Tuesday, March 31, 2009

PRSUN Radio: A PRdream with Judith Escalona



Tomorrow night's guest at PRSUN Radio is Judith Escalona, executive director of PRdream and MediaNoche in NYC's El Barrio.

PRdream (Puerto Rico and the American Dream) is the award-winning website on the history, culture and politics of Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rican diaspora. The mission of PRdream is to empower community through technology.

As part of that mission, PRdream launched MediaNoche, a new media project and digital gallery. MediaNoche offers residencies and exhibition space for artists working in new media. The Digital Film Studio at MediaNoche is a space for independent filmmakers to converge. Works-in-progress screenings, screenplay readings and a variety of workshops are offered.

Escalona is also a filmmaker.

To read Escalona's bio, go to my blog at www.blogtalkradio.com/prsunradio.

The show will be at 9 p.m. at www.blogtalkradio.com/prsunradio.

UPDATE

To listen to PRSUN Radio's chat with Judith Escalona:



RELATED OPPORTUNITY

FINAL CUT PRO AND PHOTOSHOP WORKSHOPS - Beginning in April
Wednesday, April 8
FINAL CUT PRO BASICS: $300.
Learn the basics for effective non-linear editing.
Mondays and Wednesdays, 6 - 10 p.m.,
Section 1: April 13, 15, 20, 22

*Must have basic computer skills and a familiarity with the Mac interface or have taken the Mac Basics workshop.

Mac BASICS
Learn the basics of using a MAC computer. $50.
April 8, 6 - 9 p.m.

PHOTOSHOP BASICS: 1 day intensive: $175
Saturdays in April, 1 – 6 p.m.
First class: April 4
Learn the fundamentals from a pro. Basic computer skills in pc or Mac platforms.

Call (212) 828-0401 for more information or to register.

Small class size, one computer per student. All workshops are held in the gallery of

MediaNoche
1355 Park Avenue, Corner Store
the entrance is on East 102nd Street, East Harlem

Monday, March 30, 2009

STS 119 Post Landing Crew News Conference



Excerpts from a news conference held March 28 at NASA's Kennedy Space Center with members of the STS-119 crew, which included boricua astronaut Joseph Acaba, following their successful landing of space shuttle Discovery.

courtesy of NASA TV

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Tribute to the late salsero Manny Oquendo on Barrio Block

In the Mailbox

Please listen tbo Barrio Block 99.5 FM (in New York City) today 2 to 4 p.m. Special guest Andy Gonzalez and others talking about the late Manny Oquendo the six decades of music is created and help create.

Vaya! -- Americo Casiano Jr.

Editor's Note: Manny Oquendo's music is available at the PRSUN aStore. Here's a link.

El Maestro is more than a gym

I board the #6 train to the Bronx and get off at the Whitlock Avenue stop. As I walk to my destination, I listen to the busy car traffic and the sounds of people working in garages and businesses in the area. Within minutes, I’m in another world. I’m inside a community treasure: El Maestro.
Some refer to this place as “Juan Laporte’s Boxing Gym,” named after Laporte who was a boxing champion in the early 1980’s. But the gym located at 1029 East 167th Street doesn’t serve only as a gym. It’s also a cultural and educational oasis for those with an interest in Puerto Rican and Latino themes.
The center is an endeavor aimed at transforming a social void into a valuable community space. It serves as a social and cultural center for the entire community. It’s a place for community members to socialize and participate in ongoing programs and activities for children, teenagers and adults.
Among the cultural programs that take place at El Maestro are: “Puerto Rican Roots Music performances (monthly), Afro-Puerto Rican Roots Dance & Percussion Classes (weekly), Resident Musical Ensembles (weekly rehearsals), Educational Video Presentations (monthly), Art Exhibitions (monthly), and Spoken Word/Poetry Open Mic and Showcase (monthly). It’s a busy place for sure.
There is also a little league baseball team and softball league El Maestro sponsors.
At the gym, participants learn to box and work on getting in shape. The gym membership fee: $50.


Coto Talavera, head trainer at the gym, says, “The success is not when an individual wins a title.”
The gym has served as a perfect place for members of several boxing members of the NYPD Boxing Team and the FDNY Boxing Team to work out.
“I come here often to train,” said a police officer at the gym who did not want to be identified. “Everything is clean and in complete order; there are no fights. I recommend every Police Athletic League in the city to come here.”
Naralie Pacheco, a female boxing champion and trainer at the gym, said, “When I train fighters here, I demand respect not just to me but for all, and that’s why this place is so special for the community because there is respect.”
For more information about El Maestro, e-mail elmaestroinc@verizon.net or call (646) 337-6775. –- Ismael Nunez

(photos by Ismael Nunez)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

Navy Assures Serrano: We Have No Intention of Returning to Vieques

Last Thursday during a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Inhofe (R-Okla.) asked the Navy whether it had plans to return to Vieques, since it seemed well placed to respond to a variety of needs in Latin America. Although the Navy was non-committal in its response, Congressman Serrano immediately asked the Navy to clarify its position on Vieques and sought assurances that it had no intention of returning to Vieques.
On Friday, Serrano received confirmation from the Navy’s Congressional Relations office that the Navy has no intention of reopening Vieques as a training range. “I am pleased to hear that the Navy has no plans to return to Vieques,” said Serrano. “The people of Vieques have suffered enough. I am glad that the Navy now realizes the harm that has been caused, and agrees that this painful chapter in the history of Puerto Rico must remain closed.”

