Proyecto Latina welcomes Stitch y Bitch

Proyecto Latina welcomes Stitch y Bitch

This month Proyecto Latina features Thelma Uranga, founder of Pilsen’s Stitch y Bitch and an enthusiastic knitter that’s building community while cranking out scarves and hats. Knitting / crocheters are encouraged to bring their projects to work on and/or donate a swatch for the Stitch y Bitch projects: a knit piñata and/or knit graffiti. As always we will have an open mic and the chisme box.

A few weeks ago we interviewed Thelma Uranga about the Stitch y Bitch. Listen to her interview.

Monday, November 16 @ 7PM
Proyecto Latina Reading Series – FREE!
Radio Arte
1401 W. 18th Street

#18th St./60 Blue Island Bus Blue Line 18th St. stop

El stitch y bitch was recently invited to present at Pecha Kucha Champaign-Urbana. Pecha Kucha is an international event in which creatives are invited to present their media in six minutes and forty seconds: 20 slides, 20 seconds per slide. El stitch y bitch’s presentation deals with the idea of knitting in communities and on them. For this Proyecto Latina night el stitch y bitch will re-play their PK presentation. El Stitch y Bitch is a culturally diverse knitting group created by Thelma Uranga & Stephanie Manriquez. Together they envisioned bringing a space to the Pilsen neighborhood where people of all backgrounds could come together and knit, drink coffee, bitch, learn from each other and indulge in lots and lots of colorful yarn. Since then, knitting in coffee shops, galleries, parks and the occasional knit graffiti have become the norm for this group of knitters, hookers and crafters.

Thank you to our community partner Radio Arte 90.5 FM for hosting us!
Proyecto Latina – Featuring Teatro Americano

Proyecto Latina – Featuring Teatro Americano

This month Proyecto Latina is thrilled to present the ladies of Teatro Americano. They will be performing sections of the 2010 production of Meet Juan(ito) Doe.

Proyecto Latina Reading series

Monday, October 19 @7PM-FREE

Radio Arte

1401 W. 18th Street

Chicago, IL

Street Parking

18th Street Bus/ 60 Blue Island Bus/Pink line 18th St. stop

“I had the opportunity to meet Alejandra and Zulema about five-years ago when they were still in high school and I’m excited to say that these ladies are ones to watch. The ladies of this production are the next generation of Latinas in the arts”. –Diana Pando

Meet the ladies of Meet Juan(ito) Doe:

Alejandra Garcia

codename: Skinny Brown

Is a an actress, collaborator, and writer with Teatro Americano. She is a creator and actress in the ensemble’s SALUD teatronovelas Fronteras del Amor and Los Aires de Mañana. She is looking forward to performing in Meet Juan(ito) Doe in 2010. This past summer, she traveled to the mountain town Tamaula in Guanajuato, Mexico supported by a MacArthur International Connections Grant to use theatre for community development. A graduate of Big Picture High School and frequent volunteer with Latinos Progresando, Alejandra is dedicated to the progress of Chicago’s Latinos. She is eager to begin pursuing a career in the arts and dance in 2010.

Veronika Miranda

codename: Osa Picosa

Miranda is many things: actress, artist, photographer, writer, partygirl, etc. Graduating from Queen of Peace High School, she is a good bad girl from Chicago’s Southside. A member of Teatro Americano’s youth and young adult ensemble, she is an original collaborator and performer of Fronteras del Amor and looking forward to Meet Juan(ito) Doe. In Summer 2009, she traveled with Teatro Americano to rural Mexico supported by a MacArthur Chicago International Connections grant to use theater for community development and create new work. She currently works at a factory alongside her gente and enjoys very much her cigarette breaks. She is extremely grateful for coffee, family, friends, and Ricardo Gamboa (of course).

Zulema Ortiz

codename: Juice-ema

Migrating from Mexico, Zulema found new home in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood. She is an actress, collaborator, and writer with Teatro Americano’s youth and young adult ensemble. Dedicated to the progress of her community beyond the stage, Zulema has been active in organizing around issues of immigration. A former undocumented student, Zulema is intimate with the difficulties confronting immigrant youth and their pursuit of higher education and is currently active in DREAM Act advocacy. She is also a Teatro Americano educator at Rosario Castellanos Elementary. She is a graduate of Big Picture High School and 2009 winner of the Sor Juana Award. She can be seen in Teatro Americano’s Fronteras del Amor and later next year in Meet Juan(ito) Doe.

