Rebeldes: A Proyecto Latina Anthology

Cover art by Diana Solis, "Mama Bird," hand-cut paper, 2009

Cover art by Diana Solis, “Mama Bird,” hand-cut paper, 2009

!!Book Launch Reception!!

Rebeldes: A Proyecto Latina Anthology
We are thrilled to invite you to join us in a toast as we celebrate the birth of the Proyecto Latina Anthology! In the tradition of our reading series, we will have a few featured writers and the Chisme Box will also make an appearance.

Monday, August 12th – 6:30PM to 9:30PM
@ Meztli Gallery & Cultural Organization
2005 South Blue Island
Chicago, Illinois, 60608
Street parking available / CTA – #60 Blue Island bus

The anthology spotlights the creative spirit and diversity of writing that is the Proyecto Latina community. At this time, it is the only book being published in the Chicago focusing on the writings and artwork of 26 Latinas.

Special thanks to all of our Madrinas y Padrinos for supporting the literary arts and to Paloma Martinez-Cruz for her creative leadership in making this dream a reality.

Please spread the word about this event by sharing via social media. We’d greatly appreciate it.

The anthology will be sold day of the event. Cash only.

More info. on how to purchase the book online TBA.

Putting It On The Page At A Sports Bar

Do you ever have days when nothing could possibly go wrong and then it does? I was peacefully sipping on a vanilla latte at the Julius Meniel Café when suddenly I overhear the waitress say they are closing the café at 7pm to wax the floors. Gulp!  As an event organizer (and control freak) this is the last thing I want to hear because  we were supposed to be having the writing meet up at this location. Glad accidental Proyecto Latina attendee Claudia Martinez was there to help me laugh my way through this venue snafu!

What to do?

Well, when in doubt, pray to St. D’Augstino patron saint of pizza and beer. Before I knew it, we were across the street surrounded by a basket of fries, laptops and giant TV screens showing the White Sox game. After we settled in, I looked up from my notebook and saw everyone writing in their laptops and notebooks. Maybe it was the blaring music but everyone was diving deep into the cenote of their writing. I watched the waiters give us curious looks as they walked past with people’s orders. There is something very powerful about coming into a space like D’Augustinos and showing up to the page regardless of what’s going on around you.

So who showed up to write?

Christina Rodriguez ended up writing two blog posts; one on the importance of your teeth and diabetes  and the other on Latino identity. Stephanie Diaz Reppen found herself  working on a piece that she had been opening, reading, putting away and hadn’t revisited since her Hedgebrook residency. She is also working on a piece about a Guatemalan Saint named San Pascualito Rey.

Maribel Mares came all the way from the Bridgeportzlan neighborhood to move some of her writing forward. Funny lady Ruth Guerra is writing 45 pages of creative writing for a fiction class she is taking at Morton College.

Cristina Correa almost went home upon seeing the venue change. Glad she stayed because she divulged a wonderful writing secret that will be made public soon. She began to work on her Axolotl salamander story.  Jessica Mondres was working on a story/collage on the theme of women, tapestry and faith. I was excited to see Jazmin Corona (writer, dancer, photographer) come out and work on some of her own writing.

What do these women have in common besides being writers? At one point the majority of them have all been Proyecto Latina features and have powerful stories to tell.  Afterwards, Ruth shared her pitcher of sangria with us and we dreamed up a Proyecto Latina field trip next year to New Mexico for the Latino Writers Conference and possibly a holiday clothes/jewelry swap.

Lastly, mil gracias to everyone that came out and for being flexible and most of all setting aside time to write. For those that didn’t come out remember whether you are writing with us or on your own carve out the time to write and tell your story.

The next writing meet up will be in Pilsen at Effebinas. Time TBA and in November we will be back on the north side somewhere. If you have any suggestions of places on the north side please let me know.


09.18.2010 Doming Newsbytes

09.18.2010 Doming Newsbytes

This week I was fortunate to be come across so many dynamic women. My first encounter came when I did a communication’s training for the Women of Power housed inside the Cook County Sheriff’s office. They provide services to women that have just been released from prison. The women ranged from 19 to 62 years old and they were all trying to improve the quality of their lives and also inspire others going through similar situations to do the same.

A few days later I ran into Irene Tostado from the IL Resource Net. She is one of the organizers for the conference I was attending for nonprofits to get federal funding. That same day I ran into Olivia Sanchez, executive director, of Project Vida. Her organization provides preventive education and direct services to people with HIV/AIDS.

Than I get a wonderful Facebook message from actor/writer Stephanie Diaz Reppen letting us know that she is on her third draft of The Quetzal she said, “Thank you from the bottom of my heart for breathing life into its writer”. All of these women I’m happy to say are either in a masters program or are in the process of getting into one. What strikes me about all of these women is that they are all telling their stories or their organizations and leading the way trying to improve the quality of their lives and their communities. With this in mind we hope all of you remember to create your own opportunities.