Source: Congressman Jose Serrano's statement on Vieques in The Serrano Report

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Empire of Desire at MediaNoche


Featured exhibition

Empire of Desire
A multi-screen installation by Ted Ciesielski
March 28 – May 2
Gallery hours: 1 to 7 p.m. and by appointment, Wednesday through Saturday
Opening Reception: 6-8 p.m., Saturday March 28
Artist's talk: 6 p.m., Tuesday, April 16

MediaNoche, Manhattan’s Uptown gallery devoted to new media, presents Empire of Desire, a multiscreen installation by Ted Ciesielski.

The phallic cliché of the Empire State Building returns as a modern-day totem privileging women through its projections. A woman's body becomes a pliable and supple surface for viewing not so much the classic nude but images of the Empire State Building that conceal her.

Ciesielski creates an elusive metaphor of power that weds steel and brick to flesh, resolving the public and private spheres in a manner closer to pornography than art and rendering such distinctions senseless by the brute force of the imaging. Think Abu Ghraib.

For Ciesielski the "installation is a visual bridge between sexuality and architecture in New York City: Multi-screen, multi-color, multi-woman, and one desire. It is the result of many years of seduction from both sides."


ARTIST'S BIO:

Tadeusz "Ted" Ciesielski is a filmmaker from Poland, where he studied at the famed Lodz Film Academy. During the eighties, he directed music videos for KULT, SIEKIERA, and Cityzen GC. In the nineties, he travelled with a film camera throughout Europe and China, eventually settling in New York City. His obsession with urban landscapes results in highly personal and interpretive projects about the Twin Towers, the Empire State Building, billboards, oil tanks and garbage. Some titles are: Requiem 2001, My Empire, Last Letter, and My Gates.

ABOUT MEDIANOCHE:
Judith Escalona, director’s statement
Our media practice is rooted in community, utilizing technology as a tool for transgressing the dynamic, cultural space of Spanish Harlem in order to engage, incite, and transform the dialectics of alternity and marginalization.

MediaNoche, a project of PRdream.com
MediaNoche is the place where art, technology and community converge. We offer artists working in new media exhibition space and residencies in order to provoke a dialogue that blurs all lines of marginality and alternity.

Unique among arts and technology groups in New York, MediaNoche is directly linked to the oldest Latino community of the city, Spanish Harlem, and has showcased a roster of local and international new media artists.

MediaNoche
1355 Park Avenue, Corner store at 102nd Street, Manhattan
For more information, (212) 828-0401 or visit www.medianoche.us.

source: MediaNoche

Note: Judith Escalona will talk to PRSUN Radio next Wednesday night at www.blogtalkradio.com/prsunradio. See related entry below.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The NYC Collective of the Puerto Rican Photographic Society to meet in El Barrio

We are still organizing a local photo collective of the Puerto Rican Photographic Society, a global group especially aimed at highlighting the work of boricua photographers.

Our next meeting in NYC is at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 2, Cemi Underground, 1799 Lexington Ave. @ E. 112th Street, East Harlem.

You are invited to join us if you are interested in being part of the photo collective.

We are a grassroots group.

Monday, March 23, 2009

PRSUN Radio talks with financial pro Xavier Serbia on building wealth



Xavier Serbia, a former Menudo, is now a financial expert and he is the author of a new Spanish guide titled "La riqueza en cu4tro pisos." It's a guide providing readers steps on how to strategize and build financial independence.

Serbia has become a leading financial voice, especially within the U.S. Hispanic media.

Listen to my interview with Serbia in English about his guide and what he has to say about building wealth. Xavier breaks down the steps he thinks people should take to work on achieving financial independence.

Xavier Serbia will be in the Bronx for a book presentation at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 26, at the Barnes & Noble at Bay Plaza in Coop City. Serbia says he hopes to interact with people and discuss his book, which he describes as a "roadmap" to wealth.

For more information about the writer, go to his website at www.xavierserbia.com. -- Clarisel Gonzalez

Xavier Serbia's book is also available at the PRSUN aStore.

Poetry: 'Her Food for Thought'

Community calendar

“Her Food for Thought” Celebrating Latina Women in Poetry will showcase talents of published and emerging poets of Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, Spain and of Taino Decent. With topics that broad in range. Voices that are passionate and experiences that are personal and sometimes painful. Each artist brings a unique style and vision to the stage. The listeners will relate to the challenges that some have faced and recognize the accomplishments that others have achieved. The poetry will evoke dialogue and discussion. They will convey a deep sense of spirituality and culture, an understanding of the power of “Woman” and the Magic she creates.


