Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sandra Posadas, Vida Bella y La Voz Puertorriquena

Gente: I met Sandra many years ago, when we were both doing very different things....While our paths diverged, it looks like we both found our way to making art. Here's at look at a local women in the arts and an up and coming Latino theater group in Chicago.

Sandra Posadas is a second generation Puerto Rican woman born and bred in Humboldt Park, Chicago, Illinois. She is a teacher, published artist/illustrator, actress; cast member of the Vida Bella Ensemble, artisan; creator of Coqueta Creations by PiXie- a jewelry line for women. Sandra has been a Bilingual educator within the Chicago Public Schools for 12 years and was recently nominated for the Illinois Golden Apple Award. She's also an educator of teachers, and has presented her progressive early childhood approach to curriculum development and implementation at a variety of teacher conferences throughout Chicago. Sandra successfully co-wrote her first production, "Brown Girls Singing" which was successfully staged at University of Chicago and Jane Addams' Hull House.

Sandra performs her poetry at various Chicago venues and has presented her art work at various local venues including the University of Illinois @ Chicago Symposium for Women of Color in 2008. She holds a B.A. from Roosevelt University and is currently a working on her M.A. in Bilingual/ Bicultural Education at DePaul University. Sandra believes strongly in that art can educate. Through her poetry, canvasses, and performances. She believes in using art as knowledge and transformation so that all participants and spectators examine themselves in relation to their place in society. Through different modalities that she uses, whether visual, interactive, or the performing arts, the audience can explore, reflect, analyze and transform the reality in which they are living.

The Brown Girls’ Chronicles: Puerto Rican Women and Resilience
Written & directed by Yolanda Nieves, executive producer Mike Oquendo

Vida Bella Ensemble is thrilled to announce its upcoming performance of The Brown Girls' Chronicles: Puerto Rican Women and Resilience was SOLD OUT. Written and directed by author/playwright Yolanda Nieves, “The Brown Girls' Chronicles” are the stories of second generation Chicago Puerto Rican women who in their daily lives embody the struggle for independence of mind, soul, heart and body. The three-night run of “The Brown Girls’ Chronicles” will took place at the Chicago Center for the Performing Arts. The production will be mounted again, in Fall 2009. Check the group's myspace page for more info.

Following audience acclaim and a previous sold-out run in March, the May performances mark the second sold-out run of The Brown Girls’ Chronicles: Puerto Rican Women and Resilience. “I stand in awe of the support…” shares director Yolanda Nieves, “This play is a testament to the intelligence, beauty and resilience of who Latinas are.” The May performances took place May 28-30, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. in the 140-seat West Town Studio Theater at the Chicago Center for the Performing Arts, 777 N. Green Street in Chicago.

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About Vida Bella Ensemble: Vida Bella Ensemble is an all Latin, all-female Chicago-based collective of inter-generational artists committed to communicating the stories of the trials and triumphs of the urban woman. In collaborative partnership the stories of such experiences are told through the performance of poetry, dialogue, monologue, song and movement. For more information about Vida Bella Ensemble visit or email

About Director Yolanda Nieves: Award winning Chicago poet, author and playwright Yolanda Nieves uses the power of verse and the written word to teach and inspire. An accomplished writer, her work has been extensively published by college/university and independent presses and journals around the country. Her newest book, “Dove Over Clouds” (Plainview Press, 2007) has again garnered her acclaim for the themes revolving around the issues of race, gender, class and colonialism as it relates to the Puerto Rican/Afro-Puerto Rican Diaspora. Her work captures the spirit of hope, shaped by her Puerto Rican heritage, growing up in Chicago’s Humboldt Park and by the direct impact of women impressed upon her. Performing her poetry and plays in Chicago and all over the world, her performances have received great acclaim in England, Puerto Rico and Mexico.

She’s the founder and artistic creator of Vida Bella Ensemble performance troupe. Her collection of artistic work gives audiences the clarity of the experiences of women, mothers and immigrants. Full of passion and candor, she inspires audiences to expand their understanding of their own lives and the inspiration for them to tell their own stories. Yolanda resides in Chicago’s Humboldt Park and teaches at Wilbur Wright Community College.

About Executive Producer Mike Oquendo: Mike Oquendo combines his love of live arts and his production experience to produce over 70 shows a year in both the Chicagoland area and throughout the country. Creator of the "Mikey O Comedy Show,” Mike is a prominent force in independent productions. His shows and events have been featured on local TV, radio and print media including coverage by Telemundo, WGN-TV, People en Español, TimeOut Chicago, Chicago Reader and Metromix.

Two notable accomplishments include sitting on the Board of Governors for the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences which produced the first Latin Grammy's in 2001, and being a concept contributor on three HBO Latino specials in 2006. Mike was a production consultant for the Adler Planetarium’s "Luna Cabana Series" and the International Latino Film Festival, positions he held for 6 years respectively. Mike is particularly proud of continually raising funds for non-profit organizations that provide services and programs to Latino and non-Latino communities.

Lisa Alvarado

1 comment:

ArtSeenChicago said...

Hello LaBloga: I thought you might want to know more about an exhibition entitled, Layer Cake: Tales of A Quinceanera that will be happening at Columbia College. Yolanda Nieves will be one of the panelists speaking on this topic. Check out: