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¡Firme! A cuentos y arte platica

¡Firme! A cuentos y arte platica

By Miguel Maltos Gonzales
¡Firme! is the real talk podcast on cultural heritage, inclusion in the pacific Northwest art community, multi-generational stories, and sharing the evolving community in Spokane, WA. Along with Chicano artist, Miguel Maltos Gonzales you'll hear from buena gente (genuinely good people) share their experiences on art, activism, social construct of gender, community, and other cuentos. Visit: y to learn more! #chicano #latina #latino #latinx #gente #Spokane
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Where are you from?
Episodes with music are only available on Spotify.
I was asked a simple question today that doesn’t have a simple answer
February 23, 2022
Camera Cuentos - Creative roots run deeper than you may know.
Episodes with music are only available on Spotify.
As you know by previous episodes, my father inspired me to explore photography. In this first episode of the second season he shares where he started on his photographic journey in San Antonio, TX in the early 1940's as a boy. In sharing a moment of my family's creative roots with you, I encourage you to reflect on your roots. Who are the family members that made changes in their path, how did those changes influence the next generations, who directly steered you on the path you're on today, how will you influence as an elder when it's your time? I'm blessed to still hear his voice in person. Because some day I will only be able to hear him in memories and this episode. Hold your elders close, they always have plenty to share.
September 24, 2021
Mixt Collective A discussion on navigating as a mixed race person in a binary world.
The first episode of season two invite Ami y Tara “Trinity”. The co-founders of Mixt Collective. Ami is a Japanese-Chilean musician, arts administrator, and facilitator with Equity in Arts Leadership Program Coordinator at Americans for the Arts. Developing and implementing programs to enhance the skills of emerging artists. In addition, she writes music, and serves as co-chair for Dance/NYC’s Junior Committee. Tara "Trinity" is the founding Arts+Culture program director at the nation’s adult charter model Carlos Rosario School and serves as the Past President of Art Education DC. Elevates her mixed identity as classical pianist, a Polynesian dancer, an Emmy-winning bilingual television show host, and a Broadway singer/actress.  Together they have started the conversation of identifying as a mixed race person navigating through the binary social constructs imposed upon us. Mixt Creative is the space to express identity, share your thoughts, and be accepted by what other consider the in-between. You belong. Instagram: @mixt.collective @amitamarsanto @tara_trinityyyyy  Mixt Collective Healing & Elevation session: Sign-up-form Contact Mixt Collective:
March 24, 2021
Camera cuentos - Privileged Photographer
As a photographer I’ve been privileged and have been aware since I was in high school. I remember having a wide variety of equipment, whereas others had only one camera and lens for all assignments. Having been aware, I’ve made it my mission to share what I know, and help others work with what they have.
December 03, 2020
Camera cuentos-Making photos vs taking photos
Making or taking photos??? Many photographers go on and on about the features, hi sensitivity sensors, fast fames per second, and stuff. It’s never about the gear, and all about the artist’s vision. Call me old school, but being raised in a pobre art family I learned to use my resources wisely. I had to understand how to make an image and not rely on the camera for my art. The camera is only a tool. This is the first of a small photography series starting the camera cuentos!
November 26, 2020
Names matter! Ask my tío Bob Bear...
Names have connection to our identity and individual personalities. Have you ever had an issue where someone couldn’t pronounce your name? Perhaps they aren’t able to say your name, or they snooze not to try. There’s a difference... Allowing others to change, misspell, or purposefully mispronounce names can have an impact on that person then and in the future. #whatsinaname #cultureproblems #ownyiurenye #ownyourname
November 19, 2020
Who doesn’t have an accent?
While serving in the military, I have seen as much or more discrimination than the art world. Until recently the military concept of inclusion, diversity, and cultural consideration is similar to comparing conjunto to cumbia... country to western. Only with in the past year has the military acknowledged and openly discussed racism within the ranks.
November 12, 2020
Where do I belong?
