Monday, May 12, 2014

¡Celebrating Words Festival 2014!

This year’s Celebrating Words Festival theme, “Uniting Through Flor y Canto,” will be represented by live musical performances, spoken word and poetry, a children’s section with activities, an artisan marketplace, and local foods, making it the Northeast Valley’s largest such family festival and celebration of literacy and the arts.

“Literacy and the arts bring communities together to discuss creative and innovative ways of enhancing our quality of life,” said Councilman Felipe Fuentes of Council District Seven, whose office is supporting the festival. “Investing in the arts and literacy is an investment in the community and I am grateful for the work of Tía Chucha’s for their continued support of this annual family event.”

Kicking off the festivities will be an opening ceremony by Tía Chucha’s resident mexihca dance group, Danza Temachtia Quetzalcoatl, followed by a lineup of musical performances by Tía Chucha’s guitar and Son Jarocho youth students, local recording artists including hip-hop artivist Maya Jupiter, urban cumbia trio Viento Callejero, soulful, modern-day torch singer Irene Diaz, and popular banda/norteño singer El Gavilán con Banda.

Among the notable poets featured at this year’s event are the American Book Award-winning and acting San Francisco Poet Laureate Alejandro Murguía, and Mayda del Valle, cast member of the Tony Award-winning Def Poetry Jam on Broadway who has toured with Norman Lear’s “Declare Yourself Spoken Word” tour and performed at the White House for President Obama and the First Lady. Also featured on the main stage will be Antonieta Villamil, poets performing their works in Spanish, youth poets and those published by Tía Chucha Press.

San Fernando Valley artist and muralist Rah Azul will create live art on-site, welcoming attendees and community members to participate. Other festival attractions include the Mercado Pochtecayotl, offering hand-crafted items, food and refreshments from Pollo Pelón, an interactive poetry booth, and informational booths presented by various community resources.

“The arts and literacy, with their blend of creativity and consciousness, are catalysts for enhancing and transforming the quality of life of our communities. We invite everyone to enjoy a festive day designed to tap into and draw out the innate beauty and creative expression in us all,” comments Tía Chucha’s co-founder, Trini Rodriguez.

Visit the Facebook Event for more information:

Want to volunteer? Sign up here:

For festival related inquiries, please contact CWF Coordinators Liana Cabrera & Natalia Hernandez at


◙ If you missed my recent interview with Cristina Henríquez over at the Los Angeles Review of Books regarding her beautiful new novel, The Book of Unknown Americans, look no further.

Cristina Henríquez at AWP 2014.

◙ Héctor Tobar reports on a wonderful East L.A. bookstore, Seite Books (not Siete), in this Los Angeles Times piece. 

◙ I have become a Twittering fiend…follow me at

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