Special THANK YOU to our community partner Radio Arte 90.5FM

Its still poetry month @ Proyecto Latina w/ Johanny Vázquez Paz

Its still poetry month @ Proyecto Latina w/ Johanny Vázquez Paz

We’re taking poetic celebrations beyond poetry month and well into May when Proyecto Latina welcomes Chicago poet Johanny Vázquez Paz as our next feature. Spring is in the air and we are excited to have Johanny sharing her humor, wit, and work with us. Join us Monday, May 18th @ 7 p.m. Held at Radio Arte, 1401 W. 18th St. Free. As always open mic and chisme box will be ready for contributors.

Johanny Vázquez Paz was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She holds a Master of Arts in Hispanic Studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Indiana State University. Her book Poemas callejeros / Streetwise Poems was recently published by Mayapple Press (Michigan, 2007). She co-edited the anthology Between the Heart and the Land / Entre el corazón y la tierra: Latina Poets in the Midwest (MARCH/Abrazo Press, 2001) and was included in the compilation Poetas sin tregua (Spain, 2006) of Puerto Rican poets from the 80′s generation. Some of her poems appeared in the anthology Más allá de las fronteras (Ediciones Nuevo Espacio, New Jersey, 2004), and she was published in the collection Carpetas de Luz after winning the Voces Selectas 2000 poetry contest of Luz Bilingual Publishing. Johanny has been published in the literary magazines VOCES Journal (Univ. of California), El Centro Journal of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies (Hunter College, N.Y.), Beyond Borders (De Paul Univ.) and Yagrumal (Puerto Rico), among others. She has also participated in many poetry readings at universities in the Midwest, and is currently the emcee of the Guild Complex Bilingual Series’ Palabra Pura. She currently teaches Spanish at Harold Washington College in Chicago, IL The author invites everyone to her blog Tinta Derramada.

One Book, One Chicago-House On Mango Street

One Book, One Chicago-House On Mango Street

This week the Mayor announced the One Book, One Chicago selection. Felicidades to Sandra Cisneros and her book The House On Mango Street! The book is in its 25th Anniversary and still delighting readers of all ages.

The House On Mango Street was published in 1984 and traces Esperanza Cordero’s coming-of-age through a series of vignettes about her family, neighborhood, and secret dreams. Esperanza’s character shows us her self-empowerment and will to overcome obstacles of poverty, gender, and race. I got a copy of the book in Spanish and I’m so excited to send it to my 11 year-old niece Aylín in Mexico City.

Sandra Cisneros was born in Chicago in l954, the third child and only daughter in a family of seven children. I studied at Loyola University of Chicago (B.A. English 1976) and the University of Iowa (M.F.A. Creative Writing 1978). She worked as a teacher and counselor to high-school dropouts, as an artist-in-the schools where I taught creative writing at every level except first grade and pre-school, a college recruiter, an arts administrator, and as a visiting writer at a number of universities including the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Read more about Sandra’s books here!

One Book, One Chicago was inaugurated in the fall of 2001, the One Book, One Chicago program is launched each spring and fall to cultivate a culture of reading and discussion in Chicago by bringing our diverse city together around one great book. Past winners include, one of my favorites, Tell It To The Mountain by James Baldwin. The Press Conference: When I arrived at the Harold Washington Library I found an army of cameramen shooting footage of the press conference and people flipping through pages of the book. Proyecto Latina Radio Co-Producer Irasema Gonzalez was already there and lurking between book aisles I spotted Radio Arte’s General Manager Silvia Rivera and made my way towards them. I always find myself greatly entertained when I’m in the company of these two women. The press conference took a weird turn when the Mayor went from talking about The House On Mango Street to drugs in Mexico. I think it took away from the focus of the book and hope no one associates the book with drugs in Mexico. While he said things I agreed with it was definitely a different press conference. A couple of years ago… I remember Irasema dragging me all the way to Loyola University one cold March day to see a special reading by Sandra Cisneros. I was resisting because it was early in the morning. I am so thankful I went because not only was her reading amazing something unexpected happened. When it was our turn at the book signing we asked her about writing and she said, “Start a writing group and she pointed to other women in the room that had asked the same question. Sandra doesn’t know this but she is our writing group Madrina and we’ve been writing ever since. Her suggestion brought me together with other wonderful writers like Professor Lizann Acosta, Dr. Yolanda Cardenas, PhD. Candidate Magda Banda and Tianguis Book Store Owner Irasema Gonzalez and together we form the Maravilla Writing Collective. Click on this link for a video interview with Sandra Cisneros. Also Irasema will be interviewing Sandra and scheduled to air on Sunday, April 18 at 6 p.m. on 90.5 FM WRTE. Proyecto Latina extends un ABRAZOTE FUERTE to Sandra Cisneros for her wonderful writing and for opening puertas for the rest of us!