As gente in the USA we have indigenous roots, European heritage, and daily American influences. We often express our micro individualities such as Mexican, Cuban, Salvadoran, etc., and then the macro culture of adding Afro or LGBTQ+ before the micro culture. How can we maintain our individuality and still self identify to unite as a single connected community? How can we connect as gente, and still celebrate our individuality?
November 09, 2020
The two A’s in culture
In culture there’s always two As. The appreciation and appropriation of any culture by various means. In a community like Spokane, WA I experience plenty of both. Some with intention, and some without. For a community that is learning to be diverse, it’s a growing pain that affects many.  Visit and support the Dia de los Muertos artists featured on hosted from Guatemala, Mexico, y Los Angeles. 
November 03, 2020
Youth artist talks
The more young artists experience conversation with contemporary artists the more they develop a deeper connection to finding their own creative flow. Connecting with artists of color helps the future arts and culture community become more inclusive and truly breaks barriers. En solidaridad, we will build a stronger arts community one artist at a time.
October 30, 2020
No matter where you go, your ancestors are with you.
As I come closer to Día de los Muertos in Spokane, I’m reminded of the celebrations in San Antonio. We have multiple events, parades, and ofrendas in cultural spaces across the city. Whereas in Spokane, we have one event in a borrowed space. Visit and support the Dia de los Muertos artists featured on hosted from Guatemala, Mexico, y Los Angeles.
October 28, 2020
¡Ánimo ánimo ánimo!
Usually my creative energy is gone by October, and recharges after Día de los Muertos. However after recent photographic work with buena gente, the animo is recharged! Everything looks a little different today, and it’s not just because we have our first snowfall! “¡Ánimo ánimo ánimo!”, as my grandmother would say while she raises her hands to the sun. Visit and support the Dia de los Muertos artists featured on hosted from Guatemala, Mexico, y Los Angeles.
October 23, 2020
The walls we make
When we are confronted with challenges we can oppose or open to listen. The walls we make are based on our experiences, our understanding, and our biases. We all have an opinion, and we also have the ability to listen. We don’t have to agree with others, yet we should respect them when they aren’t attacking. Fist pumping and shouting only makes noise. If we want change, we have to change together.
October 21, 2020
¿Más o menos?
The challenges of sharing culture for people of color, and resources in Spanish get real in the 5 mile area. 100% of my social media posts have not been welcome in an area I reside nearby. Some neighbors were positive, others were quite negative.
October 16, 2020
Indigenous peoples day
Today is a day of mixed feelings. Living between being an American of indigenous heritage, and wanting to honor my ancestors. For many this day is a representation of their ancestry. For others, they don’t feel a connection to their ancestry. Others it’s a reminder of their non binary identity is challenged by their heritage. So many complicated emotions and self discovery. How do you self identify? How does this shape your daily?
October 12, 2020
Arte in education
Local and cultural arts are often overlooked in formal arts programs. Through LTNX artes we’re introducing this into the public school arts programs.
October 07, 2020
The house on St Mary’s street
A short cuento me grandmother told me about the day her house on St Mary’s street was demolished to make way for US 281.
October 05, 2020
What would my name be?
If the Spanish didn’t colonize my indigenous family generations ago, what would that culture be today? What would my name be? How would the relationship with the U.S. be? What if?
October 01, 2020
Community shapes culture, that makes art reflecting community.
The community we live in drives the culture we live in locally and across the country. The art we see today is a reflection of the world we are apart of. No everything can be pretty and fluffy. Nombre... the uncomfortable art we see isn’t the problem, the problem is what inspires the art that a community feels is uncomfortable. When a community is uncomfortable by the art, there needs to be a question asked.
September 30, 2020
Just a few hours of the year.
For just a few hours of the year, gente in Spokane unite for Día De Los Muertos. We honor our ancestors, and celebrate their lives. The community comes together, gente y non gente, and we respectfully join as a family. This is the one evening we have to celebrate our heritage. We shouldn’t have to wait all year for one evening to celebrate our heritage. We’re gente everyday. We should be able to have a space we can stretch our cultura y celebrate our pride openly in the community were apart of.
