The only Hispanic motorcyclist magazine in Arizona and Southern Arizona’s oldest American Legion post have teamed up to challenge the students at Pima County’s Las Artes Arts & Education Center:
- Create images on ceramic tile that include motorcycles, veterans and U.S. and Arizona flags, and Raza Rider Magazine and American Legion Post 7 will auction them off at a motorcycle show on March 2 to benefit Las Artes.
- The creator of the tile work voted the best will win a prize and their art may be turned into a mural at the downtown Tucson American Legion Post.
Santos Diaz, the creator of Raza Rider Magazine; Barry Mossman, commander of American Legion Post #7; and some avid motorcycling-riding veterans met with Las Artes students and staff earlier this month to launch the contest.
The veterans told the students that joining the military helped them leave gangs and drugs behind and put them on a path where they could advance regardless of the color of their skin.
“Any branch will open doors for you guys,” said Felix Rodriguez, a Marine veteran.
Julio Alvarado, another Marine veteran who has ridden motorcycles in countries as far away as Japan and New Zealand, said motorcycling has also opened doors.
“I’m a Chicano biker and I can go anywhere in the world,” he said.
Las Artes, at 23 W. 27th St. in South Tucson, combines structured classroom study with community art projects to prepare students for GED testing and employment. Las Artes students’ murals, ceramic tiles and other artwork can be seen across Pima County – in South Tucson, Sahuarita, Marana and Tucson. More than 500 Las Artes students have obtained their GEDs since the program began more than 15 years ago. For more information, please visit www.pima.gov/ced/employment-training/et-arts-center.shtml.
Raza Rider Magazine comes out quarterly in print and is online at www.razaridermagazine.com. Its free circulation has grown from 1,000 to 18,000 since Diaz started it in November 2011.
American Legion Post #7 was founded in 1919 and has about 300 members. Elena West, Las Artes program manager, said the post has been very supportive of Las Artes, buying gifts for students at Christmas and a new stove for the center’s kitchen.
The Raza Rider Magazine and American Legion Post #7 Show-N-Shine Bike Show will be 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, March 2, at the American Legion Hall, 330 W. Franklin St. The event is open to the public.