Paloma Martinez & Aaron Michael Morales

Last night, I had the opportunity to attend Strong and Chata, an art show organized, by Paloma Martinez in the Pilsen neighborhood. What struck me about her performance piece which included a boxing ring, beer cans and little jars to blow bubbles was the competing narratives between her and the character Juan Bob. I felt really proud of her because not only did she organize a whole art show that included the work of local artists but she also stepped out of her comfort zone and performed this piece. Again the lesson here is to create your own opportunities for yourself and others.

This week the ladies of Proyecto Latina also had a busy week:

Thelma and Irasema were on Eight Forty-Eight talking about their Día de los Muertos Alter.  Listen to the interview.

The lovely and talented Coya Paz was part of Paper Machete listen to the podcast.

I also had the chance to do a guest post for the 3 six and 5 project based on the walk I took on 18th street. Check it out!

Yolanda Cardenas is working on a soon to be unveiled musical collaboration with…??? We hope we can share her good news with you soon!

We hope this will inspire Latinas in the arts and other sectors to tell their stories. There’s a lot of great work being done in are communities and Latinas are definitely leading the way.

Next month we have the honor of featuring Kansas City poet Linda Rodriguez! She’s a powerhouse poet that will be reading from her book “Heart’s Migration”. Read more…

Here are your Domingo Newsbytes:

This week Mexico had its 200th B-Day Celebration. In case you missed it on TV check out this wonderful photo narrative of the celebration featuring highlights from the event.

Poet Julia de Burgos has been recognized by the U.S. Postal service with a 44- cent stamp. She was an award-winning writer, journalist  and  a celebrated Puerto Rican poet.

“We want it turned into a library, that’s what we want,” said Araceli Gonzalez. She is one of the parents doing a sit in at the Wittier school to protest the demolition of a building adjacent to the main building.

Early detection of cancer is key for Latinas to fight cancer. Pink Pearls of Hope is an initiative that promotes early detection. Learn more about early detection.

Even though Día de los Muertos is a few weeks away the annual Día de los Muertos show is in full swing and one piece that sticks out is the altar by Patricia Carlos honoring the women of the Mexican Independence and revolution.

US Treasurer Rosie Rios will be one of the women speaking at this year’s Smart Money Smart Women. The event includes breakout sessions on managing money. Register today for this event. It’s Free!

Don’t forget Proyecto Latina needs your help! Have story ideas or come across an article about Latinas or an issue that impacts our community? Send us your suggestions to Feel free to also comment on our posts we’d love to hear from you. You can follow us on Twitter @proyectolatina

Have a great week everyone! –Diana Pando

January 2010 – PROYECTO LATINA

January 2010 – PROYECTO LATINA

Proyecto Latina is thrilled to announce the first Latina to kick off our reading series in January! Stephanie Diaz Reppen will be reading an excerpt from her novel-in-progress You Can’t Call The Indians Maria Anymore. She will also be premiering a new Bunraku-based puppetry piece called Dichos as well as bringing along the book her mother made me when she was little- The Seven Little Goats– for people to look at.

Save The Date & Spread The Word!

Monday, January 18 @ 7PM - FREE
Cedahlia’s 1010 -12 S Western
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 733-0885
Street Parking Available

Stephanie Diaz Reppen is delighted to share her own stories with Proyecto Latina, as she has been busy for the past 20 years telling others’ stories in her career as an actress. As such, she has performed at theatres big and small in California,
Seattle, Chicago, Minneapolis, Kansas City and Milwaukee, and has also enjoyed a career as a voice-over artist, lending her voice to audio books, video games, commercial spots– at one time, she was the Spanish voice of the Puget Sound Light Rail system (and may still be, for all she knows)! She is also a puppeteer specializing in the Bun Raku style, and most recently performed with Blair Thomas and Company in Millennium Park.

However, Stephanie’s first love has always been writing, and she comes by the predilection honestly– on display at Proyecto Latina, you will find a hand-bound book created for her by her mother, illustrations and all. She is currently at work on a novel, “You Can’t Call The Indians Maria Anymore”, based on 3 generations of mujeres in Guatemala and the U.S. spanning over 50 years. She is a member of Teatro Luna’s Playlab workshop and is developing a play called “Boogey Women,” featuring La Llorona, La Siguanaba, and Bloody Mary. She is also currently exploring the duality of her identity as an first-generation Guatemalan-American through personal essay and character sketches of her Gringo and Latino familia.

She is inspired and intrigued by courage and cowardice, strength and weakness, beauty and ugliness, joy and despair, and all things shiny and colorful. She looks forward to adding her voice to the canon of Latina writers in 2010.

We also want to thank Jesse Iniquez for generously donating his space. Mil Gracias!