Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Saturday, December 06, 2008

The People for President: Inaugurate This!

I'm going to the inauguration in DC! Come support these events or let me know if you want to support in other ways. More info to come!

A Bay Area coalition of artists and activists create a visual and performing arts project to take to the Inauguration of President Barack Obama, as a way to inaugurate a collective vision for social change!
You can support this effort and add your ideas to the "Inaugurate THIS!" mural project at the following events at La Peña Cultural Center:

Dec 14 Sunday:International Food Tasting Event 7-10pm
Jan 14 Wednesday: Film Screening & Mural-Making Fundraiser, 8pm
We are looking forward to building with you at one or more of these events!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

poetry is an isosceles trapezoid or a mindless circus

This past week in a workshop I wrote a poem pushing myself to incorporate some of the critiques and challenges that I had been receiving as part of the practice of expanding on my artistry. When it came time for my critique, instead of feeling that the words were being considered, what I heard most reflected was that my experience wasn't theirs. I was asked "was this meant to be read aloud or performed?"

I couldn't help but get the feeling that the poem then and there was disregarded and somehow judged differently because I had chosen to write a narrative poem that was timely, relevant and meant to be understood and I wasn't interested in scattering the words across the page in some sort of cryptic design to be considered more "literary".

Tony Media points out in the introduction to Bum Rush the Page that "Serious poets who also happen to perform well on stage are constantly being called spoken-word artists and are not taken seriously as writers. Poets (especially those of color) who use the word (use language) to effect change are therefore ghettoized by those in the academy and those at the gates as solely (or "simply") oral, urban, or street poets." (xix) I am exhausted and frustrated by this experience.

Like a good friend said to me: "that page/stage conversation is tyyud, tired, seco, boring, exhaustive and really, when you look at it carefully, is more a conversation between the rich and the poor."
Well put friend.

While much of the poetry I write or like may have some relation to spoken word "that which lives in performance" poetry should always maintain as Medina says, "the integrity of the page, of the written word." punto. It's got to be about something and then each word has to be considered. Entendiste?

Lesbian Feminist Strippers and Gay Chickens

Don't they know those chickens are gay?

Feminist Lesbian Stippers putting clothes back on. Love it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Cooking show con Karimi

kaotic good productions Presents:
A community cooking ritual to honor our Ancestors before we change the President.
The Cooking Show con Karimi y Comrades
Sunday November 02, 2008. 8pm
$10 gen. $5 w/ canned food for shelters that are struggling
La Peña Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck Ave. in Berkeley.
510-849-2568 - www.lapena.org

The Cooking Show con Karimi y Comrades. Come and take a break from electoral politics madness with revolutionary chef Mero Cocinero Karimi and his special musical Comrades, as he teaches a community cooking ritual to honor ancestors that will make your stomach and corazon smile. The show features Mero Cocinero Karimi and Comrades. It is created by kaotic good productions. Fresh from sold out stops in Anchorage, Minneapolis, Houston, Sheboygan, San Francisco and Off-Broadway, the Associated Press called THE COOKING SHOWŠ "a globally flavored recipe that packs some punch lines." A graduate of the Paolo Freire Culinary Institute, Mero has cooked for luminaries such as author Michele Serros, activist Yuri Kochiyama, author Jeff Chang, and hip hop artist MF Doom. Come early for an extra taste! Free Samples! No one turned away for lack of funds because we know the economy sucks.

Viva Obama


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Report back from East LA and beyond

So I've decided to get over my resistance to writing on my blog and start to write in this more public forum once again. we'll see how it goes.

We had an amaaazing time in East Los/Boyle Heights and the always lovely Long Beach. So many beautiful people, so much talent and inspiration and so much support, my heart is full. I don't exactly know how I made it through with this horrible flu (my ears are still plugged up from the plane) and actually with all the remedies I was partaking of, ginger tea, nasal washes (don't knock it till you try it. its like getting water up your nose in the pool but so so helpful it rocked my world) throat lozenges, throat coat, zinc, vitamins, kambucha (thanks Leah!) and finally some advil, dayquil, or theraflu when it got really rough..., who knows what was real and what was delirium...I didn't get to talk with as many folks as I wished because my voice wasn't there but man did I realize what a little adrenaline can do to get you through. And the folks of CASA 0101 are the best!

On to the next one. This weekend we will be in San Jose at Teatro Vision opening up before House on Mango Street 7:30 sharp so don't be late and there are still a few slots for the workshop with LM3 on Saturday 2-4pm if you know any women who would like to take the workshop. What a great month! Looking forward to some down time to write write write, apply for grants and plan for next year. Abrazos thank you all for your support and feedback!

