08.01.10 Domingo Newsbytes

08.01.10 Domingo Newsbytes

“They’ve towed my car with Chisme Box in the trunk!”  That was the alarmed text I sent Diana and Coya on Wednesday afternoon when I walked out of work and discovered that street parking had been restricted due to a neighborhood festival and I had missed the (minute) signage in the morning.  Both stepped in like champions, you see I was due at the  Guild Complex’s, B.Y.O.P event.  Proyecto Latina had an invitation to present with Dancing Girl Press.

While I navigated a huge dusty yard of impounded cars, in my brand new sandals, trying to recover my vehicle, Diana was at the California Clipper posing a very important question, “How many of you have attended a literary event in Little Village, Back of the Yards or Pilsen?”  She tells me no one raised their hand.  I so wish I had been there to be part of the discussion.

But Diana did bring back a very important resource to share with all you poetas out there:  Dancing Girl Press is not only an amazing initiative they also  publish 10-20 chapbooks per year.  Submission guidelines are here, the deadline is August 30th.

There seems to be a business and work theme in the news this week:

image via brownsvilleherald.com

Finally, some shameless self-promotion: I’ve shared in the previous weeks that Thelma Uranga and me are instructing a six week ASM program, Tejer y Poder at Pros Arts Studio.  Its been an amazing and unique experience, and a privilege to work with 30 talented youth in teaching them knitting and crochet skills as well as encouraging them to take creative risks.  Our final showcase is scheduled for Friday, August 6th, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Dvorak Park–its free and open to the community.  You can find event details here, in the days leading up to the final showcase students will be posting interviews with family and community members that knit/crochet.

07.18.10 Domingo Newsbytes

07.18.10 Domingo Newsbytes

Last week Diana lamented that summer is passing her by much too quickly.  I’m glad to report that she’s managing to get some fun into her schedule. I got to catch up with her yesterday when she invited me to join her for the Goodman’s Latino Theater Festival’s reading of El Nogalar by Tanya Saracho. Afterward we strolled down to Millenium Park and enjoyed a beautiful summer afternoon sipping cocktails and people watching.   We caught up with our perspective projects and I realized that our crew of women is a busy bunch this summer.

  • Thelma Uranga and me are  instructing Tejer y Poder, a knit and crochet class that is an After School Matters program at Pros Arts Studio.  Thelma recently received a plug in a round-up article about Radical Art and Yarn in Chicago Art Magazine.
  • Coya Paz is gearing up to host a preview of her next show-in-progress: The Americans.
  • Diana Pando is putting the finishing touches on her first 10 minute play, Thirst, which is part of Teatro Luna’s, 10×10 play festival.

We are also super excited about Proyecto Latina tomorrow.  Our feature is writer Cristina Correa, who will share flash fiction and maybe something more with us.  We’re returning to the lovely Cafe Catedral in Little Village.  I’ve got a little something new to share, so bring something with you and join me for the open mic, and we’re hoping that the Chisme Box will break last month’s record.

As for the world beyond my immediate vacuum:

  • Humor me, I know that there are much more serious things going on in the world but the news about Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem did incite an awww, how sweet reaction when I first read about it this week.
  • Alla is part of the lineup at the Pitchfork Music Festival this weekend and I’m also super excited that one of my favorite bands is getting covered by Cafe and the Chicago Tribune.
  • A huge misunderstanding for educator and director Lisa Portes–juggling groceries, her children and a phone call to her husband, she inadvertently walked out of a Whole Foods without paying for an item.  Whole Foods is responding with a strict policy that will not allow her to return. I can’t help but wonder what creative response an incident like this may inspire in an artist.
  • Another story to raise eyebrows is the decision to credit the murders of hundreds of women and girls in Ciudad Juarez as the inspiration for a new fashion line.  Jezebel breaks it down here.
  • Finally, in an interview about the production of her play Real Women Have Curves, Josefina Lopez says, “If nobody hears your voice, you better shout louder.”  She got more words of wisdom and she talks about a new play in progress inspired by Arizona happenings that she drafted in two days.

That’s all for now, have a wonderful week!

06.06.10 Domingo Newsbytes

06.06.10 Domingo Newsbytes

I was born, raised, and continue to reside in Little Village, I recall that fifteen years ago, June meant the end of school, warm summer days to sit on front steps of my home and join my friends to take endless strolls on 26th street.  The days were long and I spent long stretches watching daytime soaps and reading books, managed somehow to keep myself out of trouble when there was so little to keep me occupied.  I remember thinking, there had to be something more, its something I probably wrote into the journal I kept, because I filled a lot of my time writing  diary entries and fiction stories in wire-bound notebooks.  As a teen, I didn’t have a community of writers, I didn’t know it was something I was missing, but many years later when I finally found them I rejoiced.

That said,  I can’t tell you how excited I am that we have another opportunity to have our Proyecto Latina, third Monday reading series on home turf.  When Cafe Catedral agreed to be our venue sponsor and our feature, Alicia Tellez Vega happen to mention she lived nearby–I knew it was meant to be.  Its on Monday, June 21st, we posted the full event details here, earlier this week.  Make sure you mark your calendar and plan to join us.

My Proyecto Latina partners in crime are doing amazing stuff:

-Coya Paz made her debut as Vocalo’s new commentator on race, pop culture, and the media this past Thursday.  She’s scheduled to air weekly, you can tune into 89.5 FM to listen.  As soon as her spots become linkable we will make sure to share as well.

-Diana Pando is moderating the From Newsletter to Newspaper panel at the upcoming Making Media Connections conference.