“Her Food for Thought” Latina Poetry Review
7-9:30 p.m., March 26
FREE Admission / Cash Bar
Clemente Soto Velez Cultural & Educational Center, Inc.
107 Suffolk Street, Manhattan
For more information, Mia Roman Hernandez at artbymamamia@yahoo.com or call (646)366-6448.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Like a Bridge Over Troubled Waters: The Nuyoricans

Commentary

By Manuel Hernández Carmona

New York Puerto Rican writer, Miguel Algarin (Puerto Rican Voices in English, p.39) came to Puerto Rico with colleague Miguel Piñero in the early 1970's. They were speaking in English, Spanish, Spanglish and a variety of sorts when they heard someone calling them Nuyoricans. Algarin thought they were using the term in a humiliating way. When my parents moved back to the island in 1974, I was immediately referred to as "el nuyorican" by classmates, relatives and friends. I was confused because I had never been called like that before. Nuyorican is a combination of the words New York and Puerto Rican. It was and still is used to identify Puerto Ricans born and raised in the United States and to differentiate them from island Puerto Ricans ("Adios Borinquen Querida", p.90).

Puerto Ricans born in other US cities resent the term because they were not born in New York City. For some New York Puerto Ricans, it is a label they prefer not to be associated with. Other New York Puerto Ricans view the term as connected to Puerto Ricans in New York before or after their time of birth and residence. Although it is true that the term carries significant negative connotations, for a strong minority being Nuyorican means pride, dignity and uniqueness. For me, it is like living on a bridge over troubled waters. It means moving back and forth, to and from, without the geographical, social, cultural and historical limitations.

Literary critics use the term to identify a group of pioneers, New York based Puerto Rican poets who grew up in the streets of New York City in the early 60's and 70's. The literary critic and scholar, Dr. Juan Flores defines the so-called Nuyorican modality: “Freely bilingual in style and conception, it was written by young Puerto Ricans who grew up in the streets of New York City. The poems are filled with that biting defiance and strident pride that erupted on the literary landscape in1973 with Puerto Rican Obituary in 1973 (Divided Borders, p.168).”


Most Nuyoricans live on a bridge over troubled waters. The 30,000 feet high point in between the island and New York seems like the safest place for them to exist. When they arrive on the island, they are often called "gringos". Adapting to the Puerto Rican mentality may become a nightmare for many. Language, attitudes and culture become barriers when they return to their homeland. Some are treated as foreigners and strangers in their own island neighborhoods, churches and backyards. Nuyoricans feel disappointed and disheartened when confronted with ignorance and prejudice in "La Isla". As a result, they decide to observe the PR culture from the outside.

When I was on the verge of creating a course on US based Puerto Rican literature at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras campus, a ferocious debate occurred on the name of the course; they wanted me to call the course, Nuyorican literature. Some ex-colleagues fought gallantly to undermine the inclusion of the course amongst American and Britiish survey courses. In 2009, the course continues to stir interest amongst undergrad and grad students at UPR's finest institution.

The bridge has no geographical limitations. Mexicans born and raised in the states are treated the same or probably worse by their native Mexican brothers and sisters. All the social and cultural tossing and turning, forces the Nuyorican to be on the alert and on the defensive most of the time. Will Nuyoricans finally mix and blend in to the old melting pot? Will they give up their freedom of being bilingual and bicultural? These are only a couple of questions that will remain unanswered. It is no wonder that many of us feel relieved and at peace when the captain of a 747 finally says: "We have reached our highest altitude, 30,000 feet and will be cruising until we reach our final destiny."

Manuel Hernández Carmona, a Puerto Rico-based freelance writer and educator, is a contributing writer to Puerto Rico Sun. PRSUN welcomes Manny back. To contact Manny, mannyh32@puertoricans.com

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Nuyorican poet Sandra Maria Esteves to lead Bronx writing workshop tomorrow


Acentos Writers Workshops Welcomes Sandra Maria Esteves

Acentos is doing something special every Sunday at Hostos Community college to promote writing and poetry. Acentos is offering dynamic workshops in the Bronx for free. Acentos offers participants the opportunity to work with some of the most well respected writers of our time. Writers like Sandra Maria Esteves who has blazed trails so wide and thick it made it just a little bit easier for Acentos to exist. This coming Sunday is not a day to miss.

Sandra Maria Esteves
Poet Sandra María Esteves is a "Puerto Rican-Dominican-Boriqueña- Quisqueyana-Taino-African-American," born and raised in the Bronx.

One of the founders of the Nuyorican poetry movement, she has published six collections of poetry including Finding Your Way (2001); Contrapunto In The Open Field (1998); Undelivered Love Poems (1997); Bluestown Mockingbird Mambo (1990); Tropical Rain: A Bilingual Downpour (1984); and Yerba Buena (1981) which was selected as Best Small Press in 1981 by the Library Journal.

