09.12.10 Domingo Newsbytes

09.12.10 Domingo Newsbytes

photo credit: Vivian Zapata.

Its been a whirlwind weekend for me but it was a beautiful way to close-out the summer and kick-off the fall.

Last night Proyecto Latina hosted Adelita Pata de Perro at the Carlos y Dominguez Fine Art Gallery in Pilsen.  I got to see new work by Jenny Priego and see the many beautiful friends that stopped by to check it out.  There were two things that made this night exceptional:  it was our first exhibit opening for a monthly feature and second it was the first time we moved our third Monday night date to a Saturday–just so you know we are back to our regularly scheduled program in October.

Last night’s raffle winner for two tickets to Aguijon Theatre’s, Las Soldaderas is: Janine Garcia.

photo credit: Jessica Phillips.

Also, on Friday I was at the opening night for Vida Breve, the Day of the Dead exhibit at the National Museum of Mexican Art.  I was excited to see the culmination of  months worth of work with the great women from El Stitch y Bitch for an altar dedicated to our crafty ancestors.  Although I had seen different parts of the project be developed the amazing final outcome–when all elements came together–left me awed. The icing on the cake for this project was to have Naomi Martinez aka Monstrochika share her wonderful skill to painting an altar element that included my poem.

This September’s Mexican Independence celebrations in the city have placed a special emphasis on the bicentennial and an unexpected occurrence was the focus on Adelita–check out Catalina Maria Johnson’s story on 848 and learn about local projects that are Celebrating the Heroines of the Mexican Revolution. Stephanie Manriquez also explores the  subject of Soldaderas and the origins of Mexican Cuisine in this week’s Extra News.

And the revolutionary wavelength continues beyond the fiestas patrias

  • This week Chicago Mayor Richard Daley announced he will retire.  Looking at his legacy is a good way for Latinas to start schooling ourselves as we prepare to vote for the next city leader: The Chicago News Cooperative summarizes it nicely by topic.
  • I wonder if the city’s new leader will share anything in common with Monica Marquez who is,  “the first out lesbian and the first Latina to sit on the Colorado supreme court,” according to Advocate.com.
  • Failing to hire adequate and qualified translators has been a need that I’ve observed in my local press,  public hearings and instructions for a new piece of furniture.  So, its not really surprising that its also on a list of recommendations for the Hispanic National Bar Associations report on Few and Far Between: The Reality of Latina Lawyers.

A couple of not-to-be-missed events this coming week are:

  • Strong and Chata: We Are All Narizona, artists respond to immigration policies that attempt to erode dignity and strength.  Curated by Paloma Martinez-Cruz and includes work by Jackie Orozco.  Opening reception is next Saturday, Sept. 18, 8-12 p.m. at The Beer Run Gallery, 1104 W. 18th St.
  • Bless Me Madrina a new play by Yolanda Nieves.  opens Friday, Sept. 17th from 7-10pm at the Chicago Center for Performing Arts.

Finally, we are raffling two tickets to Bless Me Madrina for next Friday, Sept. 17th.  To enter your name into this drawing, leave a comment that includes a way to contact you: an email or link back to a website/blog.  We close the drawing at 11:59 p.m., Tuesday, September 14, 2010.

09.05.10: Doming Newsbytes

09.05.10: Doming Newsbytes

We hope you are unwinding and indulging on a lazy Labor Day weekend!

This week I had the opportunity to sit down and lunch with Sylvia Puente, Executive Director of Latino Policy Forum, at the Park City Grill in beautiful Millennium Park. We took a moment for ourselves and over iced tea reflected how hectic the year has been.  Slowing down requires extra effort to squeeze it into busy schedules and sometimes you need to bring everything to a screeching halt to maintain your sanity.

If you are a hyper-busy Latina what do you do to catch your breath?

Speaking of Latinas that are on a roll…

  • Performance artist Jenny Priego is getting ready for Adelita Pata de Perro on Saturday, September 11 at the Carlos & Dominguez Gallery in Pilsen and YOU’RE INVITED! Read more…

A voting initiative we came across that we really like is Mujeres Latinas en Acción is now part of a project to register and mobilize new citizen voters. They  are also reaching out to young women through Proyecto Juventud to educate girls about the history of women’s struggle to vote, the voting process and how they can make a difference in their communities when they are of voting age.  Voting is a luxury. Make sure during the next elections that you and your comadres head to the polls.