-This week Thelma Uranga photographed Alicia Tellez Vega, (photo posted above) and she also shared news that El Stitch y Bitch, will be creating an altar for Dia de los Muertos at the National Museum of Mexican Art next fall. I’m also excited to be co-teaching with Thelma this summer, the ASM program, Tejer y Poder at Pros Arts Studios.

And beyond our immediate microcosm the news included the following this week:

Violence against women: sometimes its obvious, as is the case for 21 year-old Peruvian girl, Stephany Flores, and sometimes its damage is a little harder to determine, Debrahlee Lorenzana gets fired for speaking up against sexual harrassment–her male colleagues were not made accountable when they couldn’t resist her “distracting” beauty.

Latinas delay doctor visits because we are kinda finnicky, not only do we prefer alternative therapies, and we seem to have a low tolerance to experiences we deem as “discrimination in a clinical setting” but we have prefer the doctor that looks and talks like us.

Sonia Sotomayor,  is posing tough questions of the Miranda ruling that proves that, “America’s, she’s got your back.  Wish we could say the same for BP, according to Jesse Jackson, BP wants to drill in Lake Michigan despite the trouble its having cleaning up its current mess.  Last I checked oil is drifting to the Florida panhandle, and there’s nothing like pictures to make reality sink in.

04.25.10: Domingo Newsbytes

04.25.10: Domingo Newsbytes


What an exciting week it turned out to be.  Proyecto Latina was this past Monday, and we were pleased to have Sandra Posadas feature with us.  She shared inspiring poetry, influenced by her Puerto Rican heritage and her work as a public school teacher that resonated with many in attendance.  We all discovered that haiku chismes can require a lot of counting! Diana suggested we needed an abacus on hand–maybe next year. Dawn Herrera Terry did a brief performance piece that the group determined captured the spirit of census question number nine.

We also want to congratulate Proyecto Latina co-founder, Coya Paz who successfully defended her dissertation this past Wednesday.  She also  recently joined Columbia College Chicago faculty. Go Dr. Paz!

And now our Domingo Newsbytes, which are pretty somber this week:

Earth Day should still be fresh on our minds and this Cafe Magazine article illustrates and informs how environmental injustice affects low-income, Black and Latino communities that are often, “disproportionately exposed to toxins.”  LVEJO in Little Village Chicago offers an excellent, youth-led toxic tour that informs residents on the pollution from chemical and coal plants that compromise air and soil quality in the neighborhood.

This week I got profiled making my way into a conference, security assumed that I was there with the set-up crew for the luncheon.  It got me thinking about Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070 and seriously, as a brown woman, I’m afraid to think about what would happen if I traveled to Arizona right now.  Its like time is moving backwards.  Guanabee sums it up nicely.

Yvianna Hernandez was hesitant about putting a new spin on La Loteria but it seems that her creative muse really felt that it was a critical job for her to see through.  See her powerful images and learn about how it happened at Borderzine.  As a sidenote, I do want to let you know that in an interview that Diana Pando did with Mexican poet Gabriela Jauregui (featured at Palabra Pura this past Wednesday) she reflected on the violence in Mexico and shared the eye opening number of casualties in the Cartel wars–more than those in the American war.  You can listen to Gabriela’s interview here, in the next couple of weeks.

Leaving you on a happier note:

The Great Collaboration Finally, not so much a newsbyte but an invite and request to save-the-date and plan to join us on Saturday, May 8, 2010. Join us in supporting the Fire This Time Fund, a wonderful organization that supports the work that Proyecto Latina does.  Held at: Arts of Life Studio & Gallery, 2010 W. Carroll Ave, Chicago.

Domingo Newsbytes

Domingo Newsbytes

Tomorrow we pull out our Chisme Box and head over to Cedahlia’s for the next Proyecto Latina.  I am excited about our feature, Josie Dykas, she will be bringing us laughter via characters from her one-woman-show.  We hope you can join us.

I am particularly inspired by this weeks round-up of news links which all happen to be about women and inititatives in the Chicago area.  The Domingo Newsbytes is also getting posted a little later this Sunday because I spent the morning with family at a confirmation mass.  I was really captivated by the heart design on one of the stained-glass windows in the church–it reminds me of courage and hope.  Corazón, valor y esperanza: all fitting descriptions for the women below.

My name is Tania, and I’m undocumented The Coming Out of the Shadows Immigrants rights rally took place last Wednesday, undocumented youth “came-out” publicly and called on immigration reform and justice.  One woman leading the march was Tania Unzueta, profiled in the Tribune the same day. Columnist Mary Schmich  sums it up nicely, “Anyone who watches the march with an open mind will see that these young people aren’t aliens. They’re us. They are Chicago, and the immigration laws are squandering their energy and possibilities.”

The March issue of Contratiempo is dedicated to women and includes an article by Sandra A. Treviño, La Mujer en la Musica on the role that women play in the Latino music world.   Stephanie Manriquez provides a resourceful article regarding Mujer y Violencia.

Dare to Dream: exposing 8th grade Latina girls and their mothers to the benefits of higher education.

An important Latina history lesson via an event recap, the Windy City Times reports, “Chicago, in 1980, was not a friendly space for Latina lesbians, who saw a lack of public spaces.”  The article goes on to list some very important milestones and accomplishments that followed including a nod to Proyecto Latina co-founder Coya Paz.

Finally, get to know Maria Mendoza, part of the Salsation cast for CTRL+ALT+DEPORT and get ready for Tanya Saracho’s new play, El Nogalar.