Friday, October 24- Las Manas Tres: The all mujer hybrid performance troupe Las Manas Tres come down to San José for a special set full of the flava, conciencia, humor and style that is their work. 7:30pm in the Teatro lobby.

Saturday, October 25- Creative Writing/Performance Workshop: Led by Las Manas Tres and inspired by the work of Sandra Cisneros, this workshop is open to women aged 11-25 and is free with attendance to any performance of La Casa en Mango Street. 2-4pm at the Mexican Heritage Plaza. To sign up, contact Carlos Velázquez by email carlos@teatrovision.org.


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Epicentro Poetic Epidemic

CASA 0101 Presents:
Epicentro Poetic Epidemic
Friday Oct. 17, 2008
Doors open at 7:30 PM
Show at 8:00 PM
CASA 0101
2009 E. First St.
Los Angeles, CA 90033

For tickets: tickets@casa0101.org or 323-263-7684
More info:casa0101.org

(October 7, 2008) – Los Angeles, CA – Revolutionary Central American poets
and friends straddle the lines that divide in this evening of art and action. Why
blend in and give in to invisibility?

This night of music and poetry builds alliances with Bay Area artists, Tocayo; Las
Manas Tres: Maya Chinchilla, Milta Ortiz, Cruz Grimaldo; Ana Miranda
Maldonado and Leticia Hernandez-Linares author of Razor Edges of My Tongue.
LA cultural activist Raquel Gutierrez of Butchlalis de Panochtitlan joins other
Epicentro Poets including Jessica Grande, Karina Oliva-Alvarado, in this explosive night of poetry and performance.

This offering creates space for those who have lost their home, who were taken
from their home, who had it stolen, who decided it was time to leave and for
those who carry their home in their heart and need a place to rest. It is about
recovering, documenting and making personal histories and demanding rightful
place among cultural, political and literary movements. Testimony is given to
resurrect memory, inspire action, and laugh loudly to heal old wounds. This
fundraiser supports the publication of DESDE EL EPICENTRO: An Anthology of
U.S. Central American Poetry and Art, co-edited by Karina Oliva-Alvarado and Maya Chinchilla.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mangos, Pinta & Junot

Get out and support some beautiful writers and artists in the Bay!

Mangos with Chilethis Thursday at La Peña in Berkeley,
Pinta tu Propio Mundo Saturday@ Galeria de la Raza in the Mission in SF,
and Junot Diaz at several locations in the Bay...
See you there!

QTPOC Traveling Cabaret
Encuentros 2: Dispatches from the Queer Borderlands

Thursday September 18, 2008
$10-$15 sliding scale - 8pm

Mangos with Chile
Productions presents: Encuentros 2: Dispatches from the Queer Borderlands. Curated by Ms. Cherry & featuring tales from immigrant & first generation queer & trans artists. Through story, hip hop, dance, burlesque & theater, artists reveal the queer sides of immigration and the struggle to survive these war years.

Sat., Sept 20
Time: 7:30pm
Admission: $15 General $10 Students & Galeria Members

Pinta Tu Propio Mundo

Hosted by Leticia Hernández
Featuring: Raquel Gutierrez, Lysa Flores, Kirya Traber, Kim Addonizio, Amie Suzara, and DJ La Rumorosa

For seven years, the Pinta tu Propio Mundo/Create Your Own World series has gathered cutting edge artists that celebrate the creative expression and resistance of women. Founded by spoken word artist Leticia Hernández, this event has grown from a reading among friends to a multidisciplinary gathering of established and emerging women artists. This year, DJ La Rumerosa will open the doors to the voice of slam champion Kirya Traber, Butchlalis de Panochtitlan founder, Raquel Gutierrez, Chicana rocker, Lysa Flores, award winning novelist and poet, Kim Addonizio, East Bay phenom Amie Suzara, and Mission poetista and host, Leticia Hernández. Amelia Berumen of Izpapalotl Clothing, will sell her one of a kind cloth poems at the event.

