Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fronteras del Amor by Teatro Americano

There are more than tacos cooking at Los Milagros Taqueria
Things heat up in the lives of the taqueria's young workers. Marisol is struggling for better life--for herself and family while being undocumented and taking care of her grandfather and kid brother; Raymundo got beat with the love stick and is sneaking around with the boss's daughter, Lucia ; and Cisco cannot seem to keep himself off the streets and get to work on time. These young adults are joined by luchadores, street kids, and has-been beauty queens all of which are looking for miracles and tortas at Los Milagros.

Join us as the kitchen gets too hot in this telenovela complete with commercials for the stage exploring the intersection of public health, immigration, and youth issues. Order up!

Come see Teatro Americano Perform Fronteras del Amor @ DePaul University

Nov. 21 & 23 Cortelyou Commons Main Hall 2324 N. Freemont
November 22nd Student Center Room 120 2250 N Sheffield


Tickets $10

Directed by Ricardo Gamboa & Steven Beaudion
Developed & Written by Ricardo Gamboa & Steven Beaudion
with Francisco Javier Arrellano, Ashley Bland, Manuel Carnero, Angelica Delgado, Samanta Eimontaite, Julian Gallegos, Alejandra Garcia, Maybeth Gomez, Emmanuel Gutierrez, Hermelindo Hernandez, Unique Howard, Jennifer Idrovo, Chantal Kimbrough, Salvador Ledesma, Jacob Lopez, Xavier Lopez, Rolando Martinez, Veronika Miranda, Zulema Ortiz, Jilberto Popoca, Christy James Sanchez, Mario Sanchez, Sandra Sanchez and Manuel Saucedo

Teatro Americano will continue to offer performances in the coming months at local schools and community venues. For more information about how you can bring a performance to your school or organization, please contact Melissa Gonzalez, Director of Advocacy and Community Education, at (312) 850-9376 or .

Monday, October 27, 2008

Proyecto Latina's Radio Project

What I am going to remember and probably miss most about this past summer are my Thursday evenings. These were the evenings dedicated to getting the Proyecto Latina Radio project off the ground. After closing shop I would meet up with my fellow co-producer Diana Pando and we would catch a quick bite to eat at either La Cebollita or Los Comales and then stroll over to the Radio Arte studios to meet up with our other team members: Yolanda Cardenas, Ericka Sanchez and Miranda Gonzalez. Jesus Ortiz, the host of the Urban Alternatives show at Radio Arte patiently guided us through weeks of radio training and tolerated my affinity for freestyle music while enlightening me with some knowledge of hip hop music.

We've been a little quiet about our little Sunday project because we are still refining our radio editing and producing skills. The goal of the radio show is to build upon Proyecto Latina and the programming that we have already been doing with our Open mic and reading series. So far we've had the pleasure of featuring work by local Latinas such as Lisa Alvarado, and Tanya Saracho as well as an interview with Mexican author Elena Poniatowska. We encourage you to tune in on Sundays from 6 to 7 p.m. If you are in the area you can probably pick up the frequency on your radio (90.5 FM) or you can tune into to listen as it streams online.

We are working on uploading our radio archives so you can access them any time you like. More on this project coming soon...

Monday, October 20, 2008


Biblioburro The story of one man, two donkeys and 4,800 books.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

From the Guild Complex: Palabra Pura

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Palabra Pura, Frances Trevino and Tony del Valle
@ Decima Musa, 1901 S. Loomis, Chicago (Pilsen neighborhood)
Reading begins at 7:30 p.m.
Free admission. All ages. Books for sale.

Frances Treviño de Santos
was first published by Pecan Grove Press in 1999 in a chapbook Mama & Other Tragedies. That same year, she was a fellow for the National Endowment for the Humanities for integrating U.S. Latino Literature in the secondary classroom. She is the recipient of the 2000 Premió Poesía Tejana Award for The Laughter of Doves, which was published through Wings Press. In 2001 she received a grant from the Alfredo Cisneros del Moral Foundation. Her current book of poems, Cayetana, is also published by Wings Press. From 1999-2002, she was a member of "Women of Ill-Repute: Refute!" - a performance group that deconstructed issues of culture and identity. Treviño de Santos teaches British Literature to high school students for the San Antonio Independent School district.

