From author to the biggest private collector of Chicano art in the U.S., Cheech Marin's creativity goes far beyond acting.
Cheech is even the creator of his very own brand of mescal, an alcohol made from a type of agave plant in Mexico, making him a Renaissance businessman.
He also just published his first memoir, "Cheech Is Not My Real Name...But Don't Call Me Chong." Vista L.A. host Patricia Lopez got to visit Cheech's home to hear more about the book and see his impressive art collection.
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He said collecting Chicano art has been a passion of his since 1985. Cheech also said this year is an important year for the art.
"There is an essential characteristic of Chicano art that is essentially political, but it keeps evolving and keeps expanding," he said.
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Cheech said he owns more than 700 art pieces since he started collecting in the 80s. He wants people to appreciate Chicano art, and it's been his mission to get people to see it.
You can learn more about Cheech and his book on his website, cheechmarin.com, or check out his mescal at liquorama.net/tres-papalote-mezcal, or see the Riverside Art Museum at riversideartmuseum.org.
Vista L.A. also visited and learned more about other Latino businesses:
Farm Sanctuary's 26-acre Southern California Shelter is located in Acton, about 45 minutes from Hollywood. In addition to providing shelter for approximately 100 animals, they offer one-hour guided tours on the weekends. To meet the growing demand and help raise awareness of farm animal abuse among Spanish speakers, Farm Sanctuary, America's leading farm animal protection organization, is now offering guided tours in Spanish. It's a first for the organization, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in November. According to experts, Hispanics stand to gain the most from the health benefits of plant-based food because they experience some of the highest rates of preventable, diet-related chronic diseases in the country. farmsanctuary.org
With more than 30 years in advertising, the Orci Agency has helped shape how you see and feel about some of your favorite brands. The family-run business has successfully launched over 30 brands in the Latino market in the United States through digital and traditional multicultural advertising with bilingual production capacities. http://orci.com/#home
Founded by an immigrant woman from Mexico, Aurora Guerrero, is the founder of "Cielito Lindo" on Olvera Street in Los Angeles. She's considered one of the pioneers of the taquito, which is a small fried, rolled taco. The family-owned business is now run by Aurora's granddaughter, who takes great pride in running the business where people still wait in line for this L.A. favorite. elcielitolindo.com
Father/Daughter Butchers at Huntington Meats
Johnny Escobedo is a master butcher and works alongside his novice daughter Tiffany Ybarra at Huntington Meats. You can stop by to see them and grab some high-quality meat at the Original Farmers' Market at 3rd and Fairfax. As a single mom, Tiffany enjoys the opportunity to work with her dad and strives to be as good as him. Her 5-year-old son even wants to be a butcher when he grows up! huntingtonmeats.com/