Junot Diaz readings in the Bay (I hope to be at the Oakland one!)
September 18
City Arts and Lectures, In conversation with Paul Lancour, Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA, 8:00 pm.
September 19
Barnes and Noble, 98 Broadway, Jack London Sq., Oakland, CA, 7:00 pm.
September 20
MACLA (Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Americana), San Jose, CA, 8:00 pm.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Las Manas Tres on KPFA TONIGHT

KPFA La Raza Chronicles Tonight 7pm 94.1 www.kpfa.org

Tuesday Sept. 9, 2008

La Raza Chronicles fills the airwaves with its Spanglish enchantments with public affairs, news sin fronteras, musica y poesia. Nina Serrano interviews the dynamic poetry trio Las Manas about their original poems and spoken performance-art pieces- are you ready to be shocked with what is innovative and fresh in feminista Latina thinking? We will also hear from C`tone about the latest La Raza Chronicles Blogspot and the story of his involvement in community media. Mr Chuch brings us the buzz from the Streets of Aztlan. Emiliano Echevarria shares his expertise and fabulous collection of Musica de Cuba.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Negotiating the Weary

Negotiating the Weary



How to read poetry indeed. I wanted to share first off that the anxiety of returning to school to be and do Poetry with a capital ‘P’ has me all wound up. I am facing down some demons of sorts by entering into the academy as a POET. A poet who only believed she could write poetry because she learned of adults in Central America learning literacy and revolution through poetry.  Because of poetry with no rules, but baptized in the comfort of oral tradition. Because of community based poets telling it like it is from the heart. Only learning of poetry from living poets mouths.

I sit down to read poetry. Even though the words like to dance out of place when I read or hold them down for enough time to get a sentence out.

It seems fitting, anxious as I am that the first set of poems from Langston Hughes speaks of dreams, growing older and claiming a place in society that keeps you at the margins. Hughes writes “Help me to shatter this darkness, to smash this night, To break this shadow into a thousand lights of sun, into a thousand whirling dreams of sun!” These metaphors speak to me. I feel the weight. Only a few lines before he says he is the shadow lying in the darkness of a wall that is keeping Hughes from his dreams. 

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Flor y Canto en el Barrio: A Celebration of Latino Poetry

Date: Thurs., July 24
Time: 8pm
Admission: FREE

Brave New Mundo
Featuring: Javier O Huerta, Alejandra Mojica, Marc Pinate/Tocayo and Las Manas Tres.

Join us at Galeria de la Raza, in San Francisco, one of six venues participating in the Flor y Canto en el Barrio kick off and Lit Crawl, on Thursday, July 24. Translated to mean "Flower and Song in the Neighborhood," the festival brings young, unpublished poets alongside authors such as two-time winner of the American Book Award, Alejandro Murguía, and San Francisco Poet Laureate Jack Hirschman for poetry readings, workshops, and a special exchange of culture and history. "Flor y Canto is about the pursuit of peace through the celebration of poetry, art, culture, and friendship," said the event's curator and critically acclaimed poet Alejandro Murguía.

The Festival will begin on Thursday, July 24 with a kick-off party at 6:00pm in Balmy Alley (24th St. between Harrison and Folsom) and a Lit Crawl of both established and emerging poets. The Lit Crawl will take place at over six different venues on 24th Street (between Mission and Bryant). Poetry readings and workshops for various ages and interests will continue throughout Friday and Saturday, July 25 and 26. For locations of the poetry crawl or for more details visit the Friends' website at www.friendssfpl.org.

Thursday, July 24

Event 1:Festival kick-off party and Lit Crawl with young poets
6:00 pm; Balmy Alley, 24th St. between Harrison & Folsom; Lit Crawl locations include:

7:00 pm—"Other Voices/Many Americas"
Café La Boheme
3318 24th St.
(415) 643-0481
7:00 pm—"La Nueva Flor"
Philz Coffee
3101 24th St.
(415) 282-9155
7:00 pm—"El Corazon de la Misión"
Sundance Coffee
3000 24th St.
(415) 824-1706 8:00 pm—"Breaking Borders"
Accion Latina (El Tecolote Headquarters)
2958 24th St.
(415) 648-1045

8:00 pm—"Fuerza: From Sor Juana to the Mission"
L's Café
2871 24th St. 8:00 pm—"Brave New Mundo – Cutting Edge of the 21st Century"
Galería de la Raza
2857 24th St. @ Bryant

Event 2:Reception for young poets
9:00 pm; Casa Sanchez, 2778 24th St

Contact: Katie Ambellan
(415) 626-7512 ext. 123

Friday, July 25

Event 1: The Word From The Street (Tomas Riley of Youth Speaks hosts teen reading)
2:00 pm; Mission Branch Library, 300 Bartlett St. @ 24th St.

Event 2: Nuestra America I (Main Reading featuring six poets)
7:00 pm; Mission Cultural Center, 2868 Mission St.

Saturday, July, 26

Event 1: The Word Made Perfect: The Art and Craft of Translation (Translation reading/workshop)
2:00 pm; Mission Branch Library, 300 Bartlett St. @ 24th St.