Other Latinas on the move include:

Our prayers and good vibes are with 24-year-old Gabriela Cedillo from the Little Village neighborhood. She was an extra in the filming of Transformers 3 when she was hit in the head while filming the scene in Hammond, Indiana. She is listed in critical but stable condition at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood.

Remember to tell your hermanas and comadres about Proyecto Latina! You can follow us on Twitter @proyectolatina or sign up for the RSS feed.

As always we are open to story ideas or if you come across news stories about Latinas email us the link at info@proyectolatina.org

08.29.10 Domingo Newsbytes

08.29.10 Domingo Newsbytes

Since mid-summer I’ve had my mind on September because with it comes the culmination of two wonderful and exciting projects.  Consider this your official invitation to come out and join me, so, mark your calendar for the second weekend in September to enjoy two events that promise to be a ton of fun–and if we’ve never met, maybe now’s the time to come over and say hello.
  • Friday, 09.10.10: Vida Breve, opening night celebrations for the annual Day of the Dead exhibit at the NMMA, there will be an altar by El Stitch y Bitch honoring our crafty ancestors. I am honored by the opportunity to contribute my crochet skills and the segment of a poem for the project, which is led by Thelma Uranga and other SYB’ers.  Y un pajarito me cuenta that you will be hearing more about this project in other places around town.
  • Saturday, 09.11.10: Opening night for Adelita Pata de Perro by Jenny Priego, in celebration of the 2010 Mexican Bicentennial.  I’ve talked to Jenny about this project in the past, and I can’t wait to see the new images from Jenny’s travels.  I also sending  a shout out to our venue sponsor, Carlos y Dominguez Fine Arts Gallery and our Madrinas de Vino, The Chicago Foundation for Women, Latina Leadership Council.

Winner of last Sunday’s book raffle for Odalisque in Pieces is Emmanuel Garcia.  (In case you’re wondering I used this nifty tool to pick our winner.)

Is There a Dr. in the House that speaks Spanish? We had linked to a story that reported that only 6% of medical school students are Latino.  This week Yolanda Cardenas provided a response–not much has changed since she was in medical school and she thinks its about time we see those number rise.
In the news…
Someone decided to try and  figure us out–I hope they listen, I mean really listen. Training program director at Radio Arte, Adriana Gallardo is one of three Latino media entrepreneurs that is tapped to demystify the media preferences of the complex Latino audience.  Get a brief scope of Chicago news and events sites,  “Latino indie list” compiled earlier this summer by Gaper’s Block, that happens to include yours truly.
The new Miss Universe is from Mexico, Jimena Navarrete‘s goal, “I want the whole world to know about my country and my people.”  Reminds me of ten-year old Dora the Explorer that has some speculating has helped create an “enlightened” generation that is open to different people and cultures that are not their own.  Maybe Dora and Jimena should have arrived a few decades earlier because  Esther Cepeda continues to get hate mail and we are glad she is not hesitant about responding to the “anti-immigrant” sentiment. Cepeda says, “My standard response has been that while it’s easy to say that the anger and hatred currently aimed at Latinos is about “ILLEGAL” immigration, the fact of the matter is that I, my family, friends, and neighbors have all gotten called terrible names, sent hateful emails or been otherwise snubbed not based on citizenship or residency status, but because we “look foreign.”
A resource I found via Latinidad: Professor, editor, and organizer of the Festival de la Palabra, Mayra Santos Febres is seeking short stories by new Puerto Rican writers for an anthology that will be published by Siruela Publishing in Spain. (Note this is only for short stories and not for poetry). Writers of Puerto Rican heritage born after 1952 are eligible. For information and submissions, please contact Mayra at: mayra.santosfebres@gmail.com
Our friends over at the Guild Complex are hosting a free Palabra Pura Poetry Writing Workshop on Saturday, September 18, 2010 on, 2-4 p.m. Poet Carlos Cumpián will be the instructor. Held at the Rudy Lozano Library, 1805 S. Loomis St. To register: ppworkshop@guildcomplex.org.
08.22.10 Domingo Newsbytes

08.22.10 Domingo Newsbytes

Photo via MeanlittleBumbleBee

We had a fantastic Proyecto Latina this past week at Catedral Café featuring guest curator Sandra Treviño who decided to spotlight some Latina artists she was very excited about including:  Elizabeth Colin of Grupo Atroz, Mariel “La Gitana” Zavala, the women of bomba group Buya.  For a full recap we encourage you to read MeanLittleBumbleBee’s blog.

