Select Page

Calendar | Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University

Calendar | Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University

Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University in association with Chapman University Latinx Staff & Faculty Forum present the inaugural Heartbeat of Mexico’s Big Ideas series April 19 – May 25 at 6 pm. The free, public series explores the depths of Mexican and Mexican-American culture by top academics in the fields of Mexican Studies, Religious Studies, and Music, leading up to the Heartbeat of Mexico festival May 26-27, 2018.

Each talk is 90-minutes and will be held in Leatherby Libraries B03, Center for American War Letters Archives. The series is also supported by Leatherby Libraries and the Chapman University Cross-Cultural Center.

Thursday, April 19 | 6-7:30pm
Mexicans at Work: How Mexican Ethnicity Becomes Part of the Workday
Dr. Ruben Espinoza, Chapman University, Sociology Department and Latinx and Latin American Studies

This talk examines the role of Mexican ethnicity in the Salinas Valley’s bagged salad industry. Most workers in salad-processing factories are Mexican migrants who have permanently settled in the Salinas Valley. Even though they labor in a strenuous, frigid, fast-paced environment, their ethnic solidarity permeates throughout the workplace. This presentation highlights how Mexican music, food, jokes and celebrations become part of the culture of work in the Salinas Valley.

Wednesday, April 25 | 6-7:30pm
Día de Los Muertos: From Aztec Mythology to Disney’s Coco
Dr. Rafael Luévano, Chapman University, Religious Studies Department

Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is the scared and jocular Mexican celebration that gathers family to honor their departed relatives and friends. Recent globalization of the celebration exploded with Walt Disney Pictures’ release of Coco (2017), the most popular film in Mexican history. This lecture will explore the true origin of the remarkable celebration, how it is celebrated in Mexico, the future of the holiday in the U.S., and what Día de los Muertos tells us about Latinx identity. Vibrant photo-documentation will offer illuminative examples from local celebrations in Mexico and the U.S.

Thursday, April 26 | 6-7:30pm
Where is Mozlandia? Morrissey Fans in the Borderlands
Dr. Melissa Hidalgo, UC San Diego, Department of Ethnic Studies

Singer and popular music icon from Manchester, England, Morrissey enjoys a fierce global fan base going back to his days as a lead singer of the influential 1980s indie band, The Smiths. Dr. Melissa Hildago, author of Mozlandia: Morrissey Fans in the Borderlands (2016), will explore the rise of “Mozlandia” as a transnational Morrissey fan community unique to the US-Mexico borderlands.

Thursday, May 3 | 6-7:30pm
Booming Bandas of Los Angeles: Women Musicians in Oaxacan Philharmonic Brass Bands
Dr. Xóchitl C. Chávez, UC Riverside, Department of Music 
Focusing on second-generation Zapotec brass bands in Los Angeles County, Dr. Chávez will showcase her documentation on how women and youth now fill the ranks of musicians and new leadership.
Thursday, May 10 | 6-7:30pm
The Trailblazing Women of Mariachi
Dr. Leonor Xóchitl Pérez
Mariachi music is a well-known, traditionally male genre. However, for over 100 years, women have actively performed this music and fought for their inclusion. Based on 20 years of original research, Dr. Pérez will present the history and stories of the Mexican and American mariachi women. Dr. Leonor Xóchitl Pérez is a leading proponent and preservationist of women’s mariachi history
Now in its third year, Musco Center presents Heartbeat of Mexico at Chapman University. In the evenings, Heartbeat of Mexico festival ticketed events will take place inside Musco Center with Mariachi Los Camperos headlining an evening of traditional Mexican music with special guest Mariachi Mestizo Saturday, May 26 at 7:30pm. Natalia Lafourcade, who is considered to be the voice of the Mexican people, is performing Sunday, May 27 at 6pm. 
On Sunday afternoon, a free daytime festival will feature performances by some of the top local and regional Mexican-American music, dance, and folklórico ensembles, a juried visual art exhibition, crafts for kids and families, a food fair, and many more events outside on the Bette and Wylie Aitken Arts Plaza.
Heartbeat of Mexico is a Musco Center World CAFE Event presented in association with Hilbert Museum and Chapman University’s Latinx Staff & Faculty Forum.
More information about free and ticketed Heartbeat of Mexico festival events is available online at
Since it opened on March 19, 2016, Marybelle and Sebastian P. Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University has been hailed as “an ideal opera house, potentially the best in the West and maybe even something more” by the Los Angeles Times. 
Designed by renowned architects Pfeiffer Partners, with acoustics by world‑renowned Yasuhisa Toyota of Nagata Acoustics, Musco Center boasts an intimate seating chamber with 1,044 seats on three levels and a full-scale stagehouse capable of grand spectacle or lush symphonic sound with its unique orchestral shell in place. Musco Center serves as a dynamic focal point for campus life and the broader community, giving notice that world-class arts education and artistic achievement have found a new home in Southern California.
For more information about Musco Center and its upcoming events, and to purchase tickets online, visit

The Chapman Latinx Staff & Faculty Forum was developed in Fall 2015 to provide support to Latinx students, staff, and faculty by developing connections and building a bridge between students, parents, alumni, community organizations, and the Chapman community.

Musco Center offers its World CAFE (Cultural Arts Festivals and Events) series as an opportunity to engage in meaningful community collaboration with partners across Southern California. Each World CAFE salutes a different country or part of the world that connects back to the Southland, to showcase both the traditional and contemporary art forms and how those forms have evolved here in California.