio and television, his solo production, “The Stories of Cesar Chavez” has reached theater audiences for the last 12 year. In that time, he has worked with the LAUSD and L.A. County Office of Education to bring theatre into the classroom. He has brought the show to the famed Chicano theatre, Su Teatro, in Denver, and The National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, N.M.
Blanco has toured theatre festivals internationally bringing home Best of Fringe from Canada and San Francisco as well as the prestigious Brickenden Award for Best Touring performance in London, Ontario.