She has conducted literary programs at organizations including the Caribbean Cultural Center and El Museo del Barrio. Ms. Esteves was awarded as an Art Review 2001 Honoree from the Bronx Council on the Arts, and received the 1985 NYFA Fellowship in Poetry. She lives in New York City..


Acentos Writers Workshop with Sandra Maria Esteves @ Hostos Community College
Eugenio María de Hostos Community College •
450 Grand Concourse, the Bronx
***ROOM 454***
12 pm sharp
Phone (718) 518-4444

RSVP at Fish@louderarts.com.

(photo of Sandra Maria Esteves by Clarisel Gonzalez)

source: Acentos

Editor's note: Esteves' works are available at the PRSUN aStore:





Check it out. Shopping at the PRSUN aStore is a way of supporting the Puerto Rico Sun community media project.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Anibal Acevedo Vila is Innocent

Former Puerto Rico Governor Anibal Acevedo Vila is not guilty on all counts in his corruption trial. The verdict by a jury at the federal court concluded his month long trial earlier today in Puerto Rico.

"I hope Puerto Rico learns from this lesson," said Acevedo Vila after the verdict. "You defend the truth no matter what."

I'm glad because federal authorities didn't have enough proof against the former governor, judging by media reports I heard during the trial.

To read today's report on Acevedo Vila's verdict,
http://sg.news.yahoo.com/ap/20090321/twl-cb-puerto-rico-governor-s-trial-1be00ca.html

Share your thoughts. Feel free to leave your comments.

Research Seminar: Welfare reform in NYC

Community calendar

Welfare Reform in NYC:
From Slums to the Projects


Presenters: Cordelia Reimers and Howard Chernick, Hunter College with Marygrace Tyrell, Northwestern University

6 p.m., Thursday, March 26

Centro Conference Room 1437 East Bldg.
Hunter College
68th & Lexington Avenue, Manhattan

For more information, www.centropr.org.

Free Stylin' in El Barrio

Community calendar



90’s Diva Judy Torres is expected to attend.

TONIGHT is Freestyle night at Cemi Underground in NYC's El Barrio.

For more information, www.cemiunderground.com.

Editor's note: Nieves-Powell's book "Free Style" is also available at the PRSUN aStore.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Riches in 4 Steps with Xavier Serbia

Financial expert and former Menudo Xavier Serbia is the scheduled guest on PRSUN Radio Monday night. He is currently promoting his new book "La riqueza en cuatro pisos," and will be sharing some helpful financial tips with listeners. The talk show is planned for 9-9:15 p.m. at www.blogtalkradio.com/prsunradio. If you can't listen to the show live, it will be archived at PRSUN Radio.

"La riqueza en cuatro pisos" is a survival manual. Having sufficient wealth in the future, and achieving financial independence are two of the primary goals for Hispanics; this book is the first step. For more information, go to my blog at www.blogtalkradio.com/prsunradio.


Editor's Note: Serbia's book is available at the PRSUN aStore at:

‘The Show Still Goes On’



In one of their first events honoring Women’s History Month at the Centro (The Center for Puerto Rican Studies) library at Hunter College in Manhattan, organizers put together a talk entitled “The Show Still Goes On.”
Professor and historian Virginia Sanchez-Korrol moderated the conversation with actresses Miriam Colon (the founder of the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre) and Eva Vasquez.
The actresses offered a history lesson and conversation full of theatre, especially focusing on the Latino New York theatre scene, and they shared their success stories. Both actresses said their inspiration came from family. –- Ismael Nunez

(photo by Ismael Nunez)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It's time to change


It's time to get another Puerto Rican flag.
This flag decorates a community garden in NYC's El Barrio.
(photo by Clarisel Gonzalez)

Monday, March 16, 2009

My day of dreams at the Nuyorican Poets Café



In the first person

If you’ve ever been to the Nuyorican Poets Café in lower Manhattan than you can understand why it would be such an honor for my first public performance outside of school to be at this historical Café.
It was a Sunday in the middle of the afternoon and I was seemingly relaxed. I was coming above ground from the 6 train, probably the most eager as I’ve ever been. My older sister Lisa and I strolled the streets of the L.E.S. searching for this landmark. My blood was boiling with excitement. I was headed to the Urban Word’s 11th Annual Teen Poetry Preliminary Round at the Nuyorican! Life couldn’t get better.
I spent countless hours practicing the poem, so I wasn’t nervous about my memorization of my piece. I remember the names were placed in a raffle envelope as everyone took a seat for a chance to spill their guts into the mic for the judges.
“This rug is a very famous one, one that Saul Williams and other famous poets have stood on; you should be honored to recite on this rug poets,” I remember one of the hosts telling us as part of his introduction. Poet after poet literally poured their hearts out for us to hear and for judges to judge in the hopes to make it to the next round. INTENSE. When I was called up, the level of comfort was amazing. It was as if I felt that this was where I belonged all these years. I was sick with pink eye in both eyes and just midway through my recovery, but that didn’t stop me. I was up on stage at the Nuyorican. AMAZING.

