April 25, 2022

Latino Leadership Alliance Presents Cheech Marin with Ollin Award

San Jose, Calif.–On Wednesday, May 25 the Latino Leadership Alliance will present actor, activist and Chicano art supporter and advocate Cheech Marin with its prestigious Ollin Award.

Marin, who is most known for his part of the comedy act Cheech & Chong during the 1970s and early 1980s with Tommy Chong, is opening what is being called the world’s largest Chicano art collection -The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture – on June 18, 2022 in Riverside, California where more than 700 pieces of Chicano Art will be housed.

The Latino Leadership Alliance was founded in 2009 by a group of dedicated community leaders who believed in strengthening Latino leadership, with the goal that Latino’s will be fully represented in leadership roles and positions throughout the Bay Area.

“After collectively surviving the last two years of a pandemic,  we are celebrating our arts leaders who create, curate and celebrate the beauty of our communities daily – many of whom are still struggling to recover,” said Mayra Flores, LLA Co-Chair. “Cheech’s efforts to not only support but center and uplift Chicano art through his museum serves as a leadership example we want to honor.”

Cheech will receive the Ollin Award during LLA’s 5th Annual Gala on May 25 at The School of Arts and Culture at the Mexican Heritage Plaza in San Jose, 5PM, and will deliver the evening’s keynote address. Joining him will be Jessica Paz-Cedillos, co-executive director of The School of Arts and Culture, Rosanna Alvarez, co-founder of East Side Magazine, and many more local visual and performance artists.

“Art is an essential part of our society and it can help and inspire leadership,” said Erika Bustamante, LLA Co-Chair. “We are excited to celebrate both, art and leadership, at our Gala and we are thrilled to be able to honor Cheech and his efforts with our Ollin award.” 

The Ollin Award is LLA’s lifetime achievement award, stemmed in the Nahuatl word for movement, steeped in MesoAmerican Indigenous cultures and intertwined with the stages of human life: To be a great leader, one must always move to grow, learn, support, and break down barriers to create new paths for others to join. 

The Ollin has been presented for five years. Previous recipients include California’s first Latino United States Senator Alex Padilla (2021), former Santa Clara County Supervisor and the first Latina San Jose City Council member and Vice Mayor Blanca Alvarado (2020), Latino Leadership Alliance co-founder and former East Side Union High School District Trustee Eddie Garcia (2019), Stanford University Professor Emeritus and one of founding scholars of the field of Mexican American history and Chicano Studies Dr. Albert Camarillo (2018), and Actor/Producer, Founder of Centro Legal de La Raza, and Founder of the National Association of State Latino Chambers of Commerce Tony Quintero (2013).

Watch the full 2021 LLA Gala, and Ollin presentation, here: