Friday, August 08, 2008


The following is from Acción Latina:

"Voices for Justice is a project to acknowledge and honor the 200-year legacy of Latino journalism in the United States. The story begins on September 7, 1808, with the founding of El Misisipi in New Orleans. It was the first newspaper by and for Spanish-speaking people in the U.S. El Misisipi set the stage for the thousands of publications, broadcast, and Internet news outlets currently serving Latinos. Yet, the story of Latino journalism - and the countless innovative publishing pioneers and courageous journalists - is little known. The Voices for Justice project will make their story known through a one-year national bicentennial campaign, a documentary film, a companion book, and an interactive website.

"Voices for Justice is a project of Acción Latina that chronicles the history and evolution of the Latino press in the U.S. The project will result in a documentary film, a companion book, and an interactive website based at the University of Houston’s Arte Público Press. The website will provide greater detail and updated information on the Spanish-language press, teachers’ guides and serve as a discussion forum for the public. We are also orchestrating a one-year national bicentennial campaign to celebrate 200 years of Latino press in the U.S. The bicentennial will begin with a kick-off event in New Orleans commemorating the birthplace of El Misisipí, the first Spanish-language newspaper founded on September 7, 1808.

"For more information on the Voices for Justice project, contact: Juan Gonzales, Eva Martinez, (415) 648-1045
Voices for Justice c/o Acción Latina
2958-24th Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

"Acción Latina is a San Francisco-based non-profit organization founded in 1987 to promote social change and cultural pride in the Latino community. We produce a bilingual newspaper (El Tecolote), an annual Latino music festival (Encuentro del Canto Popular), and coordinate a journalism project for community youth (Fuerza Joven) Our projects are a training ground for young people educating them on cultural traditions, increasing their social awareness, and inspiring them to serve the community. We are a volunteer-based collective committed to excellence in Latino education, art and culture. Our office is located in the Mission district, San Francisco's Latino community."

It's worthwhile to browse El Tecolote's website for a variety of reasons, one of which is the Timeline that quickly
traces the history of Latino journalism in the U.S. Click here.

The National Steinbeck Center celebrates the 28th Steinbeck Festival with a tribute to the writer's persistent and frequent references to Mexico and the Mexican people. Steinbeck provided a voice for the forgotten and disenfranchised, and a festival centered on his work seems only right. From the website:

"Steinbeck Festival 2008 will explore Steinbeck’s regard for Mexico in broad cultural contexts. The Mexico that so inspired Steinbeck’s work will come to life at Festival 2008 through presentations on Mexican and Mexican American culture and heritage.

"Over a third of John Steinbeck's work is either set in Mexico or features characters of Mexican descent. From 1932 until the mid 1950s, he wrote often about the environment, history, culture and politics of Mexico. This is some of his best work: Sea of Cortez, an environmental classic written with Edward F. Ricketts; The Pearl, a novella about aspirations of poor fishermen; Viva Zapata!, a film about Mexican revolutionary hero Emiliano Zapata, directed by Elia Kazan. Mexican American characters appear in Tortilla Flat, Sweet Thursday, The Wayward Bus."

Speakers include author Francisco Jiménez, actors, playwrights and experts on Steinbeck and Mexican art and culture.

- Mercado Marketplace Friday, Saturday and Sunday with regional food for sale and cultural demonstrations
- Fiesta at the Fox & mini-film festival at Maya Cinemas
- Children's Art Activities
- Community FREE DAY with dance, art, and music on Sunday, August 10th.
for a full schedule.

Events held at National Steinbeck Center, 1 Main St. Salinas and at selected locations in Monterey. Call (831) 775-4721 for tickets and information. Individual event tickets, day passes or Steinbeck Festival Passports available.

NOTE: admission is charged for most of the events, but Sunday is a free day for Monterey County residents. The program looks great - if you are in the area and have any affinity for Steinbeck's writing and his impact on Twentieth Century literature, this might be the place where you want to be in what remains of the weekend.

Denver radio personality Pocho Joe will be the center of attention at the 2nd Saturday Poetry y Mas celebration at CHAC, 772 Santa Fe, Denver, at 2:00 PM, August 9. Pocho Joe and Gabe host La Raza Rocks every Sunday on KUVO radio (89.3 FM). Suzanna Vega, poet and artist, will host the celebration while Pocho will discuss the history behind the radio program. Suzanna will read KUVO Radio Rocks My Soul and field questions and discussion from the audience. For those not familiar with La Raza Rocks, you should listen on Sunday, 1 - 2 PM. Here's the station's brief programming note about what happens in that magic hour:

La Raza Rocks became part of jazz89 KUVO's Sunday diverse program line-up in September of 2002. Playing the best of Latino rock, new and old, from Sunny & the Sunliners to Santana to Los Lobos and Dr. Loco and his Rockin' Jalapeno Band. Interviews and information are part of the show's presentation.

There's a lot more to this program than oldies, although that would be good enough for me. Pocho has an incredible wealth of knowledge about Chicano music, culture, and politics. And Gabe is developing his own expertise. These two radio voices dig into the vaults but also showcase the up-and-coming, all the while providing tidbits of info about musicians, songs, shows, and social context. If you can't make it to the CHAC event, at least listen to the program, radio-wise or online.

La Bloga's exceedingly prolific writing comrade, Daniel Olivas, has a new story at the esteemed literary blog, Exquisite Corpse. Daniel's story is entitled How To Date A Flying Mexican. Not only is it a choice slice of life portrait of a woman who finds love late, but it also has handy rules for interacting with one of those Mexicans who has learned how to manipulate the law of gravity. You know the kind. Daniel informs that the story is a chapter from his novel-in-waiting, The Book of Want. Check it out.

A reminder that the 12th Annual Chicano Music Festival and Auction continues all weekend at El Centro Su Teatro's Outdoor Performance Space, 4725 High Street, Denver. Musical guests include Fuga, Izcalli, Nueva Sangre, Zydematics, Mariachi Vasquez, and many more, plus art auctions, food, and puro party under the Summer stars, as they say. I'll see you there, and meanwhile you can see the schedule here.


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