Year-end reivew: Who were the creative risk takers?


A year ago Diana Pando provided a year-end review and five tips for the creative tool box–exercises to tone our artistic muscle.  After all, being a productive and dynamic artist takes the same attention and discipline an athlete might dedicate to a sport. A  look at the 2011 roster of featured artists at our Proyecto Latina Reading Series, and the work they presented is proof of the time and dedication that this group of women invest in their art.  Month after month, from comedic to somber each featured artist presented her work with a lot of heart and passion.  I had the privilege to witness many moments of courage and vulnerability as these women took creative risks on the Proyecto Latina stage.

What follows is a quick snapshot of our third Mondays in 2011:

  • January: Sandra Delgado shared a lyrical monologue that weaved family history and of the art of perfume making.
  • February: Xenia Ruiz shared excerpts from her novel, a memoir and her most recent manuscript.
  • March: Awilda Lyse Gonzalez shared short stories and poems on identity, her experience as a single mom,  and issues that effect women and our communities.
  • April: For National Poetry Month we featured Yolanda Nieves who read from her book The Spoken Body.
  • May: Kansas City writer Xanath Carranza presented poetry and narratives in English, Spanish and Nahuatl.  We also had work on display from visual artist Maria Esther Leon.  
  • June: Gwen La Roka  infused us with plenty of  laughter with her comedy. 
  • July: Claudia Martinez brought more humor with her improv and comedy.
  • August: Natalie Marlena Goodnow visiting from Austin, Texas presented her solo play Mud Offerings
  • September: Jazmin Corona exhibited photography and read a memoir piece. 
  • October: Stephanie Manriquez delivered a multi-media presentation on the challenges that drive her to create.
  • November: A tad bitter-sweet year-end when our feature Kelly Norman Ellis cancelled because she was sick and unable to present but that didn’t keep us from selecting a few poems from her book to share.

After the November Proyecto Latina Reading Series our team went out for celebratory drinks to toast to another successful year of creating literary and artistic programs in Chicago’s Southside communities of Little Village, Pilsen and Bridgeport.  We got down to business and on a cocktail napkin drafted a wish-list of 2012 calendar of features.

As I write this we are extending invitationsas soon as we have logistics confirmed we will be sharing our calendar.  As always, if you have someone you think deserves the spotlight drop us a line: info@proyectolatina.org.

See you in 2012! Remember to save the date for the next Proyecto Latina,  01/16/12 @ 7 p.m. Details coming soon.

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