September 28, 2020
We fall and we rise
Our inspiration comes from what we experience. Not all artists create for people to buy. Many create to purge, self heal, express stresses, and tell stories. A shirt cuento if a friend the fell, and admitted he needed help getting up.
September 23, 2020
The town hall as block party was a hit! No participation from Spokane, and if we expect change we gotta make the change! Here’s a little cuento on a friend that experienced change.
September 22, 2020
You don’t go here!!!
After posting cultural information and an event specific to POC, I was denied sharing those posts I the community I live in. It’s like saying I don’t belong where I live, I not wanted in my neighborhood, and almost like there is no one that wants to know this.
September 18, 2020
Art Administrators of Color Network
RSVP: Join fellow AAC members for a Town Hall to guide you through the many committees and new project initiatives that AAC has worked on during 2020, as well as the goals for the rest of the year and beyond. Learn about the upcoming AAC Chapters pilot program and then unwind with us for our Virtual Block Party!
September 17, 2020
¡El gritó! Says something about me and about my life.
Mexican Independence Day! The day the people of Mexico earned their independence from the rule of Spain. As a bicultural person of indigenous heritage from Los Estados Unidos de México and being born in the U.S. of America the concept of patriotism & independence is complicated. All I can say is this is the independence I identify with, and am proud to express it.
September 16, 2020
Día de los Muertos is coming up soon, and We’re gesto up for a virtual event this year. will host a virtual art show, and opens the gallery to any Latina/o/x artist regardless of where your located. Join us!!
September 15, 2020
Tíos 72 Chevy
The smoke is harsh, pandemic is still going, work is still limited, protests are still going, and were still going forward. It’s hard to fight the division among our communities. Many demand change, but we have to change it ourselves. ¡Pa’lante! Forward!
September 14, 2020
9/11 cuento
A short story on my 9/11 experience.
September 12, 2020
You have to want to make art
In order to creat a culture, make art, change practices, be better in anyway, or even make tortillas you need to to have the “want” first. Then the rest falls into place.
September 10, 2020
Creative Culture Shifts
With my experiences in Duffy creative cultures, I see how each environment brings it’s own energy. The creative community in Spokane is amazing, and has immense potential. This horrible situation has placed a considerable halt in the industry, and those in the industry can overcome. There’s much work to be done, and we have the drive to do it. Sooo dalé!
September 03, 2020
Corruption of a creative culture
More talent are coming out against the photographer accused of sexually assaulting them. Other photographers are receiving a bad reputation, and the studio involved has closed its doors. On person’s actions have altered a creative industry, and the life’s of many.
September 02, 2020
Evolution of art through pandemic
The pandemic has changed the way we make, present, and sell art. Also changed the culture of the arts community itself. Do we change, adapt, or just stop making art? How do we overcome this challenge? Is it okay for me to change? How do I change? These questions and more on the evolution of art through a pandemic.
August 31, 2020
RAC and PIN closing
Arts has a place in our community and deserves better representation as a professional industry. Museums are opening why can’t galleries? I get the profit vs non-profit, but why keep full time artists from working? Art is the express of our culture.
August 27, 2020
Where’s the multi, where’s the cultural?
It appears a few organizations are trying to organize a multicultural space. However, it sounds more like a community resource center. Nothing centered on my mission of arts and cultural expression. Ima make some popcorn...
August 26, 2020
Cultura matters
We aren’t just a group of different races, we are people mad by our cultures. The heritage we have is what makes our community, and creates the presence we have in it. Color, hair type, or eye shape is not how we are categorized, nombre... we aren’t divided by features but United by our cultural similarities.
August 21, 2020
Arte in education
Arte is different from art when it comes to education. Most formal art classes only discuss the “classics” and tend to overlook the local and region influences. Art education is very Eurocentric which leaves out the art people would see where they live. I feel this affects the way art is understood, and supported.
August 20, 2020
#Bilingüismo - the art of bilingualism
When bilingual people think, express, show emotion, or pray they do so in both languages simultaneously. There is no “switch” setting to one language to the other. When people speak in both languages it’s called code switching, and is common for bilingual, and multilingual people. Collecting a series of bilingual phrases is important to capture what I experience daily to share with you. In hopes that we can learn more about each other.