Event 2: Nuestra America II (Main Reading featuring six poets)
7:00 pm; Mission Cultural Center, 2868 Mission St.

Featured Poets

v Lorna Dee Cervantes
v José Montoya
v Mamacoatl
v Roberto Vargas
v Jackie Mendez
v Alfredo Arteaga
v Nina Serrano
v Alejandro Murguía
v Cipactli
v Norman Zelaya
v Melissa Lozano
v Javier O Huerta
v Kim Shuck
v Francisco X Alarcon
v Victor Valle
v Naomi Quiñonez
v Marc Piñate
v Milta Ortiz
v Darren de Leon
v Las Manas Tres
v Alejandra Mojica
v Tomás Riley
v Barbara Jane Reyes
v Jack Hirschman
v Leticia Hernández
v Alfonso Texidor
v Catrióna Rueda Esquibel
v Jorge Argueta
v Janet J Cruz
v Adrian Arias
v Noelia Mendoza
v Walter Huracan Gomez

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

LM3 @ La Peña Hip Hop Theater Festival

We've been working hard adding some new spices here and there to bring our fuerte flava out in full effect. This will be the culmination of a lot work on our current piece and after this we will be moving on preparing for a full length show with La Peña's experimental Teatro in June and then on to Milta's obra maestra in the fall. So don't miss this show this friday! It's going to be so much fun and we go on first so don't be late! (and FRIDAY is MILTA's B-day so lets party!)

La Peña Hip Hop Theater

Las Manas Tres, Delina Brooks & El Teatro Campesino

Friday May 16, 2008
$10 - 8pm

Las Manas Tres "Mi Espacio" pokes fun and peels back the layers of community building and relationships, speaking from the in between spaces as hi-tech aztecs, cyber mamas and spiritual beings. Delina Brooks "Beauty, The Beast", a biographical dance-theater play of poetry, song, & dance. Guerrilla Radio by El Teatro Campesino is an acto tackling media reform and the National Association of Broadcasters.

Las Manas Tres (Maya, Milta and Cruz) are hybrid poetas bringing the fuerte flava, heating the heart and melting the mind from the Bay to L.A. Their stilo is characterized by a mixture of theater, spoken word and movement, centered around themes of social justice, sexuality, motherhood and the relationship between first and third world women. Born from the Las Manas Sisterhood Circle, individually these women are accomplished in their own right. As a trio they take their creativity to new heights using sisterhood and storytelling to inspire collaborative pieces that delve into pain, injustice, love, family, community, and identity, which conjure a potent potion to fend off the plague of self-sabotage. Their newest work pokes fun and peels back the layers of community building and relationships, speaking from the in between spaces as hi-tech aztecs, cyber mamas and spiritual beings. LM3 are always ready to bring the hotness. Yaddamean?

Monday, April 07, 2008

New favorite blog

I was stumbling around the cyber queerway and found this blog Blabbeando. It's worth a holla.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Citizen Orange- There is no line!

my new favorite blog

I'm posting this entire blog from Citizen Orange here because it challenges the notion that if immigrants just followed the rules and got in the back of the line or did things the right way then there would be no problems. It expresses my frustration with immigration policy and why it desperately needs to be changed. Now.
Thank you Citizen Orange. I could kiss you for writing this. M

"Do not try to bend the spoon; that's impossible. Instead only try to realize the truth: There is no spoon." --The bald kid from the Matrix.

Symsess, who has been lately gracing this blog with daily immigration round-ups, made a good point over at American Humanity.

Two things that I hear in the immigration reform rhetoric trouble me a little and they are “pay a significant fine” and “go to the back of the line.” What ‘line’ are they talking about. As far as I know there is no line of people from many countries south of the border because they are excluded from the immigration lottery each year. I’m sure I don’t know enough about the ins and outs of this process, but I’d certainly like clarification on what “back of the line” means.

This article quotes Obama:

“We have to require that undocumented workers, who are provided a pathway to citizenship, not only learn English, pay back taxes and pay a significant fine, but also that they’re going to the back of the line,” he said.

I hear this “line” referred to in two contexts. One is the context I think Obama is talking about, where some future version of comprehensive immigration reform would provide a path to citizenship for the millions of undocumented immigrants now here in the U.S. He seems to be saying that these people would have to wait some period of time before they could become citizens.

On its face, this is a reasonable requirement. But symsess is right to ask what this means. Permanent residents currently have to wait five years to become citizens, in most cases. Applicants for permanent residency through family members or employers have to wait anywhere from a few months to over a decade for their green cards under existing law. For instance, the sibling of a U.S. citizen currently has to wait over fifteen years from first petition to eventual citizenship. Does the back of the line start there, at fifteen years? That doesn’t seem reasonable. This issue must be clarified.

