The San Jose-based Grammy Award-winning Mexican music group Los Tigres del Norte will be playing a special concert June 16 at the San Jose State Event Center Arena to benefit arts and music programs in local schools, reports Univision

The concert is being organized by the Mexican Heritage Corporation of San Jose, which provides Mexican folklorico dance classes in San Jose schools and community centers. “I want to save music and realize students’ dreams,” Eduardo Hernandez, a member of the music group, told Univision.

“Music is part of our body. It gives us hope,” said Jorge Hernandez, another member.

Karen Fuqua, a spokeswoman for the San Jose Unified School District, told New America Media that the arts are essential to students’ development, and expressed her support for the fundraising event. “I think that’s fabulous,” she said.

Fuqua attributes the absence of arts and music classes from San Jose school curricula to the passage of Proposition 13 in 1978 and the loss of school funding through property taxes. She said the school
district’s limited magnet schools and two performing arts high schools are the exceptions.

As a result of the loss of these classes, she said, various schools have come to depend on non-profit organizations like the Mexican Heritage Corporation that coordinate arts and music programs, but
these are largely after school programs, and are also limited.

"Having children learn through incorporating music and the arts would be ideal,” she said, but funding and time to train staff can make this difficult.

In the meantime, in most of the schools where there is no presence of arts or music, Fuqua said, “Teachers are always dipping into their pocket books” to provide it.

Some teachers spend $200 to $400 a month out of their own pockets, she said, “But that only goes so far.”