“You Are Nothing.” That was the first line of my poem. People gasp and laugh at the same time throughout the piece. I’m still shocked at such positive feedback I received. Being pulled to the side by a judge was probably the most stunning part of the night. “CARLOS! Besides our name being the same, I really liked that poem,” the judge told me.
I mean even the bathroom at the café is amazing. It’s decorated with autographed posters of famous performing artists that I’ve never even heard. As a poet, honestly, it was a dream to perform at the Nuyorican Poets Café, especially because I am a Puerto Rican from New York. I never, ever, ever, ever, EVER thought it would happen, and I never expected this to be the first place where I would have been given the opportunity to perform.
It’s truly amazing. As I write this article, I’m still in shock that I performed at the Nuyorican and impressed with the people, even though I couldn’t see their faces during the performance because of the spotlight. Honestly, if not the best, performing at the Nuyorican has been one of the best experiences of my life as a poet and even more so as a person trying to succeed. -- Carlos Burgos

Carlos Burgos, a contributing writer to Puerto Rico Sun, is a poet that goes by the name "Iro" because he says it means "Man" in Taino and the name Carlos also means "Man." To connect with Iro, go to his Facebook page at
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1461579595&ref=profile


(photo of Carlos Burgos)
(photo of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe by Clarisel Gonzalez)

Entrepreneur Night in El Barrio

Join La Casa Azul Bookstore on Entrepreneur Night
6:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 17
East Harlem Cafe
1651 Lexington Ave., NYC's El Barrio

Local businesses will feature their products and services. Some examples of what you will find: fashion, accessories, catering, life coach and books.

Support the small businesses in your community.

Aurora Anaya-Cerda, a contributing writer to this blog, is owner of La Casa Azul Bookstore.

I, representing Puerto Rico Sun Communications, a community-minded independent multimedia social entrepreneurship, will be there. I'll be mingling.

ProLibertad to honor Latinas for contributions to independence movement

Community calendar

This Women's History Month, The ProLibertad Freedom Campaign honors the contributions of Boricua/Latina women to the Puerto Rican Independence Movement.

Recipients of the Doña Adelfa Vera Award for 2009:
Yasmin Hernandez, Artist/Activist/Educator
Teresita "Lah Tere" Ayala, Poet/Activist/Rebel Diaz
Claudia de la Cruz, Pastor of La Iglesia San Romero de Las Americas/UCC

Mistress of Ceremony:
Haydee Morales, Casa Atabex Ache Co-Founder

Keynote Speaker:
Prisionera, Poet/Activist/Partido Nacionalista de Puerto Rico

Sample Work Presentation:
"Our Women, Our Struggle" (working title) is a 70-minute long documentary that chronicles the life of Puerto Rican revolutionary Isabel Rosado who dedicated her life to the Puerto Rican Independence movement and has become a symbol of the island's patriotism. Other women such as Lolita Lebron and Dylcia Pagan will also be highlighted. All three women were subjected to FBI surveillance and each spent many years in prison as a consequence of their radical political actions or as some might refer "terrorist activities."

Melissa Montero is a Latina filmmaker living in Queens, New York of Puerto Rican and Ecuadorian heritage. She has co-produced and directed a non-broadcast ten-minute promotional video/documentary on Casa Atabex Ache, a non-profit organization that does healing and transformation work for women of color.

Poetry by:
Mariposa and Prisionera

Hand crafts and Natural Products:
OLGA AYALA HANDICRAFTS (HECHO A MANO)
Botanicafe (Lourdes Garcia)

7 p.m., Friday, March 27
St. Mary's Episcopal Church, 521 W. 126th St., Manhattan

Suggested donation: $5 (no one will be turned away)

Light refreshments will be served.
For more information contact ProLibertad: 718-601-4751 or visit www.ProLibertadWeb.com.

source: ProLibertad

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Following the News: A boricua is in space now for real

The Discovery has launched.

It is so cool to know that a boricua astronaut is in space right now. Joseph Acaba is part of the crew of seven. He is making history as the first astronaut of Puerto Rican heritage in space.

Here's a report on tonight's launch:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5h1W8dcUP9H70AmlSfDSenPteDT9gD96UPFL00


To read Acaba's bio, go to http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/acaba-jm.html
or click on this entry's headline.

Here are some photos I took between yesterday and tonight on news coverage of our boricua going to space.








For more photos, visit my photo page at http://flickr.com/photos/clarisel.

(photos by Clarisel Gonzalez of some of the TV coverage)

Pianist Jose Ramos Santana performs at Pregones

Community calendar

March is for music at Pregones theater in the Bronx. This month has been full of concerts.

Today's afternoon show features classical music with Puerto Rican concert pianist Jose Ramos Santana.



For ticket info. on today's show, go to www.pregones.org.

