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José Ortega

May 18, 2018


Hudson, NY


Recorded by

Michelle Vidovic

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This interview with Jose Ortega was conducted on March 19, 2018 in Hudson, NY.  Born in 1977, Jose Ortega is the Exhibits and Collections Coordinator for community museums in Pueblo, CO. He is both a husband and a father of three children. In this interview, Jose discusses Childhood, fatherhood, education and his career path.  Jose describes growing up in the homes of both his mother and grandparents. He shares a variety of Childhood memories including the nights he spent in bars while his mother was performing as a singer. Jose reflects on how his sporadic encounters with his father deeply shaped the person he was to become, specifically in relation to women and his own children.  He reflects on his mixed experiences in the K-12 system where he did not feel intellectually challenged.

Jose discusses how after working years in mental health he returned to university and the resulting transformation. He shares how an influential professor urged him to study history and how this led to an internship at the Smithsonian and his current work in community museums across Colorado.

This interview may be of interest to those who are curious about archiving, museum work, the often misunderstood identity of Chicano, and the daily life of a self-identified Chicano navigating Childhood with a single mother in an economically diverse neighborhood in Pueblo, Colorado.

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Interviewer Bio:
Michelle Vidovic

Michelle Vidovic is a small business owner who has spent the last twenty years working for non-profits and political campaigns. Her areas of focus include refugees, immigrants, and families. She has worked as a Community Connector, Program Manager, and as an Adult and K-12 English as a Second Language Teacher. Her political work includes issue campaigns and working for the late Senator Wellstone in a variety of capacities. She has lived and traveled extensively in Africa and Eastern Europe. She finds working on the ground with people is where her gifts shine.

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This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please click here to inquire about permissions.

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Oral history is an iterative process. In keeping with oral history values of anti-fixity, interviewees will have an opportunity to add, annotate and reflect upon their lives and interviews in perpetuity. Talking back to the archive is a form of “shared authority.”

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