Domingo Newsbytes: 06.13.10

Domingo Newsbytes: 06.13.10

One of the things I was reflecting on recently, is how wonderful it is to see so many Latinas on the move. These women are always a great source of pride and inspiration and I’m delighted to be able to spotlight some of these women and the work they do.

This week our hermanas at the Chicago Foundation For Women’s Latina Leadership Council will be holding their summer fundraiser to raise funds for the Maria Mangual Unidas Fund @ Teatro Luna’s Generic Latina 2010 production on Thursday, June 17, @ 6:30 p.m. reception, 7:30 p.m. performance Chicago Dramatists Theatre. We hope to see you there! Register Today!

Our next Proyecto Latina is on Monday, June 21 @ 7pm @ Cafe Catedral in Little Village featuring Alicia Vega from Palabra Dulce. Read more…

Did you get a chance to check out the Céu interview by Veronica Vidal? Well if you haven’t check it out and discover the captivating music of Brazilian songbird Céu.

Partner Dance Press and is putting together an online anthology. The deadline is coming up this week so remember to submit. Read more…

Here is this week’s Domingo Newsbytes: Crude oil continues to gush in the Gulf of Mexico and spread to the coasts of Louisiana. Latinas are in the trenches of the clean-up efforts of the oil spill. These women are working hard to try to protect our environment. They’ve been working 12 hours a day unloading oil containment barriers, or “boom,” from trailers.  The “boom” forms a protective barrier around marshland to protect it from the waves of crude oil. While these jobs impact these Latinas economically there are concerns of reproductive health issues for women living or working near shoreline areas. Imagine if you are born in the United States of America and you are denied citizenship because your parents are undocumented? Crazy talk right? Well apparently not folks! Arizona Republicans will be introducing legislation this fall that would deny birth certificates to children born in Arizona – and thus American citizens according to the U.S. Constitution – to parents who are not legal U.S. citizens. This new proposed law is brought to you courtesy of the same person that created Senate Bill 1070 Sen. Russell Pearce, a Republican from the Mesa , AZ district. Action Steps You Can Take against this proposed law include: Writing Op-Ed pieces in your local newspaper, supporting organizations like MALDEF and American Civil Liberties Unions and other nonprofit organizations within Arizona you can also contact via  email to President Obama expressing your concern about this proposed legislation. Use your voice! If you have suggestions on what else we can all be doing collectively please share them in the comment section. (Image by: Jared Rodriguez )

On lighter note if you were one of the 9,000 people that watched the Mexico vs. South Africa soccer game than it will come as no surprise that this year’s second annual Siempre Mujer Magazine (June/July issue) has declared Rafa Marques as the Sexiest Soccer Player chosen by their readers. I have to say as I watched him score a goal he looked pretty good from where I was standing;) What do you think is he a Papucho or not?

This week I was walking around my neighborhood when I saw a little kid eating a Popsicle. I delighted at the thought of making my own popsicles this summer. I had seen the plastic Popsicle molds at the store and wanted to run out and get them.  Than I remembered that plastic is really bad for our planet. I thought of a poor dolphin choking on my plastic Popsicle molds (plastic doesn’t deteriorate) so I refuse to buy the plastic kind.  So what’s the alternative? Stainless steel popsicle molds! I found them on Fake Plastic Fish which is a website offering alternatives to plastic.

Céu: Music that speaks to the heart

Céu: Music that speaks to the heart

Back in Chicago with a new album, Brazilian songbird Céu took the stage at the Green Dolphin in April with a set list of songs from her latest, Vagarosa, as well as some old favorites, including a cover of Ray Charles’ Takes Two to Tango.

Bridging reggae, bossa nova, electronica and jazz, Céu produces a cool eclectic sound that is complemented by her sultry voice. She debuted in the U.S. in 2007 with her self-titled album, which earned her a Grammy nomination, and shows no signs of stopping. In addition to her new album, Céu is one of the featured artists on Herbie Hancock’s The Imagine Project, a collaborative focused on uniting cultures through music.

Céu took time from her international tour to talk to Proyecto Latina.

Q: Your latest album, Vagarosa, has been doing very well. It reached #1 on the World Music Charts in Europe and made the Best International Releases list in 2009 by the Chicago Reader. What would you say is different about this album in comparison with your first?