Tony del Valle
is a published writer of fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry. For the past thirty years he performed as a singer, pianist and guitarist in a touring orchestra and recorded several albums of Latin music as composer, arranger, songwriter, and pianist. He also has taught music and visual arts in the Humboldt Park community where he painted various murals. He is currently seeking to publish a novel entitled The Royal Road, part of which has appeared in Chicago West Side Stories. Del Valle has presented his fiction, poetry, research, and music performances at various conferences, workshops and community events, and he continues his work as a professor of English.

I *heart* nuestro teatro....

There is lots going on this fall in Latino theatre for the Chicagoland area. For me, these plays are just as important as the books that tell our stories. Show your support by attending, and helping pass the word along.

Kita y Fernanda

by Tanya Saracho
Kita y Fernanda is a look at class, immigration and women's friendships as it follows the lives of two girls growing up in the same household; one the privileged daughter of a rich Mexican family living in Texas the other Kita the child of an undocumented maid. Playing through October 26th at 16th Street Theatre in Berwyn.

Meet Juan(ito) Doe
Directed by Ricardo Gamboa
Developed & Written by Ricardo Gamboa, Manuel Saucedo, Veronika Miranda, Alejandra Garcia and Mario Sanchez
Who is Juan Doe? An original ensemble devised piece by Teatro Americano exploring the realities of Latino youth in contemporary society composed from interviews, personal narratives and recent research. From gang violence to myspace, immigration to love and mix tapes, Teatro Americano has created a work that speaks to our collective and individual experiences as young Latinos. Juanito Doe is a busboy, gang member, a pregnant teen, an illegal student--Juanito Doe is you.

Saturday October 18th 7pm
Little Village Arts Festival
General Wood Boys & Girls Club
2950 W. 25th St
*Free event

Jarred: A Hoodoo Comedy
written by Tanya Saracho, directed by Belinda Cervantes & Tanya Saracho
In search for a cure to her heartbreak after a relationship turns sour, Alicia will try anything to mend her broken heart. When yoga, therapy, meditation (you name it she tried it) don't provide relief, her desperate search leads to a most unexpected practice: Magic. With the help of her friends, and three wise magi, Alicia mines the underworlds of Brujeria, Santeria and Hoodoo for folk magic recipes and ancient jar spells, in a frantic attempt to get her love back.

Begins October 31st, get tickets and details at here.
*Read my thoughts on the reading of Jarred, which I got to see this past summer at the Latino Theatre festival, better yet, see what the Chicago Tribune is saying about Tanya Saracho's work.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Turning three and giving thanks

I have the nicest customers and neighbors. They look out for me. On days when I absentmindedly forget to turn on the open sign, I sometimes get a friendly call from my neighbors across the street to alert me. Last spring five customers and friends pitched in to treat me to a spa day. I've been given some more random things like a pine tree (that now resides in our back yard) and a usb full of music to play in the store. Oh, and our used book shelf (yes we have used books now) was started by very generous customer donations.

These acts of kindness always surprise and move me and leave me feeling all mushy and giddy and chocked up.

With that said, I want to share the following: A couple of Saturdays back Natalie, a neighbor that lives a few houses away and is a florist brought me flowers just because. I was touched and then she continued to surprise me with some very encouraging words, "Thank you for what you do."

Later that same day, Mari called me. She brought me tacos for lunch from La Internacional on 45th and Ashland. That lunch hit the spot. Yum. Go check out what her father's taqueria y carniceria has been doing so well for many, many years.

And if the universe had not indulged me enough, a few days later when I logged online I found a one line message from one of my favorite writers, "Thank you for all you do."

All unexpected gestures of kindness that humbled and filled up my soul with the good stuff. And now its my turn to send out a GREAT BIG THANK YOU to all the people that have supported my venture and vision: Tianguis turns three this October!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Pregonando: Voicing Community

This event opens TODAY. Its spearheaded by Giselle Mercier. Giselle will be the featured artist at Tianguis as part of the Pilsen Open Studios art walk later this month (details for that coming soon). I have also been asked to participate on the October 25th panel. Details below.

