“A documentary that focuses on how a symbol for farm workers’ rights became a cultural icon.”

Local artist Sam Romero seeks ways to help us better understand how culture influences us. Today, Romero launched a Kickstarter to help complete The Black Eagle documentary.

Romero has been working on a project called The Black Eagle, a documentary that focuses on the history, logo, and brand of the United Farm Workers Association and its cultural impact. “The documentary is an extension of the research I did for a panel that I chatted at the College of Arts Association titled “¡Sí Se Puede! Brand Identity, Activism, and Art-Historical Analyses,” Romero says. The film will discuss how artists were influenced by the efforts put into the United Farm Workers Association brand and how intentional messaging can leave a significant impact.

Romero is an interdisciplinary artist who currently serves as an associate professor and program director of art and graphic design at Florida Southern College. Among his dedication to higher education, he also commits his time to other efforts that focus on highlighting our innate cultural influences.

“The documentary focuses on how a symbol for farm workers’ rights became a cultural icon. In the early 1960s, Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta founded the United Farm Workers Association. The UFW brand has expanded beyond the scope of farm workers’ rights and into popular culture. The project will include several interviews from academics, designers, artists, and individuals who can speak to the visual legacy of the UFW.” – Attributed from Kickstarter

After the completion of the documentary, Romero plans on submitting the project to the film festival circuit, and it will also be available for private screenings. Once the circuit is complete, the documentary will be released to the general public. Funds from this campaign will go toward the last round of interviews, obtaining licensing for music, images, and archival footage, post-production cost, and ­submission fees for film festivals.

“If the campaign pushes past its goal, I plan on using the extra funds to add animation to the documentary. I would also like to create a curated poster exhibition based on the UFW brand.” – Attributed from Kickstarter

Designers/illustrators are contributing poster designs as perks for pledging to the campaign.

Last July, Romero attended a week-long convening with the U.S. Latinx Art Forum (USLAF), an organization that is dedicated to the art and art history of the United States Latinx community. According to USLAF website, their mission is to connect a “network of artists, university and college faculty, independent researchers, museum staff, critics, and graduate students who are interested in and committed to expanding and enhancing the visibility of U.S. Latinx art within academia, exhibition spaces, private and institutional collections, and archival initiatives.”

The organization also puts an emphasis on mentorship and professional development, supporting initiatives that continue to grow and cultivate U.S. Latinx visual arts. Romero serves as a key member of this organization and says, “Insight from these meetings will allow USLAF to move forward with a strategic plan.”

Romero uses these opportunities to create meaningful expressions that remind us of how our perceptions of culture are fundamental to our personal influences. Be on the lookout for updates on The Black eagle documentary, and how the initiatives put forth by USLAF impact our community.