But there is another “line” that restrictionists talk about. This is the mythical line that law-abiding immigrants are supposed to wait in OUTSIDE the country (in the parlance of caps-loving restrictionists) until it’s THEIR TURN to enter and partake of the bounty we call America. This is the “line” I’ll discuss in the rest of this post, the one that is supposed to already exist under current immigration law.

How can I explain this: For most undocumented immigrants, there is no line. There. Is. No. Line.

If you don’t have permanent resident or U.S. citizen family members or an employer willing to undergo the expense and bureaucratic hassle of sponsoring you, there is no line in which to wait. It simply doesn’t exist.

Symsess mentioned the visa lottery. The visa lottery is just that—a lottery which does not lead to a visa for the great majority of applicants. Roughly 50,000 visas are issued through the program per year, which is a drop in the bucket of total immigration to the U.S. Countries overrepresented in the makeup of immigrants to the U.S. get fewer visa lottery visas—countries like China, Mexico, and the Philippines. Even if you are lucky enough to win the visa lottery, if you are here as an undocumented immigrant, chances are you will not be eligible to make use of the visa anyway.

Immigrants eager to apply for employment-based green cards often find themselves in a Catch 22. There is typically a wait of three to five years for an employment-based green card for a worker with a college degree or two years of experience. But the worker must remain in status or leave the country during that waiting period and, unless he/she has an H-1B visa or qualifies under Section 245(i) of the INA, usually cannot continue to work for the employer in the U.S. and still get a green card at the end of the wait. Most employers don’t want to sponsor someone who can’t work for them for the next three to five years. This means that many immigrants who are qualified to work in the U.S. and have an employer willing to sponsor them still find themselves unable to work lawfully.

If you are poor and unskilled, it is usually much more simple: there is no line whatsoever. Duke from Migra Matters had a good run-down a while back of the miniscule number of green cards made available in 2006 for unskilled workers: 147. The great majority of immigrants from Mexico and Central America fall into this group. Almost none of them can get a visa to come here lawfully in the first place, and they certainly can't get one if they leave the country after having violated U.S. immigration laws.

This idea of "get in line with everybody else" is a fabrication dreamt up by restrictionists to make their odious ideas palatable to an unknowing public. It makes sense that there should be a line, and we hear stories about family members waiting for ten years or more to reunite here in the U.S. So people assume there actually is a line where people can apply and eventually come into the country if they are patient and stay out of trouble.

There isn't! It's a fantasy. In a reasonable world there would be such a line, but in this world there’s not.

Even high-skill workers struggle to immigrate to the U.S. There is a cap of 65,000 H-1B visas each year—these are temporary nonimmigrant visas for people with at least a college degree filling a job that requires skill and education in a professional occupation. Last year, the cap was exhausted on the first day that applications were accepted, when more than twice as many applicants applied as there were visas. The tech community is desperately lobbying an unresponsive Congress to remedy the situation. (I'm sure the Democrats would if they could, but "third rail" and all that. America's high-tech community thanks you, Rahm, for framing the issue so effectively.)

Also, under current law, undocumented immigrants who have been here more than one year who then leave the country will not be able to return legally for ten years. There are any number of ways to be disqualified from future immigration benefits, including having certain misdemeanor convictions (even those from decades ago), falling out of student status and not getting reinstated, or, in many cases, working without employment authorization. Longtime permanent residents learn about some of these obscure laws the hard way when they leave the country for a wedding or funeral and find themselves in removal proceedings when they return. Telling an undocumented immigrant to leave the U.S. and go to the end of the line is a cruel joke once you realize that first, there is no line, and second, leaving will likely mean exclusion from the country for ten years or more.

This complicated minefield we call our immigration system seems designed to ensnare immigrants and find an excuse—any excuse—to deport them and keep them from coming back. Anyone familiar with the way the system works will soon realize that the attributes we associate with “rule of law”—predictability, consistent enforcement, and fairness—are often absent from immigration law.

This is why I have a hard time taking seriously anyone who repeats the mantras “rule of law” or “go to the end of the line” with respect to the immigration system. These words are calculated to obscure and mislead, and any progressive who uses these words should be asked to explain what they mean.

(Note: I’ll provide my first legal disclaimer here, which is this: If you are in need of legal immigration advice, seek the counsel of a competent immigration attorney—preferably one who won’t rip you off—and don’t necessarily rely on this post for guidance on specific legal scenarios, which can vary widely depending on individual circumstances.)