August 17, 2020
The Issue with X part uno
X on Latinx is an issue among the community I’m apart of. This is the first of a few episodes on how the X came to be, what X is doing in the community now, and the future of X. Puro pinche X
August 13, 2020
Is art work?
Often art isn’t seen as a career, but as a hobby. Something to do when you have time. Art is a full time job for many creatives. Commercially and culturally art is the glue that binds a community together.
August 10, 2020
What would I tell my pre Spokane self about living in Spokane? For those of you that have moved to the area, what would you go back and tell yourself to better set yourself for success culturally, socially, or even artistically?
August 06, 2020
La Resistance
The closing of La Resistance is a great loss to the art community. Many artists that wouldn’t other’s have a voice, needed a venue. La Resistance was established by a woman with the vision of bringing equity to the arts, and I know she’ll continue this journey in some manner. She’ll be supported because she’s buena gente!
August 05, 2020
What makes the PNW gente of today?
Through the passing years, the gente in the PNW have evolved into what they are to say. Language loss, food, traditions, and more have been influenced by U.S. lifestyle, or is there something else? Let’s start this dialogue so understand more. ¡Andalé!
August 03, 2020
Pa’lante (going forward)
After the impact of vandalism on the BLM mural in Spokane, WA we are still moving forward in our creative and cultural endeavors. ¡Pa’lante Pa’lante pa’lante!
July 31, 2020
C’mon Spokane... seriously?!?
The BLM mural in Spokane lives for a day before being vandalized by having red, white, and blue paint splattered on the word black.
July 31, 2020
Who is this Latino heritage museum for???
A Latino heritage museum is being considered for the DC Smithsonian network, and gente is already arguing on the name. ¡Pos chin! How do we get nice things if we can’t even play well together? #individualismdivides
July 29, 2020
For good luck...
There’s so much history in the words we use in our culture. Changing these words takes away for our heritage and robs future generations from learning where they come from.
July 27, 2020
Growing up Chicano in Spokane with local guest Manny
Introducing Manny, a young Chicano originally born in California, moved to central Washington, and now resides in Spokane. Manny brings an interesting insight to growing up Chicano is Pacific Northwest. Together we discuss the cultural differences we experience as we spend more time in el east WA. There are so many cuentos to share! Manny is the first local guest with more to come. Join our conversation, and please offer your thoughts through the message feature in, or through the Feisboo messenger bubble on En solidaridad. #chicano #local #gente #latinidad #cuentos #platicasconamigos 
July 27, 2020
El voz, yes we deserve one!
Having to express cultura in a space that isn’t intended for it feels like living on borrowed land. As a person with a rich cultural heritage, I can see the need to have a space dedicated to the people it serves. This being black, Asian, indigenous, and gente. We aren’t wanting to create or foster a divide. No this is like living in a persons house, and having a home of your own.
July 24, 2020
¡Que Buena!
Sometimes the hardest conversations lead to the closest connections. Without these talks, we can’t expect change to occur in a community. Have these awkward conversations of culture, color, heritage, history y mas with the intention of learning. Talk like you’re the listener. You’d be surprised how a difficult conversation would flow.
July 23, 2020
Time may change me, but I can’t change time.
David Bowie once sang these words, and they’ve been apart of my life since I was a child. We’re shaped by our childhood experiences. As a people, adapt to the world around us. In that we lose language, and heritage. In order to preset our culture, we start to search for ourselves. Seeking out opportunities to express and learn about where we come from. The first Spanish language radio is coming to Spokane, and so is the first cultural arts space.
July 20, 2020
Art has no genders cont.
My mom was forced to leave a formal art education because she was Latina. With inspiration from my dad, she became a self taught artist. She keeps her work for herself because she doesn’t owe anyone anything. She paints because sha can. On her terms, her passions, her interpretation of creative freedom, and taught me something I would have never learned in any school. I learned to make art from the heart.
July 15, 2020
Arte has no gender.
