Friday, October 09, 2009

Fiestas and Festivals

In Performance at the White House: Fiesta Latina

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In Performance at the White House: Fiesta Latina is a concert hosted by the President and Mrs. Obama on the South Lawn of the White House that will be broadcast by PBS. The sixty-minute program, to be taped live by WETA Washington, D.C., on October 13, will celebrate Hispanic musical heritage and airs on the final day of National Hispanic Heritage Month, October 15, 2009 at 8 p.m. ET, on PBS stations nationwide. (Check local listings.) It will also be broadcast on Telemundo, the American Spanish-language television network, on Sunday, October 18 at 6 p.m. ET, and on V-me, the national Spanish language network partnered with public television, on Friday, December 25. The program, part of the WETA In Performance at the White House series, will include Marc Anthony, Jimmy Smits, Pete Escovedo, Gloria Estefan, José Feliciano, George Lopez, Thalía, Tito “El Bambino”, the Bachata music group Aventura, and the Chicano rock band Los Lobos, with Sheila E. leading the house band.

In Performance at the White House: Fiesta Latina will be the second In Performance at the White House program during President Barack Obama’s administration. In Performance at the White House - Celebrating the Music of Stevie Wonder: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize was taped on February 25, 2009 and broadcast nationwide on February 26, 2009. The event celebrated musician Stevie Wonder’s receipt of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

The evening concert will be streamed live by the White House on and available to stream on the series website on after the broadcast. For more information about In Performance at the White House: Fiesta Latina, visit

The Museo de las Americas hosts an evening of the 6th Annual Indigenous Film & Arts Festival on October 14, 2009.

A special screening of films celebrating the indigenous roots of the Latino community will be presented at the Museo on Wednesday, October 14. Doors open at 6:00 pm, the screening begins at 6:30 pm. General admission is $5, Museo members and students have a discounted rate of $3.

The program opens with A Cielo Abierto/Under the Open Sky. Mexico's largest gold deposit is found in the community of El Carrizalillo, Guerrero, but its population lives in poverty. In early 2007 community landholders organized to demand a just annual lease payment and social benefits for the community from Goldcorp Mining. This is the story of a people that organized, fought and won.

The Festival, which runs from October 13-18, presents films by and about indigenous peoples around the theme of Telling Our Stories. Organized by The International Institute for Indigenous Resource Management, the Festival gives voice to North and South American Indian, Canadian First Nations, Native Hawaiian, Maori and Australian Aboriginal filmmakers. It provides a rare opportunity to meet the artists and filmmakers and to see authentic images of indigenous peoples expressed in film and art.

For more information on the Festival, visit
861 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204

Meanwhile, for those of us not lucky enough to live in SoCal, the Big Read in Pueblo, Colorado kicks off this weekend with a series of literary-themed events. The month long celebration is centered on two books: The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, who is scheduled for the Booklovers Blacktie Ball on November 7 and a talk and book signing on November 8, and Sun, Stone, and Shadows: 20 Great Mexican Short Stories, edited by Jorge F. Hernández.

The celebration includes movies (everything from Milagro Beanfield War and Like Water for Chocolate to Beverly Hills Chihuahua); art exhibits (works from Cheech Marin's collection as well as a masks exhibit and an exhibit of materials from the Colorado Chicano Movement such as photographs, banners, alternative newspapers, and other rare items); and author discussions and panels, including a presentation by yours truly on October 10 at 12:30 in the Rawlings Library, 100 E. Abriendo Avenue. I plan to read from The Skull of Pancho Villa, my short story in Hit List, as well as a preview of my upcoming novel (2010), King of the Chicanos. This is quite a happening and if you are any where near Pueblo or plan to be in that great city sometime in the next month, make sure you download the program brochure, available here. If you brave the weather and make it to the Rawlings Library on Saturday, introduce yourself as a La Bloga reader. I know it's supposed to be cold (hey, the Rockies are in the playoffs with a game against the Phillies on Saturday night, so you knew that freezing weather was coming), but the culture and literary atmosphere might be just what you need to warm up.

Reminder Redux: Latino Book & Family Festival

Exciting things are happening as we approach the long-running Los Angeles Latino Book & Family Festival which will be held on October 10 and 11 at California State University, Los Angeles. The participating authors include Victor Villaseñor, Rubén Martínez, Xavier Serbia, Luis J. Rodriguez, Pat Mora, Gustavo Arellano, Yxta Maya Murray, Alicia Gaspar de Alba, Reyna Grande, Conrad Romo, Daniel Olivas, Marisela Norte, Melinda Palacio, Rigoberto González, S. Ramos O’Briant, Sara Rafael Garcia, and many others. For more information such as the complete schedule of panels, directions and parking, visit here. Visit the Latino Book Examiner for additional background on the festival.

Serpent and the Sun
The film Serpent and the Sun will premier October 18th at the Oriental Theater in Denver at 2 PM. Tickets are $10. The film focuses on Ehekateotl (Ehe) who is a 52nd generation Aztec curandero from Mexico City and he will participate in a Q and A after the movie. Ehe will be doing Aztec bodywork/healings/limpias. Limited appointments with Ehe are available the week of October 13. Elizabeth Romero will schedule an appointment for you at 303 863-1744. You may schedule the same type of therapy with Elizabeth as she is a sabadora (massage therapist) who has worked as an apprentice to Ehe for over 10 years. The Oriental Theater is located at 4335 W. 44th in Denver. A brief trailer for this movie is posted below.

That's it for this week - see you at the book festival (L.A. or Pueblo or wherever you are.)


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