Monday, March 03, 2008

The Art of Political Murder

I've been meaning to read this book: The Art of Political Murder by Francisco Goldman one of my favorite writers, especially since I have a little more time to read for pleasure since I am not reading as much heavy theory or graduate school assignments. I'm beind though because I am still reading his previous book "the Divine Husband" a work of historical fiction inspired by Jose Martí poem La niña de guatemala. In the meantime here is a link to a blog about The Art of Political Murder and how Junot Diaz (another favorite of mine) was so inspired by the book that he said this:
"Goldman is a genius. After reading his work, I threw all my Mario Vargas Llosa books out the window. That guy is a criminal."

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Somos Medicina Announcement

International Women’s Day & Women’s Herstory Month
Celebration & 11th Year Anniversary

March 8th, 13th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 26th, 29th, 30th
All events at
Self Help Graphics & Art
3802 Cesar Chavez Avenue, East Los Angeles, CA 90063
(unless otherwise noted)

LOS ANGELES, CA (February 15th, 2008) --- The women of color art collective Mujeres de Maiz presents “Somos Medicina,” a month-long series of intercultural, intergenerational, and interdisciplinary art events celebrating our 11th Anniversary and 6th poetry and arts publication, in honor of International Women's Day, and Women's Herstory month; Seven events, One group exhibit, all happening throughout March 2008 Free and open to the public at historic community cultural center, Self Help Graphics & Art, Inc. (unless otherwise noted). For more information, please call (323) 359-6288 or visit http://www.mujeresdemaiz.net.

This monumental all woman production will be showcasing multi-media art, musical performances, independent films, along with holistic health workshops, and a roundtable discussion. Chicana veteran artists, community leaders, and emerging artists will be highlighting themes on women artistry, spirituality, native traditions, their relation to the earth, and urban reality.

The over 30 artists in the group show represent generations of the Chicana art movement, ranging from the indigenous focused work of Self Help Graphics co-founder and artist, Linda Vallejo, to the the politically and spiritually charged work of Yreina Cervantez and Celia Herrera-Rodriguez, both exhibiting artists in “CARA,” the ground breaking exhibition of Chicano art that is arguably the most important Chicano art exhibit of the last 20 years,

Different from both “CARA” and many current exhibits of Chicano art, “Somos Medicina” highlights the generations that have not been discussed since the prime of the Chicano art movement and its wonder years, and brings forth the women and Queer artists, so often overlooked in many of these “his”-torical exhibitions. This exhibit also highlights the “Generation X “and “Mex “ of women artists and their expressions being born from the Chicano art movement and moving forward to build a movement of their own.

This important exhibit is accompanied by a month-long series of events with all-women performers, poets, film makers, rappers, dancers, and theater artists coming together to honoring women’s herstory month and commemorate International Women’s Day in solidarity with millions of women across the world on March 8th and throughout the month.

The exhibit which opens on Saturday, March 8th at 5pm, is followed by a free live performance by women performers. A special Artist talk is scheduled for Wednesday, March 26th, with a who’s who of Los Angeles Chicana intergenerational visual and multi-media artists in a rare conversation, as these women of various generations come together to share stories, experiences, and visions.

A selection of the performing artists for the month-long series of events all listed below include; Las Manas, this generations all female spoken word collective representing the Bay area, as well as international spoken word artist and award winning poet, Gabriela Garcia Medina, and veteran Chicana poet Gloria Alvarez. Music and song performed by young women punksters, Mystery Hangup, Chicana indigenous M.C/rappers, Cihuatl-Ce, Guerrilla Queenz, and Lady Binx who hails from Texas; and women’s drum collective, recently debuting their CD, In Lak Ech. Also included in the series of events, a fresh theater performance by Teatro M3, the Queer Raza performance art of Butchlalis de Panochtitlan, and women of color film makers, Aurora Guerrero, and Claudia Mercado, and the Chicana gitana flamenca dancer and maestra, Briseyda Zarate. These not-to-be-missed performances, including artists, dates, times, and events are listed below and at http://www.mujeresdemaiz.net.


Gallery Opening: Sat. 3/8, 5-7pm

"Somos Medicina" visual and multi-media art exhibit highlighting women artists. "In the spirit of our ancestors we are facilitating the creation this space/exhibit where there is dialogue about the contribution of women’s work to the decolonization and healing of our communities and selves." Invited artists include those whose work speaks of the political as well as spiritual alternatives to Eurocentric and patriarchal worldviews; embracing the "Medicina," the medicine that exists within all of us. Exhibit also open during our month of events and 3/15 and 3/22 (12-4pm).