Next month, in light of a special program, we are having an opening night for our first featured visual artists–also our first featured artists via an art exhibit– we will be deviating from our normal Monday night schedule and hanging out on the weekend instead!  So mark your calendars and come out to join us.

Date:  Saturday, September 11, 2010
Why:  Jenny Priego presents Adelita Pata de Perro
Where:  Carlos and Dominguez Fine Art Gallery, 1538 W. Cullerton St.
Get the full scoop here…

I’m working on a piece about anchor babies and it’s made me reflect on moms, fertility and how women of color are often criminalized for it. Michelle Chen, a writer, for Colorlines decided to explore this when she wrote The Right’s Long, Racist History of Calling Moms Criminals .

Also, this week the Southern Poverty Law Center today filed a federal lawsuit against Mississippi authorities who took a newborn baby from a Mexican immigrant mother Baltazar Cruz. Apparently the reason they took the child was because Cruz speaks limited Spanish and virtually no English but she does speaks Chatino, an indigenous language in Mexico.  Turns out that the child was placed with a white couple  and since then Cruz has finally been able to get her child back.

Why is there more focus on stigmatizing Latinas and pregnancy than empowering Latinas to manage their fertility? asks Silvia Henriquez, Executive Director of National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health. In her write up Latinas and the High Cost of Birth Control she calls for more affordable access to birth control.

Moving on to Latinos in Social Media (LATISM) released a study on Latina bloggers. The report looks like an interesting read so download it today and check out the latest trends in Latina Bloggers!

On a personal note FELICIDADES to the beautiful bride and Proyecto Latina contributor Ericka Sanchez! Yesterday she got married,  we wish her lots of happiness with her new hubby!

Lastly, a little special something for your two cents this Sunday. Anyone leaving a comment on this Domingo Newsbytes post will be  entered in a raffle for a free book.  Its a new title by University of Arizona Press, and debut poetry collection by Carmen Giménez Smith, Odalisque in Pieces.

When leaving your comment make sure to leave a way (email/link to a blog) to contact you in case you win.  Raffle will close on Friday, August 28th, 2010 at 11:59 p.m.  Winner will be announced in next week’s Domingo Newsbytes.

09.11.10: Adelita Pata De Perro

09.11.10: Adelita Pata De Perro

“Memory in Mexican culture extends beyond the personal. Ancestral legacies and historical events before and after the Conquest impact the Mexican creative mind and those of Mexican background who reside outside the country of their heritage. Jenny Priego as a Chicago performance artist has begun an exciting self exploration through her self-portraits with photography and video, from neo-Mexican Revolutionary soldadera who breaks borders by appearing in unexpected locations around the globe…” –Ana Castillo, June 2010

We invite you to join us for  Adelita Pata de Perro by Jenny Priego in celebration of the 2010 Mexican Bicentennial.


Saturday, September 11, 2010 from 6PM to 10PM – FREE

Arts of the Americas
1538 W. Cullerton St.
Chicago, Illinois 60608

Questions about this event? Contact Diana Pando, info@proyectolatina.org

About the Artist:
Jenny Priego is a visual and performance artist who draws inspiration from her existence as a feminine being. She uses several forms of media to interpret her self exploration, such as technology, her body, voice and formal fine art technique.

Adelita Pata  de Perro is an ongoing project  based on the Mexican Revolution’s soldaderas.  Priego sees the early 20th century rifle-toting revolutionary as a 21st century Wonder Woman breaking borders throughout the planet.  Using herself to represent this image she intervenes in world spaces from posing at the Royal Palace of Bangkok, Eiffel Tower, and the Coliseum, among others.

The spirit, courage and strength that embodies Adelita lives on in the many women that impact their community through the arts and beyond in Chicago. Proyecto Latina wanted to create an event that amplifies the voices and spirit of those women that fought in the Mexican revolution and the new generation of Latina women in Chicago that are making strides and impacting the city of Chicago.

Free and Open to the public. Q&A with artist Jenny Priego accompanied by an open mic of local writers and poets on the theme of what it means to be a modern day Adelita.

Mil gracias to our Venue Sponsor:

CARLOS & DOMINGUEZ Fine Arts Gallery exists to expose and promote  established and professional artists and serious emerging artists working to become established.  Under the banner of “Arts of the Americas”, our gallery exhibits artists, in any medium, from North, Central, and South America.  CARLOS & DOMINGUEZ Fine Arts Gallery is located in the heart of Pilsen. feriadelaluna@yahoo.com

many thanks also to our Madrinas de Vino: Chicago Foundation For Women’s Latina Leadership Council.

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