The ChanSchatz Exhibit | Oscar Mireles

The ChanSchatz exhibit
has unexpectedly
captured three
of my lifelong interests
into one exhibit:
artistic expression,
urban planning,
and community organizing

as a poet and writer
I have spent decades
trying to find my voice
learning not to be afraid to
release my inner thoughts
onto paper
or be willing to
share it with others
even if they were
not ready to receive it
in their hearts

In college,
my minor
was urban affairs and planning
and we had this radical professor
Dr. Jerome Saroff
who made us learn
how to work together as a team
as we tried to figure out
how to get our project done
before the end of the semester
which was converting
a retail street into a street mall
by eliminating on-street parking
which wasn’t a very good idea
since people in Wisconsin
don’t like to park
more then a couple of steps away
in the cold weather

my life works
has always been about community
what could I do?
to make this a better place
then when I found it
how do I get other people
to believe in a better future for themselves
and their children
building community
has always been the most effective
by reaching out
one person at a time
and focusing your energy
on getting them to the next step
in their lives

the Chanschatz exhibit
has given the Madison community
a chance to share their collective voices
to work with exceptional artists
to build community
to make a difference
for generations to come.

Oscar Mireles

Oscar Mireles is an educator, writer and school administrator from Racine, Wisconsin. He has been the Executive Director of Omega School for the past 20 years, where he has assisted over 2500 young adults with securing a GED/HSED credential. Mireles is a published poet and editor. His poetry has been published in over 100 publications, includingRevista Chicano Riquena (now Americas Review), Viatztlan, Colorlines, Nuestra Cosa, Milwaukee Journal and Catholic Herald. Mireles’s first chapbook, Second Generation, was published by Focus Communications in 1985. Mireles was publisher and editor of I didn’t know there were Latinos in Wisconsin: 20 Latino poets (Focus Communications 1989), and organized the second and third anthology of I didn’t know there were Latinos in Wisconsin with Focus Communications in 1999 and Cowfeather Press in 2014, where he served as editor and contributor.

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