Exhibiting Artists: Barbara Carrasco, Binx, Brenda Quintero, Carmen Kalo, Celia Herrera-Rodriguez, Dalila Mendez, Elena Esparza, Faviana Rodriguez, Gina Aparicio, Joanna “Mixpe” Ley, Lilia Ramirez, Linda Vallejo, Lucy Castro, Margaret Alarcon, Maria Castillo, Marisol L. Torres, Maritza Alvarez, Melanie Cervantes, Nayeli Guzman, Ofelia Esparza, Poli Marichal, Rachel Thorson-Veliz, Sandra de La Loza, Sara Margarita Martin, Sugey Salazar, Susana De Leon “Timoi”, Womyn Image Makers, and Yreina Cervantez.

Live Art Show with teatro, dance, and performance art and song. PREMIERE of Limited Edition Full Color Mujeres de Maiz 'Zine.
Performances by: Las Manas (Bay area), Briseyda Zarate, Cyn da’Poet, Butchlalis de Panochtitlan, Xaris, Yei Tecpatl (San Jose), Deema Debis in collaboration with Lynnix, Gabriela Garcia Medina, and In Lak Ech


Thursday, February 07, 2008

Somos Medicina-in Los Angeles

A Month-Long Series of
intercultural, intergenerational, interdisciplinary
ART Events

*Celebrating our 11th Anniversary, 6th ‘zine publication,
International Women’s Day, and Women’s Herstory month*

March 2008 in East L.A.

Self Help Graphics & Art (SHG),
3802 Cesar Chavez Ave. LA, CA 90063
unless otherwise noted.

Event Explanation and Artists Involved

VISUAL ART EXHIBIT: March 8th-29th
Visual and multi-media art exhibit themed “Somos Medicina,” highlighting women artists and their spirituality, specifically those who carry on traditional/native/indigena ways.

Exhibiting Artists will be some of those who paved the way for the new generation of Chicana artists and the emerging generation also— A NOT TO BE MISSED EXHIBITION!

Live Performance Event Sat. March 8th
Live Art Show with dance, teatro, and performance art. **Limited Edition MdM ‘Zine available HERE**
with: Teatro Crew (Las Tres M’s), Las Manas (Bay Area, featuring: Cruz, Maya & Milta), Fire Dancer Poets, Yei Tecpatl (San Jose), In Lak Ech, and more!


POETRY NIGHT: Thurs. March 13th
Hosted by Cyn Da’ Poet
With Poets: Lilia Ramirez, Alejandra Sanchez, Lenux, Deema Debis, Xitlali, Marisol Crisostomo-Romo, and more!

Film night Fri. March 21st
Womyn Image Makers presents a night of films by women of color, curated by WIM.
Platica to follow with the filmmakers.

Self-Defense Workshop Sat. March 22nd 11-12:30pm
Instructor: Cati de los Rios (Karateka, High School teacher)
This workshop provides a safe space for women of all backgrounds, ages and sizes to learn the appropriate self-defense techniques and enable them to survive and escape the dangers in their everyday lives.

Mujer Mercado/Holistic Health Workshops Sun, March 23rd 11-6pm
All mujer Mercado at First Street Studios, to include Mujeres de Maiz artists and veterana members. The Mercado will also house the HOLISTIC HEALTH workshops done by various women.
***Are Free with any purchase from Artist Vendor or Workshop Facilitator***

11:00: Doors Open
1:00-1:30- Spa Detox by Dr. Sanchez OMD, Acupuncture Plus
1:45-2:45-Natural Birth Control by Patricia Garcia
Panochas Poderosas by Patricia Garcia
Sexual empowerment and precise anatomic self- awareness
3:00-3:20- Moon Cycle Ceremonies by Dr. Elena Esparza, D.C, Just Breathe Healing
3:20-3:50- Herbal Baths by Dr. Elena Esparza, D.C, Just Breathe Healing
4:00-4:30-Dispelling the American Food Pyramid by Dr. Sanchez OMD Acupuncture Plus
4:45-5:45-Earth Medicine, Daisy Tonantzin, Yerberia Mayahuel
“Healing Through The Cultivation Of A Healthy Environment”
-Part 1 First St. Studios
Creating Spaces For Healing
-Part 2 Caracol Marketplace
Cultivating Herbs For Healing
End Time 6pm

First Street Studios
2026 E. First Street, Los Angeles (Boyle Heights), CA 90033

Artist talk/Platica Wed. March 26th
Artist talk/forum/platica on the theme of “somos medicina.”
Focus is on highlighting inter-generational women artists on the red road.

