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About The Project

Inspired by images in the archives of Filipino American photographer Ricardo Ocreto Alvarado (1914-1976), “Compositions ­­- A San Francisco Filipino American Experience” is a new and significant collaboration featuring three artistic genres. This project provides a yet uncrossed bridge to the Filipino American legacy which we must build in order to connect our generations – pioneer to young – to one another. Each genre; photography, creative writing and music is under the care of Filipino American artists born and bred in San Francisco.

Original Photographs

Janet M. Alvarado, Curator and Executive Director of The Alvarado Project, has personally selected photographs from her father Ricardo Ocreto Alvarado’s archive of over 3,000 images which carry forward the theme of multi-generational Filipino American voices in San Francisco. In a nod to “Through My Father’s Eyes”, she illustrates the many stories gathered along the way to create “Compositions”.

Original Literature

Emil Guillermo collaborates with The Alvarado Project as writer/editor to showcase the voices of an engaging group of established and emerging Filipino American writers. “Claiming Our Stories” by The Alvarado Project, is the anthology that complements the project’s historical images with the insight and context of the evolving community. Listen to personal perspectives that reveal the heartbeat of a community. Guillermo adds the world debut of his one-man play, “Emil Amok,” an autobiographical solo theatrical performance on life as a American Filipino in San Francisco.

Original Music

Melecio Magdaluyo, a master musician and bay area treasure in the Jazz scene contributes original music inspired by the images of Ricardo Alvarado. Each piece is written and arranged featuring original musical compositions. Thus, Melecio’s compositions soulfully provides sonic expression of the rich bay area Filipino American experience.

This important collaboration will provide a conduit between scholars, artists, educators, students and communities to explore the rich, yet lesser explored, Filipino American experience. “Compositions” opens to the public September 2014 through December 2014 at the San Francisco Main Public Library, Skylight Gallery, 6th floor, San Francisco History Center.

The CompositionS Team

Janet Alvarado
Project Leader

Janet Alvarado of San Francisco is responsible for all facets of the collaboration overseeing this project. Her first exhibition relays the poignant story of her father’s work, the Filipino American Photographer Ricardo Ocreto Alvarado (1914 – 1976). Through My Father’s Eyes is a signature, one of a kind project that has been highly regarded by The Smithsonian Institution and completed a successful national tour from 2002 – 2006. This experience, commitment and vision drive this current work in “Compositions—A Filipino American Experience” an important stepping stone in making the treasured photographs worthy of wider viewership. Janet serves as Executive Director, Curator for The Alvarado Project.

emil Guillermo
Emil Guillermo
Project Consultant

A native San Franciscan, Emil Guillermo went to Lowell High School, and graduated from Harvard College, where he was an Ivy Orator and class humorist, a distinction shared by fellow Lampoon members like James Downey (Saturday Night Live) and Conan O’Brien. As an award-winning journalist, writer, broadcaster and documentarian, Emil Guillermo has chronicled Asian Americans, Filipino Americans, and the issue of diversity in this country like few others. See him anew in “Compositions” as he debuts a theatrical solo performance, one-man show based on historical, creative and personal accounts. Emil is a longtime friend and partner of The Alvarado Project.

Melecio Magdaluyo
Melecio Magdaluyo
Project Support

He was born and raised in San Francisco, Melecio Magdaluyo grew up listening to the vibrant sounds and styles prominent during the 1970s. Influenced largely by the sounds of James Brown, Tower of Power, Santana and later John Coltrane, Cannon Ball Adderley, Wayne Shorter and Ray Baretto, Melecio’s style reflects a multi-faceted hybrid style uniquely his signature sound. Currently, he teaches at Ruth Asawa School of the Arts and is highly sought as an educator in the San Francisco Bay Area. In conjunction with The Alvarado Project, Melecio is the musical director for “Composition – A Filipino American Experience” featuring his brand new original musical works, written for this display and programs this coming Fall.