NABO UDAZKEN BILTZARRA:
The "Chorizo, Beans & OTHER THINGS" Forum
Years ago a book was published with the title of "Chorizo, Beans and other things." It was a collection of poems with some illustrations, but it was the title that resonated because it succinctly captured the essence of "Basqueness" here in America. We know what chorizo and beans are. Furthermore we know that these elements of Basque culture seem certain to endure; e.g., one can buy chorizo now in the grocery stores of Boise and Basque beans are famous in the Bakersfield restaurants. No--those things seem certain to continue if for no other reason than they taste good. It's the last part of the title, however, the "other things" that is now our focus. What are these other things of Basque culture, and which do we want to work to preserve and promote? What is worth our time, energy and money? A culture endures only if one generation succeeds in transmitting key elements to the next. So succinctly the issue on hand for the NABO Udazken Biltzarra (Basque for Fall Conference but a.k.a. the "Chorizo, Beans & Other Things" Conference) is: what do we want to teach our kids about being Basque and how can we best do that?
The mission of the North American Basque Organizations, Inc (NABO) remains the same since its founding over three decades ago--the promotion of Basque culture here in America. But now it is a generation later, and we need to take another look at what this means and how it can be best accomplished. Succinctly, the goal is to get people discussing some ideas about where we see NABO (and our own Basque community) 15 years down the road.
Assuming that one wants to see our Basque heritage endure, the task then breaks down into three parts: 1) what specific "other things" does one want to emphasize; 2) what challenges and obstacles stand in the way of successfully transmitting this aspect of Basque culture (e.g., generations separated from the Basque country; loss of the Basque language; multiple options for recreation and affiliation, etc.) and 3) then locating and utilizing effective strategies to meet these challenges (i.e., putting the social sciences to work for us to find ways that work to keep Basqueness alive). There is no urgency in the sense that this needs to be accomplished by the end of this year; nevertheless the time is now to begin formulating an effective strategy or strategies and that is where NABO can play a useful role by getting people together from different experiences to share their knowledge. The modest goal of this October weekend, therefore, is hopefully the commencement of a useful inter-club dialogue on the ways that we can more effectively accomplish NABO's mission and by extension, that of our own local Basque organization to keep Basque culture alive.
The NABO Udazken Biltzarra is fortunate to count with the contributions of Professor Gloria Totoricaguena, Director of the Center for Basque Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno. Having spent years traveling throughout the Basque Diaspora (or global Basque community), she is an acknowledged expert. She has seen what has worked and not worked in various Basque communities. Her talks will provide a more in-depth examination of pertinent issues in the "other things" discussion that includes leadership in all-volunteer organizations, effective fund-raising and budgeting in organizations, comparison of Basque organizations to other ethnic groups in the USA, global aspects of ethnic identity maintenance, increasing/improving quality of club memberships and not only quantity, etc.
To make this work, what is needed are volunteers from our NABO community to sign-up for subcommittee work to help plan these sessions. There is no set agenda until we hear from interested persons about what should be covered. Click on the following links below to find out more about each specific element where you can send in your name if you are willing to participate in this organization phase. We're looking for people who can find some time to share their insights as to what might work for us; i.e., what "other things" should we be concentrating on and how can we transmit them more effectively.
At the Buffalo NABO meeting in July delegates approved of the following upcoming events. Now our task is to create several subcommittees to help organize the various facets below that will be held in conjunction. The weekend consists of interfacing five separate yet related elements
Step 1: This is a call for volunteers to be a part of a committee to assist with one (or more) of the events below.
Step 2: Between now and the end of September, initial brainstorming sessions with rounds of emails (perhaps conference calls) to finalize a list of items for a viable agenda.
Step 3: First of October an agenda goes out to participants to allow time for preparation
Tentative schedule of events for the NABO Udazken Biltzarra:
Oct 19 (Thu): Suggested arrival; hotel accommodation information will soon be made available.
Oct 20 (Fri): NABO Youth Director Workshop at the Center for Basque Studies (University of Nevada, Reno)
> Morning & afternoon sessions of club youth directors workshop exploring ways of better integrating Basque youth into clubs
> NABO delegates are invited to join with the youth directors in this workshop if they'd like
> College Lecture Series: Juan Antonio Urbeltz & Basque Folklore
Oct 21 (Sat): NABO Delegate Forum at the Overland Basque Restaurant (Gardnerville)
> Morning session begins with a summary of essentials, then moves to a forum on formulating a plan of action for the next 15 years
> Youth directors are invited to participate
> Afternoon session continues the forum
> Evening event is a dinner/dance