Music/Mujer Concert Sat. March 29th
Mujer Musica Concert showcasing women musicians/performer/rappers on one night at SHG.
With: Mystery Hangup, Cihuatl-Ce, Guerrilla Queenz, Eddika Organista of El Huru Kuroi, and more!

Closing Ceremony @ Caracol Marketplace/Jardin Sun. March 30th
Caracol Marketplace returns to its monthly home at Proyecto Jardin/Community Garden. A small closing ceremony honoring the Spring Equinox and all mujeres will take place.

At Proyecto Jardin

Painting by Margaret Alarcon

For More information:

Mujeres de Maiz WEBSITE

Mujeres de Maiz MYSPACE


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Jan. 23, 2008 UC DAVIS

For immediate release
Event Date: January 23, 2008, 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Press Contacts: Lexer Chou 530.752.1426 / achou@ucdavis.edu
Sonia Montoya (530) 752-3372/ sdmontoya@ucdavis.edu


An evening of women’s voices raised in solidarity!

Davis, CA--In their first ever event collaboration, Campus Unions and the Women’s Resources and Research Center present “Sister What? Sisterhood! Womyn Word Warriors,” a spoken word event.

Held in Freeborn Hall, the event showcases four prominent women spoken word artists. Adriana Cabrera-García is a well-known transnational poet between Mexico and “el norte” who performed in 2007 Encuentro Internacional de Mujeres Poetas. and also an activist within the Chicana/o community in San José. Maya Chinchilla is a Central American poet performer, two-spirited diva, and a Renaissance woman filmmaker and activist scholar. She has several films under her belt, and is working on her first book of poetry. Chinaka Hodge is a writer and spoken word artist, and has been published in McSweeney’s anthology, My Words Consume Me and in Newsweek; and has made appearances on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam. Finally, Mush is a soulful free spirit spoken word artist from the Bay Area, who sultry style of words that can transform into fierce vocal venom on call. Mush has also appeared on Def Poetry Jam, and will be starring in her upcoming one-woman play titled Regarding Women.

Spoken word is known as performance poetry, a form of literary art or artistic performance in which lyrics, poetry, or stories are spoken. It puts a dual emphasis on writing and performance. Unlike written poems, spoken word artists are not limited to words – they can also utilize body language and voice tone. While spoken word is often poetic in nature, it is also considered a literary form of storytelling or political commentary. Spoken word is another form of oral tradition as a catalyst for social change, according to internationally touring folk poet and progressive queer artist-activist Alix Olson, “Women, quite familiar with the tenet that ‘the personal is political,’ caught on quickly to slam poetry’s populist notion, and were more than ready to add their truth(s) to the tapestry, contributing invigorating voices of protest, reflection, and resistance…I have witnessed spoken word develop as one of the most undiluted expressions of art available to women, particularly as a vehicle for social change.”

“We hope to expose the Davis community to powerful women spoken word artists. These artists have a voice and they have so much to say about their community, issues in the world, and their own personal stories,” says Lexer Chou, program coordinator for UC Davis Campus Unions.

Campus Unions is the community center of the college that serves the students, faculty, staff, alumni and guests. By whatever form or name, a college union is an organization offering a variety of programs, activities, services, and faculties that when taken together, represents a well-considered plan for the community life of the college.

The Women’s Resources and Research Center provides educational programming to the campus community – students, faculty, and staff women about women’s issues and concerns, and promotes an understanding of the role and impact of gender in our lives and our society. The Center creates a creative working and learning environment to help women of diverse backgrounds achieve their intellectual, professional and personal goals; and advocates for women’s full inclusion, equality, and advancement.

Womyn Word Warriors at UC DAVIS

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

compassion, kindness, truth, awareness, clear perception of reality

I could not see before and am focusing my lenses on how letting go is not about complacency or giving up the fight for what is right it is actually a tool to be stronger and better equipped for all those things we believe in. Including ourselves.

Paraphrasing some lessions from readings(you know, those reflection-do-something different if the shit you do over and over isn't working-books) and meditations I'm working on:

Suffering is inherent in life
we create that suffering through our attachments and demands that things be different than they are.
We ease our sufffering when we cease our endless demands and accept the what is of life.
With complete acceptance of what is, and with seeing through all these superficial desires to the essence of all that is, we will live with peace and love.

"To a large degree suffering results from the turmoil we create when we demand that life be "fair" and not include obstacles, challenges or illness. Once we accept these aspects of life, we can more easily cope with them or seek solutions."