Cuento de my mom, and her experiences as a Latina artist in San Antonio during the early fifties. A short story with more to come as she finds support because she made ice cream floats.
July 15, 2020
What did momma say? If you don’t have anything nice to say...
To the people that feel they have to “challenge” the community of color to prove why it’s important to express... Don’t, just don’t. You’re it helping the community of color in any way. You see a challenge to be more, and we see continued oppression. After fighting for hundreds of years, to be challenged is not something that will help us develop. No, it only creates more of a division, and puts us further back in the community we share.
July 13, 2020
What does firme mean, and why did I name this podcast a single word?
A little cuento on why I named my podcast ¡Firme! and what that word means to me. Pictured: Tío Rudy, Tia Florence (RIP) Dad, y Tia Josie. Andalé tío... be firme!
July 08, 2020
Caught in the middle
I see a trend in the divided community of Spokane, and it’s not just about art.
July 08, 2020
Destroying cultural art in Spokane, WA.
We’re making efforts to have the community we want. When you destroy our cultural expression, you are dismantling all we have built through the challenges we’ve faced. Respect our history. You don’t have to agree, you could just respect and let us be.
July 06, 2020
Traveling Comadres
The Traveling Comadres are two Latinas with a passion to document the untold stories of our gente for generations to come. Through the journey of life, their paths have crossed in Nashville, TN. These two Latinas are breaking barriers of language, dance, music, cultura y mas among a growing community! Follow them on Instagram @the_traveling_comadres and reach out to them at to share your story!
July 05, 2020
My Independence Day hasn’t come yet.
The independence of my Gente hasn’t come yet. What we experience East just in the past, but happens today. Mexican Americans have forefathers on both sides do history and we still honor our ancestors. This is an other confusion of being bicultural in the U.S. among single lens of history.
July 02, 2020
Wait, what? Change my art career?
If given the chance, would you go back and change your art career? The shows, networking, collaborations, all the personal experiences that define you as an artist today? This was a question posed to me by the voice message on Anchor.
July 01, 2020
Pride vs Prejudice
As a bigger community we’re divided by the labels that are imposed upon us. Along with these labels, we’re also further divided by our cultural pride. Among the Spanish speaking population outside of Spain, if we united as “gente” we’d have a collective voice. A stronger, louder, empowered voice. We’d still be able to show our micro and macro cultural pride. Nothing is erasing that because we have more in common than what sets us apart. ¡En solidaridad! We are simply gente, and have the right to unite.
June 30, 2020
Tools of the trade series - To Photoshop or not to Photoshop?
The tools of the trade is new conversation on ¡Firme! Talking about the methods of how we make what we make, and what changes when we change our tools.
June 26, 2020
Starving artists don’t have to starve anymore!
The term starving artist needs to go away. The art industry is a much a challenge as retail, food, and professional services. The two types of artists and how they are perceived in the world differ. Artists are professional creatives like any other profession. Many educated, uniquely skilled, and provide services others cannot.
June 25, 2020
Colorism in Photography cont.
A story about growing up thinking photography was difficult for dark skinned people. It was, foo! Until I spent more time with photographers of color, and learned about the inequities of a creative medium.
June 24, 2020
Shirley you can’t be biased to lighter skin tones?
Colorism in film photography is a topic I remember discussing since forever ago. There are certain issues with photographing different film types and light and dark skinned people. The “Shirley card” was and in many ways still the industry standard for color correction. Was this intentional? Is this just the physics of light?
June 23, 2020
Cameras and comunidad...
To me cameras are more than tools to take photos. Each image taken is a chance to improve the ability to make a better negative. This results in having the foundation for a beautiful photograph. Like the steps it takes for equity among a community, we have to start at the the shared vision of what we want to achieve. Then take care of each step to reach that goal.
June 19, 2020
Being the diverse community we are from México, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, y más.... we put our individual cultural pride as a wall between ourselves. Then the smaller communi like Chicano, Bórica, y más continue to further break us apart. If we could unite under one identifier to the white community, I feel we would have a stronger voice. Gente... the people... no gender, no geography, no color, all people. Among our gente we should still celebrate our individualism, and unite as gente to the non gente community to see we are one strong family.
