My name is Jesús Gutiérrez, and I am raising funds to support the United Capoeira Association (UCA).
Anyone who has spent any substantial amount of time with me since my coming to California has certainly already heard how much capoeira means to me. Although I am still a novice by capoeira standards, in just under two years I have gained an appreciation for how much this Brazilian art form has to offer as a dynamic medium for self-expression, as a living body of transmitted knowledge, and as a way of cultivating unlikely relationships and communities beyond my academic circles. As a researcher and a writer, capoeira has also made me think more deeply about what becomes possible when we conceive of history as something that is dynamic and collective, rather than something simply about the past.
I owe many of these stimulating realizations to my teachers Mestre Acordeon and Mestra Suelly, whose fierce commitment to each and every aspect of the art form has led to the founding of the United Capoeira Association (UCA), a nationwide network of capoeira instructors headquartered in a vibrant space for Brazilian arts and culture right here in Berkeley. For forty years now, UCA has brought the joy of performance and play to people of all ages, and has made crucial contributions to the capoeira community flourishing in the Bay Area today. Along with the Capoeira Arts Foundation, its 501(c)(3) non-profit, UCA has also extended the reach of the African-Brazilian arts through a robust scholarship program, through its regular programming in Berkeley, and through a number of financial partnerships with capoeira-based projects geared toward at-risk youth in northeastern Brazil.
However, all of these exciting initiatives currently find themselves under major financial threat: the Capoeira Arts Foundation has suddenly lost a $60,000 grant that had funded its operations for 15 years. To help UCA power through this setback and keep its doors open, I am partnering with the Capoeira Arts Foundation to help fundraise in this year's roda-thon. You may sponsor me just by clicking the button below, or you can support any other capoeirista by visiting the fundraiser's main page. Either way, your tax-deductible contribution will help keep the African-Brazilian arts accessible wherever UCA's impact has been felt, and will help capoeira thrive in the U.S. in the years to come.