(photo courtesy of Pregones)

Featured PRSUN Video: San Sebastian, PR



Video by Brave Little Soul, a member of the PRSUN Video group.

To check out more videos from the PRSUN Video group at flickr, go to
http://www.flickr.com/groups/prsunvideo

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Reminder: Cyber Boricua Chicas chat is today in El Barrio


Come join us at 5 p.m. today at Cemi Underground, East Harlem, for a chat titled "Cyber Boricua Chicas."

Listen to my voice blog at
http://www.snapvine.com/blog/show/20e0ee360d1a11de9ade0030485b0f88

Also tune in to a show I did with Lenina Nadal of performingprofound.com and Iris Morales of us-puertoricans.org for PRSUN Radio at www.blogtalkradio.com/prsunradio.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Standup Comic Cindy SugaRush to chat with PRSUN Radio

Cindy Casado of the SugaRush Comedy Show will be my guest on PRSUN Radio next week. Cindy, a standup comic, hails from the Bronx. Cindy doesn't just say jokes. It is the people, her life experiences and even her dogs that inspire her sense of humor, which she brings to her comedy act.

As an example of her humor, check out her jibara picture on her Facebook page.



Cindy jokes about her Dominican and Puerto Rican heritage, calling herself a "Domrican."

So, tune in from 9-9:15 p.m. www.blogtalkradio.com/prsunradio on March 18, Wednesday night. Cindy will share information on her upcoming shows and projects.

To read her bio, go to my blog at www.blogtalkradio.com/prsunradio.

(photo courtesy of Cindy SugaRush/photo by Elena "Mamarazzi" Marrero)

UPDATE

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hey what about us!

It's about time to create an Uptown Theatre District in Spanish Harlem

Commentary
By Eugene Rodriguez

Hey Mr. Mayor, what about us? While everybody is talking about saving the economy of the nation let us not forget (NYC's) El Barrio! As the president has said, “We should work to turn this national disaster into an opportunity to fix our economy.” And the economy of East Harlem, Spanish Harlem, El Barrio surely needs fixing.

Hard times are upon us again, but truth be told, hard times never left El Barrio. Good jobs have always been few and far between in East Harlem. Businesses have always lived on the edge of disaster, and families have always struggled to survive here. The fact of the matter is that the last recession never left Spanish Harlem, and now we are faced with “Great Depression.” And, as a long term resident of EL Barrio, I can tell you that nobody is coming to El Barrio to build wind mills, or solar panels, or fuel efficient cars. So, what’s left for us to do that will give our local economy an economic jolt? I respectfully submit that now is the time to create an Uptown Theatre District in Spanish Harlem.

In December of 2004, Richard Schwartz, in an article entitled “City’s economy is getting Artsy!” said, that the “Key to the city’s future is ICE; which stands for all things Intellectual, Cultural, and Educational.” In the city’s economy of 2004, ICE had grown by 30% to 485,000 jobs; while FIRE, which stands for Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate, had shrunk by 506,000 jobs, and that was before the current fiscal crisis! In addition, New York City is the biggest theatre town in the world. So, what better business is there in New York than “show business,” which is inherently intellectual, cultural, and educational.

What needs to be done to get our theatres up and running and acting in concert, is to create an entity whose sole mission is to rent, refurbish, program, and develop an audience for all the theatres in East Harlem. Lost somewhere in the labyrinth of bureaucratic red tape in City hall, is a project called The El Barrio Theatre Development Fund, ELBA for short, is a Not-For-Profit Public Service Corporation tasked to create a cultural tourism destination of national importance in East Harlem. It’s the most “shovel ready” project available to jolt the economy of Spanish Harlem! She can be up and running in three months and operate on her own within five years.

And, El Barrio is an ideal place to create an Uptown Theatre District. There are currently 4 underutilized Off-Off Broadway Theatres in El Barrio that are basically White Elephants. Two of them are owned by the City. They look good, but aren’t used for anything productive. These valuable community assets are closed most of the time, offer no regular programming, and generate no income for their owners, the cities economy, or the local theatre artists who would be glad to inhabit them.
Simply put, if our Theatres weren’t being rented during good times, it is pure wishful thinking to believe that they will be rented during the coming bad times. The theatres of El Barrio are in fact stuck on the horns of a dilemma. The people who have the money to rent our theatres, don’t want to work in them, and the people who would love to work in them can’t afford to rent our theatres! Something clearly has to change.

The 4 theatres have a seating capacity of about 1,150. Operating at just 50% of capacity over 5 days a week, they can attract around 134,000 visitors to the community yearly, generate over $3 million in ticket sales, and employ almost 200 part time artists and technicians. The economic ripple effect from the District, generally estimated at $4 for every $1 spent in the theatre, means that an operating uptown theatre district will generate over $13 million in additional spending yearly!