June 17, 2020
Cultura in the PNW
Culture is interpreted differently according the region your in. Wash community has a slightly different lens. This is good for learning about where people come from and how they navigate their space, and also bad for thinking others are the same as you. Social norms stand out as much as skin color.
June 16, 2020
Ahhaaa moment!
That moment when you can connect on a cultural and social level on a sensitive issue.
June 15, 2020
Why build an online space?
Online spaces are not bound by borders, or limited by availability, and have direct traffic. Your doors are always open to people anywhere, and on their time. You can still have engagement. How? Listen for more information.
June 12, 2020
Isolated and I feel soo good!
Isolation for many is difficult, or can be refreshing for others. As an artist of color I’m isolated from my culture just by living in Spokane, WA. Being separated from my gente, and having to navigate through a white dominated arts community is my everyday. Much like many artists of color across the country.
June 11, 2020
Support by words or action?
Statements of solidarity are great, but what happens after the words are posted on social media? When and how do these words become real changes in our BIPOC communities?
June 10, 2020
Make action not statements
Statements of solidarity across the many arts organizations show support of the inequities among the BIPOC community. Support is good, but actions make change. Lets move past awareness, and into making the needed changes.
June 09, 2020
No just a street in Spokane,WA
There is a strong divide in Spokane among cultures, and what is considered American. This can be changed through our actions and engagement. If we want change, we have to be that change.
June 05, 2020
¿Firme? Wait... what?
How the name Firme came to be, and a talk on identifiers for our gente. Our self identity’s evolution as other cultures tell us what we’re called. Why can’t we choose our own identity? What would we call ourselves, and be inclusive?
June 05, 2020
Who chooses what art is, and who are the artists?
What is art? What is culture, how does it influence and inspire what we make? Who says what art is? Who says what an artist is? As a Chicano artist geographically separated from his roots, there is always a way to create from memories, blended with the culture I’m currently immersed in. We all have the ability to self identify and create art from the heart. I’m sharing the link to the book by David Bradford.
June 04, 2020
I Leica my camera
I chose my camera for the story behind the brand. There’s more to a camera than a name, or a price tag. When you have something in your hand that inspires, and challenges you... it’s reflected in your art. What inspires you in your art?
June 03, 2020
Wherever you go, there you are
Exploring culture and arts across borders put in place by people. As I explore, I bring my family with me in my arte. See the art referenced in this episode here:
June 02, 2020
Culture clash
The clash between cultures and how they relate to each other.
June 01, 2020
Gradúa 2020
As each student body graduates, we hope for a better future. Buena suerte...
June 01, 2020
Film and fam
To me film is my family. I have always had a passion for using film in my art opposed to digital. It’s critical to express my work with film and blend it with a new media. Like my old heritage living in the contemporary world.
May 28, 2020
Color and kin 2
Continuation of Color and kin with the introduction of my art process.
May 27, 2020
Color and kin
Colorism is a deeply seeded issue that many don’t realize is experienced often. It blends into supremacy and privilege seamlessly.
May 26, 2020
The various tags, identifiers, labels, and references to the interdisciplinary community we share as Spanish speaking gente.
May 21, 2020
Segregation or unification?
Coming from San Anto prepared me for living in the Spokane. The history of a city divided by classisms taught me to connect with other artists.
May 20, 2020
Balancing art and culture
The challenges of being. These challenges are expressed in the way I learned art, in my family, and in my finished work. We all have challenges and can overcome them. It’s a matter of balance.
May 19, 2020
Foggy vision
Creating cultural art in a white space has an affect on me as an artist. Focusing on my inspiration can be a challenge, but I’m not afraid of challenges. Challenging times make for creative problem solving.
May 18, 2020
Soy yo
The struggles of being bicultural, the importance of self identification.
May 17, 2020
Why is Miguel
Continuing the introduction of why I am who I am... I’m a Chicano in the Pacific Northwest.
May 16, 2020
Fishing for the future
Introducing Miguel Maltos Gonzales and where he comes from.
May 16, 2020