Contact: Angela Brunner

KANSAS CITY, MO, April 6, 2017 – The Mattie Rhodes Art Gallery is excited to announce the 2nd Annual CHICANO VOICE exhibition running May 5, 2017 through June 24, 2017. This year’s exhibit focuses on local heroes that have influenced and transformed the vision and voice of our community.  The First Friday opening is Friday, May 5, 2017 at 6pm at the Gallery, 919 W. 17th Street, KCMO 64108 and is free and open to the public.

The goal of the show is to educate the larger Kansas City on the impact these six homegrown heroes have made as activists, teachers, arts and individuals, but may sometimes go unnoticed. “The 50th anniversary of the death of Primitivo Garcia, the namesake of our neighborhood school, really lead to the idea of honoring our local Latino heroes,” says Jenny Mendez, Cultural Arts Director. “With the success of last year’s Chicano Voice show, we wanted to capture the idea of the voice of the Chicano hero and what they mean to our families, children and communities today.”

Six artists were chosen to represent the six heroes being honored: Primitivo Garcia, Ruben Garcia, Hector Barreto, Mary Lona, Nellie Lozano, & Anna Riojas. Other participating artists submitted pieces that address the concept of heroes as it relates to community and the greater Kansas City Chicano narrative.

  • Primitivo Garcia intervened in the robbery of his teacher, saving her but losing his life.
  • Ana Riojas was a successful businesswoman who helped her community members with employment services.
  • Hector Barreto Sr. was a successful businessman who founded the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
  • Mary Lona was a tireless healthcare advocate and served as Executive Director of Richard Cabot Clinic and was also the founder of the Hispanic Business Directory.
  • Ruben Garcia was an illustrator, produced a Latino comic strip and was also an accomplished muralist.
  • Nelly Lozano was a local preschool teacher and traditional Mexican dance instructor

“These exceptional individuals demonstrated selfless commitment over the course of their lifetime,” said John Fierro, President/CEO.  “The Chicano Voice Exhibit gives us an opportunity to recognize those who have played a vital role in positive change in our Hispanic community while celebrating the diversity of Kansas City.”

The opening night at the Mattie Rhodes Art Gallery will feature a special program to highlight the impact of the designated community heroes, live music, a specialty drink, food and more.

For more information, please visit or email


About the Mattie Rhodes Center

Founded in 1894, Mattie Rhodes Center enriches the lives of individuals, families, and communities in a respectful, multicultural environment.  The agency provides a holistic approach to individual and family well-being through social services, mental health counseling and the arts. It envisions a community where all people are healthy, safe, and have the resources to thrive.  For more information, please visit

The vision of the Memory of Primitivo Garcia Committee is a Kansas City Hispanic community that remembers Primitivo Garcia’s heroic actions and his legacy continues through thePrimitivo Garcia Elementary School. We invite you to follow us on Facebook, Subscribe to ourblog and Save the Date of Saturday, November 25th, 2017 for our 50th Year Memorial Celebration.

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