We estimate that for a total investment of $2.5 million in UMEZ funds over a 5 year period, ELBA will leverage more than $35 million in loans, grants, and private investment from City, State, and private sources to create, manage and solidify a Latino Theatre District in El Barrio. Over the initial 5 year incubation period, ELBA will generate $15 million in ticket sales, and pump $65 million into the local economy. A return on investment of more than $8.50 for every dollar invested, and that’s just for the first 5 years of operation of a project that will continue to operate an grow on it’s own in the foreseeable future. How long has Broadway been in operation? How about Off Broadway?

ELBA is a project whose time has come. It is designed to create a uniquely Latino Theatre District in Spanish Harlem that can change the basic economics of the community. It will create a theatre district that will be the most significant Latino cultural project since the creation of the Puerto Rican Day Parade. A theatre district that can bridge the East River and bring life to the underutilized theatres in the Bronx. A theatre district that insures that the road to Broadway for Latinos passes through East Harlem. If somebody can come up with a better economic development plan for East Harlem, I would love to hear it.

Clearly, to mitigate the economic disaster we as a community now face, we must change the basic fundamentals of our economy. We must try something we have never tried before. Something new, something unique to our community, something we can do right now that doesn’t cost a lot to start up, but generates a significant amount of long term revenue for local businesses. Why not create an Uptown Theatre District in the heart of the Theatre Capitol of the world?

Eugene Rodriguez is a contributing writer.

Reminder: Latinas En Foco photography exhibit opens tomorrow



Curator Mia Roman Hernandez says: “Latinas En Foco Celebrating Women in Photography will include more than fifty works by emerging and established artists from Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, Mexico, and of Taino Decent. Each artist brings a unique style and vision. These artists have discovered their beauty, their tales and their history in which has been incorporated into their craft of photography. Some of the pieces will depict Latino Cultures, Community, Urban settings, Family, Spirituality and will embrace the feminine empowerment of today’s woman. The viewers will be able to connect to some of the challenges and the ordinary lives of some of the photographs. The photos will evoke emotion, feeling and discussion. They will convey something deeper about how the subjects confront the place where they live and the situation in which they find themselves. Each portrait also provides a broader opportunity to reflect on our shared humanity.

Art is an expression of the unconscious and is dedicated to the free expression of feeling."

Support. I am among the exhibiting photographers.

See related March 3 entry posted in this blog. -- Clarisel Gonzalez

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

RIP Ralph Mercado

Ralph Mercado, who for more than 30 years produced legendary concerts in the Latin music world, died today.

Mercado was a key player in the career of many stars such as Marc Anthony and the late Celia Cruz.

Here's a related link:

http://www.philly.com/philly/wires/ap/news/state/new_jersey/20090310_ap_salsapromoterralphmercadodeadat57.html

NEW: PRSUN Voice Blog

Hi gente, I now have a PRSUN Voice blog. Feel free to leave me your voice blogs at
www.snapvine.com/prsun

Cyber Boricua Chat at PRSUN Radio

Iris Morales of us-puertoricans.org and Lenina Nadal of performingprofound.com will be my guests at PRSUN Radio and we will be talking a little about Web 2.0 and Puerto Rican experience. This chat is in advance of our upcoming presentation entitled "Cyber Boricua Chicas" for Women's History Month on March 14 at Cemi Underground in NYC's El Barrio.
I will also share information on PRSUN Radio on valuable Puerto Rican-related blogs and sites. Gente, feel free to send me links of resources you think I should consider mentioning. Leave your comments here or send me an e-mail.
To read more about Iris Morales and Nadal, go to my blog at
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/PRSUNRADIO/blog/2009/03/10/Cyber-Boricua-Chat

The show airs tomorrow at 9 p.m. at www.blogtalkradio/prsunradio. It will also later be available in our archives.
Also don't miss our presentation Saturday at Cemi:

(Click on image for larger text.)

Time to Revive Puerto Rican Voting Rights

Community calendar

Research Seminar: Time to Revive Puerto Rican Voting Rights

6 p.m. Thursday, March 12

Presenter: Katherine Culliton-González, Esq.
J.D. 1993, American University, Washington College of Law (Valedictorian); 1993-1994 Fulbright (Law Lecturer in Chile); Author of a series of publications in English & Spanish used to develop anti-discrimination law in the Americas; Attorney, Civil Rights Division, Department of Justice.

Centro Conference Room 1437 East Bldg.
Hunter College
68th & Lexington Avenue, Manhattan

For more information:
http://www.centropr.org/events.html?event=36

Monday, March 09, 2009

A Night of Comedy with Bill Santiago


La Casa Azul Bookstore and East Harlem Cafe present a night of comedy with Bill Santiago, author of "Pardon My Spanglish"

Stand-up comedian Bill Santiago will bring his humor to El Barrio on Thursday, March 12, starting at 7 p.m. The best part is that this night of comedy at the East Harlem Cafe, 1651 Lexington Ave. @ 104th St. is free and open to the public.