A: I think this album sounds more “organic” than the first one, since we almost didn’t use electronic resources such as beats, textures and noises. I was strongly influenced by albums that had a strong pulse, but without much effort, like Transa, by Caetano Veloso, Luis Melodia’s Perola Negra or Serge Gainsbourg’s Melody Nelson. I was also listening to a lot of Jamaican recordings from the 60s. My first album has a lot of the specific characteristics of this time. You end up showing a lot of your influences and on the second album, you show how you processed these influences.

Q: You have such a unique sound that blends so many different genres. For example, on this latest album, you have a song called Bubuia. Tell me a little about your creative process. What comes first? The lyrics or the melody?

A: It depends. Each song goes through a different process. Sometimes I do the lyrics, sometimes the melody, sometimes I write a verse, and [sometimes] only to find it somehow useful years later. For Bubuia, I had my part of the lyrics and the melody, which I passed to my friends Anelis and Thalma. I knew that they would understand what I was saying in no time. I did a rough recording in GarageBand and forwarded it to both of them and to Gui Amabis, who would produce the track.

Q: Music evokes so many emotions and is interpreted differently. What are some of the things you want your audience to feel and understand when they hear your music?

A: That things don’t need to be understood, they need to be felt. And music has this power. It is capable of taking you to distant periods of your life, when you hear something you used to hear a lot. It is capable of dissolving any prejudice and just speaks the language of the heart. It sounds cheesy, but that’s how I feel and that’s how I wanted people to feel.

Q: People often talk about what influenced them to become musicians. Maybe it was the first time they heard the Beatles or the first time they strummed a guitar. Can you describe the moment you knew you wanted to become an artist.

A: This is an inner sensation that I just couldn’t explain. Once, when I was still very young, I noticed that Ibirapuera Park (a major city park) beside my house was unusually empty (something rare for such a popular spot in São Paulo) and I said to my mother: “Mom, look how many people didn’t come today!” I guess she must have thought: We better drive this girl towards the arts!

Q: What can we expect to see from you in the future?

A: A lot of shows, I hope!

We hope so too! Listen to Céu sing Rosa Menina Rosa.

Veronica Vidal has contributed in-depth articles on drug prevention issues for Prevention First, and currently works for a local foundation. She has served in public relations and fundraising positions for several arts organizations, including the Chicago Latino Film Festival, the School of the Art Institute and Shedd Aquarium. She is a strong supporter of the arts with interests in photography, film and graphic-inspired artwork. She resides in Chicago and is originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

5.29.10 Domingo Newsbytes

5.29.10 Domingo Newsbytes

Photo via Giulia Lasagni/MEDILL

It’s a gorgeous Sunday in Chicago! Hope you are lounging and getting ready to hang out with family and friends. Remember to take a moment to remember all of the men and women that are serving in the armed forces.

Our next Proyecto Latina is on Monday, June 21 @ 7pm @ Cafe Catedral in Little Village featuring Alicia Vega from Palabra Dulce. Look for the full details  later this week.

Now, here is this week’s Domingo Newsbytes:

More and more Latinas are converting to Islam. On Sunday’s  these women meet at the Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview to study the Quran. Find out why more Latinas are turning to Islam.

On Saturday thousands of people converged in Arizona to march against the new immigration law that has caused much controversy. In an essay called Immigration Points That Make Me Sick , Reyna Amaya  shed’s some light on the immigration hysteria the many myths associated with immigration.

A few years back we met Gwen La Roca when we first featured her at Proyecto Latina . Now Gwen is on the move as a comedienne in Chicago.

Coming Soon:

An interview with Brazilian song bird Céu by Veronica Vidal

Latinas in the green work force: Interview with Green Architect Alicia Ponce by Liza Ann Acosta

Parents building community an interview with the E.D. of Telpochcalli Maria Velasquez  by Sany Minjares

Controlled Decay an interview with poet Gabriela Jaugueri by Diana Pando

Got Story Ideas? Let us know, we are pitchable! or 312-498-4067

We are excited that Achy Obejas will have her own blog on! It’s scheduled to go up in the next week. So check it out!  Speaking of Achy, she is part of Partner Dance Press and is putting together an online anthology. The deadline is coming up fast so remember to submit. Read more…

Playwright Tanya Saracho and friends are working to put together a Latino Theatre Directory to share with other theater companies looking for Latino talent. Send her your H/S and preferred method of contact along with title(s) / contact info? Send it to