Monday, January 27, 2014

The Downtown Neon Gallery and More

From Kansas City, MO, I am reporting on one of the coldest days of the year.  Qué frío for the Neon Warrior, Tomas Cobian, and his community work, including a poetry series, as well as for the anthology Indigenous Message on Water, all of which reporting is as follows. 

The Downtown Neon Gallery is one of the many galleries owned by a Latino artist.  Many of the Latino gallery owners in Kansas City are community activists, too.  I’ll be showing more of these amazing places in upcoming columns. 

In the heart of the Blues and Jazz district of Kansas City, the Downtown Neon Gallery is located at 1921 Truman Road, Kansas City, MO. 
This wonderful gallery is owned by Tomas Cobian, the Neon Warrior, who is known for using neon tubing in his work in addition to promoting music, art, poetry, and dance.  As well, he has collaborated with the Writers Place for several years.  As part of his promoting poetry, Tomas has had a poetry series once a month and features poets from the Writers Place. The Neon Gallery Poetry Reading Series is a monthly event hosted by Martha Gershum, the Writers Place and the Downtown Neon Gallery.  Many members of the Latino Writers Collective have been featured in this series.  For example, on Friday, January 24, 2014, Jason Sierra, aka Chico Sierra, was one of the featured poets.  Poignant lines such as “Irish whisky bled all over my American Dream” stand out from his work that he read. It is always a pleasure to spend an evening listening to poetry. 

The Neon Warrior

Listening to poetry and music is typically the focus at the Downtown Neon Gallery.  What is more, there is opportunity for a convivial community to gather.  At the Gallery, I fortunately ran into other members of the Latino Writers Collective and we shared about our individual projects and caught up. So, that’s how I found out that Chico Sierra, who is also an artist, is working on a collection of short stories and Gustavo Aybar, a Cave Cavem member, is working on a translation project.  All the best for your projects Gustavo and Chico, it’s always great to see you.  

Next time you’re in Kansas City, be sure to visit the Downtown Neon Gallery and hang out with the Neon Warrior.

Jason, Daniel and Gustavo

 Indigenous Message on Water
Por Juan Guillermo Sánchez

The Indigenous Message on Water is part of an international initiative, the Indigenous World Forum on Water and Peace 2014, a coalition of Indigenous leaders, Indigenous organizations, academics and like-minded people globally who wish to protect water for future generations. It is a vision from the Elders, and has the support of 60 organizations globally (at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues) =>

This multilingual anthology (English/Spanish/Native language/s) has gathered wisdom, thoughts, verses, short-stories, poems, and general reflections on the various local issues pertaining to Water, written by East/West/North/South indigenous elders, activists and poets: Pinay, Maori, Hau'ula and Chamoru friends from the Pacific; Sakha from Russia; Cree, Tsalagi, Cherokee, Yoeme, Anishinaabe, Lakota, Lipan Apache, Metis, Lōh and Gitxan friends from North America; K'iche', Kaqchikel, and Q'anjob'al friends from Guatemala; Maya and Nahuatl friends from Mexico; Wayuu, Palenque and Guna friends from the Caribe; Uitoto, Okaina and Tikuna from the Amazonia; Camëntá from Putumayo; Yanakuna and Mapuche-Huilliche friends from the Andes and the farthest lands of the Deep South.

If you would like to have this unique compilation, you can get the e-book through Payhip => Also, if you want to help us in the organization of Indigenous World Forum on Water and Peace 2014, please share this link with all your contacts.

In peace and friendship.


El Mensaje Indígena de Agua es parte de una iniciativa global, el Foro Indígena Mundial sobre el Agua y la Paz 2014, una coalición global de líderes y organizaciones indígenas, académicos y voluntarios en general, interesados en proteger el agua para las futuras generaciones. Es una visión desde los mayores, la cual tiene el patrocinio de más de 60 organizaciones internacionales y cuenta con la ayuda del Foro Permanente de Asuntos Indígenas de las Naciones Unidas =>

Esta antología multilingüe (español/inglés/lenguas nativas) reúne consejas, pensamientos, versos, cuentos, poemas y reflexiones sobre problemáticas locales relacionadas con el agua, donados para el proyecto por activistas y escritores del Este, Norte, Oeste y Sur: amigos Chamoru, Pinay, Maori y Hau'ula del Pacífico; Sakha de Russia; amigos Cree, Tsalagi, Cherokee, Yoeme, Anishinaabe, Lakota, Lipan Apache, Metis, Lōh y Gitxan de Norteamérica; K'iche', Kaqchikel, y Q'anjob'al de Guatemala; Maya y Nahuatl de México; Wayuu, Palenque y Guna del Caribe; Uitoto, Okaina y Tikuna de la Amazonía; Camëntá del Putumayo; Yanakuna y Mapuche-Huilliche de los Andes y de las tierras últimas del Sur Profundo.

Si quieres conseguir un ejemplar de esta compilación, puedes ir al sitio en Payhip y adquirir el e-book => También, si quieres colaborar en la organización del Foro Indígena Mundial Sobre el Agua y la Paz 2014, por favor comparte este link de arriba con todos sus conocid@s.

Paz y amistad.

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