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.
08.08.10: Domingo Newsbytes…

08.08.10: Domingo Newsbytes…

Photo credit: Lea Nuñez

On Friday I strolled over to the Tejer y Poder showcase put together by students of the six-week program led by our very own Irasema Gonzalez and Thelma Uranga at at Dvorak Park in the Pilsen neighborhood. The program consisted of 30 students, both teenage girls and boys, coming together to learn to knit, crochet, and work collectively on fiber arts and learn that both can be used a form of art and protest. I was blown away by the effort the students put into their projects.

It made me reflect on the wonderful things that happen when you give kids an opportunity to put their creative skills to use.  In a time when jobs for youth are scarce this creative After School Matters program gave these students an opportunity to gain new creative skills, empowerment and let them tell their stories through an array of colorful yarn.

We are super excited to hear that Café Magazine is planning to do a story on Thelma Uranga ( photographer, knitting expert, Stitchy Bitch Organizer and Proyecto Latina Team Member).  We first did an interview with Thelma in November of 2009 and we are happy to see other local media getting hip to the awesome work she and the Stich y Bitch are doing.  They are knitting a whole Día de los Muertos Alter for the National Museum of Mexican Art exhibit in September. Imagine knitting a whole altar!

Also, we welcome Sandra Treviño, our first guest curator, for Proyecto Latina this month. Join us on  Monday, August 16th @ 7pm, we are back at Cafe Catedral in Little Village.  Sandra has some musical surprises that are going to take the stage–we will be posting more information on them later this week so check back soon.

And now to Latinas in the news this week…In 2012 my niece is turning 15 and she is considering having a Quinceñera. I’ve already started saving my pennie–just in case or maybe I should consider the Quinceñera contest sponsored by Verizon. I confess I have no idea why folks need to spend $45,000.00 on a Quinceñera.  In my opinion, while Quinceñera’s are a wonderful part of our culture the focus needs to be on education not a $45,000 Quinceñera. Latina high school students can barely make it out of high school!

Maybe, Verizon can create a $45,000.00 fund for education or a program that deters teenage Latinas from committing suicide. Our friend Reyna Amaya over at Gozamos wrote a piece Too Young To Die on the recent spike of Latina teen suicides in our communities. A few months ago we posted some resources for Latinas in case you know of a young Latina who is struggling please share them with others.

And a truly sad story to come across is that of women in Guanajuato Mexico that are in desperate need of resources, advocates and a healthy dose of justice–there are several serving sentences of 25 to 30 years. Their crime: they are convicted of homicide for having abortions.

And finally, an opportunity: The Fire this Time Fund is now accepting applications for funding! Open to Chicago artists, educators and organizers seeking modest support for their creative social change projects APPLY TODAY!

The Fire This Time Fund is Proyecto Latina’s first funder and we thank them for taking the leap of faith. Their funding has impacted our growth and our ability to pay our features and maintain our website.

Have a comment or thought on this week’s Domingo Newsbytes? Let us know we’d love to hear from you. Just drop us a line in the comment section!

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!