10.17.10 Domingo Newsbytes…

It’s a gorgeous autumn day and the city seems to be exploding with arts events. There is definitely no shortage of things to do this weekend.

On Friday, I had the opportunity to go to the Lila Downs concert at the Chicago Symphony Center. As a teenager I got the opportunity to work at this venue. While working there I noticed there were no Latinos in the audience or on stage. Coming back to the Chicago Symphony Center to see Lila Downs made me feel so proud to see a Latina on stage and Latinos in the audience. I’m delighted that the Chicago Symphony Center is diversifying its programming. I will definitely be going back! As I was roaming the lobby area I caught a glimpse of author Sandra Cisneros standing in the line for the bathroom. How cool that she came out to support Lila!

On another note, our reading series is Monday, October 18 at 7pm  is Proyecto Latina @ Catedral Cafe in Little Village. Come out and hear the lovely work of Linda Rodriguez! We want to congratulate Linda because we just found out that her book, “Heart’s Migration,” won the 2010 Thorpe Menn Award for Literary Excellence. Read more about Linda…

The National Museum of Mexican Art will be holding their first annual Revolucionarios Awards honoring the contributions of  Mexicans in the arts. Felicidades to Tanya Saracho who is one of this year’s winners.

Do you like  mouth watering albondigas? Well blogger Maura Hernandez  shares her recipe at the Blogolicious conference.

While we didn’t have an opportunity to score an interview with Lila our friends at Arte y Vida did. Check it out.

One of my favorite Chicago foundations turned 95 years-old this week. Feliz Cumpleaños to The Chicago Community Trust!

NALAC Regional Arts Training Workshop is coming to Minneapolis on October 22 & 23. Check it out if you can!

Now we need to pick your brain. We need to know if you like the Domingo Newsbytes and if we should continue to keep this as a regular feature. Do you read it and find it useful or do we give it the ax. Let us know in the comment section or you are welcomed to drop us a line at info@proyectolatina.org

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.
StoryCorps Historias arrives in Pilsen very soon

StoryCorps Historias arrives in Pilsen very soon

StoryCorps is an oral history project with a mission to provide all Americans the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives.  The Story Corps MobileBooth is a trailer outfitted with a recording studio that travels the country year-round collecting stories.  In partnership with Radio Arte, the booth is scheduled to be in Chicago from May 20th to June 26th, it will be stationed in Pilsen at the National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 West 19th Street.

The folks at StoryCorps have reserved a few slots for our Proyecto Latina family.  So, consider interviewing a friend, family member or neighbor.  We are definitely going to be scheduling our own interviews.  The dates are:

-Friday, June 4 @4:30 p.m.
-Monday, June 7 @ 12:30 p.m.
-Sunday, June 13 @11:30 a.m.

You can reserve one of these time slots by emailing: east@storycorps.net and let them know Proyecto Latina sent you.  If these times don’t work for you, inquire about other time slots.

A few things that might be useful for participants to know:
Conversation Set-Up: The StoryCorps Historias set-up is a conversation in any language between two people who know each other – 2 friends or neighbors, 2 coworkers, family members, etc. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to take home and share, and with participant’s permission, is archived for generations to come at the Library of Congress.Preparation: The interviewer should come with a list of questions to get the conversation started.  The pairs need not rehearse–the best interviews tend to flow as natural conversations.  You can find sample questions here: http://www.storycorps.net/record-your-story/question-generator.

Donations: StoryCorps interviews are free, but we do ask all participants for a voluntary donation of any amount at the end of their interview.  Donations will help StoryCorps give more people the opportunity to record their stories and can also be made online at www.storycorps.org/donate.

Women of Júarez: A conversation w/ exhibit curator, Linda Tortolero

Women of Júarez: A conversation w/ exhibit curator, Linda Tortolero

Linda Tortolero curator to the Women of Juarez exhibit.

Women of Júarez: Rastros y Crónicas an art exhibit at the National Museum of Mexican Art is now open, it reminds us that what happens to one of us can happen to all of us. Ericka Sanchez and Diana Pando have interviewed a few folks, including curators and visitors, about the powerful and reflective exhibit. This is part one of the Women of Juarez exhibit. Women of Júarez: Rastros y Crónicas an art exhibit at the National Museum of Mexican Art is now open, it remnds us that what happens to one of us can happen to all of us. Ericka Sanchez and Diana Pando have interviewed a few folks, including curators and visitors about the powerful and reflective exhibit.

This is part one of the Women of Júarez exhibit. Since 1993 to the present hundreds of young women and girls have gone missing in the city of Júarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. Their raped and mutilated bodies often turn up in the desert, in vacant lots and drainage ditches and their killer(s) never brought to justice.

Broken Dreams / Los sueños rotos, 2009 mixed media on canvas by Rocio Caballero

After viewing the exhibit Diana Pando reached out to one of the curators, Linda Tortolero, to discuss the importance of this exhibit and here is what she had to say:

D: Why do you feel the Women of Júarez is an important story to tell through the arts and what do you want the impact to be for the viewer, the artist and ultimately the women of Júarez?

L: We hope that visitors to the exhibition learn about the femicide in Júarez and the underlying struggles of women in Mexico. We want to motivate the audience to take action and to acknowledge the inequalities that women face around the world. In addition, it’s important to educate visitors that art is a powerful medium by which artists and museums educate the public about important socio-economic issues. Mexico and Mexican and Mexican American artists have a long and proud tradition of reflecting on societal conditions through art. I think that for artists the creation of work is an expression of what moves them, what is important to them and what they want others to learn or know or feel. Undoubtedly, the participating artists felt greatly about the subject and the overarching challenges that women in Juarez and Mexico face. In addition, the pieces in the exhibition demonstrate the thought and reflection that the artists had and carry with them throughout the creative process.

D: How has this exhibit changed you?

L: I think the exhibition has heightened my awareness about the challenges women face especially low-income women in Juarez and Mexico. I am reminded of how fortunate I am and that the death and disappearance of every woman is a separate and unique story of tragedy and that their families and friends deserve justice.

Additionally, the power of art is truly overwhelming and when Dolores and I selected the pieces I recall how moved I was when I saw the proposed pieces. As I walk around the gallery and observe the visitors, I feel the same sensation vicariously and I am reassured when I notice how they react strongly to the pieces with feelings of sadness, shock, enragement and curiosity about the subject.

D: What does this femicide in Júarez tell you about the global escalation of violence against women?

L: Femicide and violence against women is sadly prevalent throughout the world. The negative portrayals of women, the lack of educational and entrepreneurial opportunities for women and the denial of the existing gender inequality have perpetuated the grievous acts of violence against women. I think that many societies and governments have failed to have honest discussions about the challenges that women face, and then also fail to take decisive, meaningful actions and create policies and adopt effective strategies to end gender inequality. Once women are respected as equals and allowed the opportunities to succeed, I believe that violence against women will diminish. Moreover, women will be empowered to fight back and challenge existing systems that work to talk away their rights and subject them to a lesser socio-economic and political status.

D: What can we do to help stop the femicide in Júarez?

L: Education about the issue is key. In order to end violence against women, education about gender inequality and how to prevent violence in families and communities is absolutely necessary. Children and youth must learn at a young age that women and men are equal and understand the damaging effects violence has in the lives of many. Furthermore, Mexico needs a modern, effective judicial system and law enforcement departments at every level of government, free of corruption and with adequate compensation, that can properly investigate and prosecute crimes.