Pregonando*: Voicing Community
A multi-disciplinary exhibit highlighting the collective efforts of partnership building. From transnational to cross-city collaborations, the work of the cultural worker or community artist depends on the cultivation of reciprocal relationships amongst partners.

Join the Cuentos Fdtn., for a month of family workshops, film screenings and panel discussions that will transport us to the exemplary community-based work done in Chicago, Panama and Mexico.

Sat. October 4, 2008, 6:30 p.m.
Opening reception,

Sat. October 4 @ 7:30 p.m. & Sun. October 5 @ 4 p.m.
"Outside the Indigenous Lens" - Video Presentation by Chiapas Media Project/ Promedios,

Sat., October 11, 2008
Intergenerational Workshop - music and adornment

Saturday October 25, 2008
Closing & panel discussion and party with Nuestro Tambo

Participating artists and groups: Giselle Mercier*, Beth Massura,Tara Malik, Angel Nava, Lindsey Potter, Ashley Walls, Jesus Macarena-Avila, Gabi Nelson and Chiapas Media Project/Promedios. With performances by Ruben Gerena and Nuestro Tambo.

Held at Cuentos Foundation, 6321 N. Clark.

*In Spanish, the verb "pregonar" means to praise publicly and the person charged with this is the town crier or the "pregonero". The "pregon" or announcement is always urgent in nature and is loaded with collective community knowledge that is gained through daily experiences. This socially relevant proverb exalts "doing the right thing" or working ethically as we face day to day challenges.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Visit our table at Vive La Hispanidad celebration

We have been invited to participate at the 4th Annual Vive La Hispanidad. If you are planning on attending make sure to stop by our table and say hello and check out the books and merchandise. We're sure its going to be a blast, the food and music lineup is fierce!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Voicing Resistance: The Latino Experience through the Arts and Media

I've been invited to participate on a panel with three fellow Latinas. Details below:

Voicing Resistance: The Latino Experience through the Arts and Media

Monday, October 6th, 2008
7:00 - 9:00pm / Schmitt Academic Center (SAC) 154
2320 N. Kenmore Avenue

The panel features Chicago artists/activists who will discuss their work and the impact the visual and performing arts and the media have on Latino communities. The panelists will also examine the role of art and the media as a form of resistance within the Latino community.

Naomi Martinez is a Chicana artist who grew up in Logan Square in Chicago. Her world of original Monstrochika characters sprouted in 2000 and continues to evolve today. She has designed and hand sewn her own pouches and stuffed monstros while completing volume one of Monstrochika Comix. Martinez has collaborated with other local female graffiti artists on various murals and arts projects around the Chicago area. See:

Marcela Munoz, born in Cartagena, Colombia, is a founding member and Managing Director of Aguijón Theater. As an actress and director she has worked with Aguijón Theater, Teatro Luna, Victory Gardens Theatre, the Goodman Theatre, and has participated in international theatre festivals in Peru, Argentina and Colombia.

Irasema González, Chicago poet, is a founding member of the Proyecto Latina reading series, a collaborative between Tianguis Books, Teatro Luna and Mariposa Atomica Ink. She is the owner of Tianguis Books, the “bookstore she always longed to walk into.” Her poems appeared in the anthology, Between the Heart and the Land. See:

Yunuen Rodriguez, the first youth co-president of the board of Chicago-based Women & Girls CAN and a member of its youth-led initiative, Females United for Action, is an advocate for media justice, violence prevention and culture change that respects women and girls. She successfully led negotiations with a Chicago radio station to drop a sexually exploitive ad campaign and testified before the Federal Communications Commission about how women of color are portrayed in the media. See:

For more information contact: The Women’s Center (773) 325-7558.

Mark your calendars: Lisa Alvarado reads @ Tianguis on 10/29

I had the pleasure of attending Lisa Alvarado's national book release party for her new book Raw Silk Suture this past September. Lisa's poetry collection is powerful and as the title implies 'raw'. She delivered her delicate but intense gems beautifully. I'm excited to be having Lisa read at Tianguis later this month, mark your calendars and make sure to join us!

Wed. October 29, 2008 @ 7 p.m.
Lisa Alvarado reading from Raw Silk Suture
@ Tianguis, 2003 S. Damen.