Santiago chronicles the quintessentially American alegrías of his mother tongue: the quirky, hilariously improvisational fusion of inglés and español spoken by millions (even if they don't know or admit que están doing it). With crash-course efficiency, cada página de este libro empowers your every step toward Spanglish mastery. How can you not love Spanglish? Twice the vocabulary, half the grammar!
And if you don't speak any Spanish, no problemo! Pardon My Spanglish is essential reading for Latinos-and the Latino-curious.


RSVP suggested: lacasaazulbookstore@gmail.com
Book signing to follow the show. -- Aurora Anaya-Cerda



Aurora Anaya-Cerda is the owner of the independent La Casa Azul Bookstore. For more information, www.lacasaazulbookstore.com or e-mail lacasaazulbookstore@gmail.com. Article reprinted with permission from La Casa Azul.

To get a taste of comedian Bill Santiago in action, go to
http://www.billsantiago.com/html/clips/spglish.html

For more information about Santiago, you could also go to www.pardonmyspanglish.com.

Photo courtesy of www.pardonmyspanglish.com.

Viva Loisaida @ Centro


Community calendar

Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños Hunter College, CUNY

Presents Viva Loisaida

6-9 p.m., Thursday, March 19

I. VIVA LOISAIDA
the 1978 Documentary Film conceived and produced
by photographer MARLIS MOMBER

II. Discussion of the Socio-Economical Transition to follow Screening.

Also on view is the Inaugural Archive Exhibit
III. "On and Off the AVENUE" until May 1

Hunter College
Centro Library East Bldg. 3rd Floor, Main Library Entrance
68th & Lexington Avenue, Manhattan

For more information,
http://www.centropr.org/events.html?event=47

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Happy Day of La Mujer


The International Women's Day is a major day of global celebration for the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.

I am a proud member of Bloggers Unite.

Go to
http://www.bloggersunite.org/event/international-womens-day

Check out the wonderful array of articles in celebration of la mujer.

Felicidades mujeres trabajadoras y luchadoras.

Picture Puerto Rico in the South Bronx





This series was shot on East 142nd between Brook and St. Ann's avenues. The yellow casita is Villa Puerto Rico.
(photos by Clarisel Gonzalez)

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Community calendar: Inspiring women


(To view larger text, click on image.)

For more information on this or other Women's History events at Cemi Underground, go to www.cemiunderground.com.

Q&A: Writer Sofia Quintero

On the reading corner


This month you can meet and greet Sofia Quintero, author of the novel "Divas Don't Yield." Quintero will discuss and sign copies of her "Divas Don't Yield" from 6:30-8 p.m. Tuesday, March 10 at El Museo del Barrio, 1230 Fifth Ave. at 104th Street, El Taller, 3rd Floor, East Harlem.

3 Questions for Sofia Quintero

1. What was the inspiration behind your book?
The novel "Divas Don't Yield" was based on a screenplay I wrote almost 10 years ago in response to the so-called Latin pop explosion or as I prefer to describe it - the six months in 1999 when Latinos were "in" again. It was difficult for me to celebrate our popularity because one, I suspected it would be fleeting, and two, the few Latinos handpicked for stardom were not very diverse. I decided to write a screenplay that would break out not just one but four different Latina stars including an Afro-Latina and hopefully an out lesbian. It is much easier to get a novel published about four Latinas than it is to have a film produced about one.

2. If you were casting the movie version of "Divas Don't Yield" who would be your picks for the main characters?
That's actually something I hope readers of the novel will assist me. Most of my favorite actresses at the time I wrote the
screenplay like Rosario Dawson and Zoe Saldana can no longer play college students. But I realize that I may not be familiar with the upcoming Latina talents, so I'd love it if readers of the novel will go find "Divas Don't Yield" on Storycasting.com and post their suggestions. I'd be especially indebted if they could lead me to a spectacular Afro-Latina actress who could pull off Jackie.

3. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I've been writing stories since I was eight years old. At the age of 12, I wrote my first "novel," and it starred all the kids on my block! When I was about 15, I wrote another based on the b-boys in my high school, so I've been writing with a hip-hop aesthetic for over 20 years. However, it wasn't until I had my creative recovery at the age of 28 that I decided to pursue writing as a career. I encourage anyone who aspires to create art to follow the 12-week program in Julia Cameron's "The Artist Way." That is one of the books that has changed my life.

Light refreshments will be provided at Tuesday's meet the author event. RSVP required: lacasaazulbookstore@gmail.com. -- Aurora Anaya-Cerda



Aurora Anaya-Cerda is owner of the independent La Casa Azul Bookstore and a new contributing writer to Puerto Rico Sun. For more information, visit www.lacasaazulbookstore.com or e-mail lacasaazulbookstore@gmail.com. Article reprinted with permission from La Casa Azul Bookstore.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Concert of art songs by classical composers from Puerto Rico


Music

La Casa de la Herencia Cultural Puertorriqueña, Inc. invites you to a concert of art songs by classical composers from Puerto Rico

Mezzo soprano Anna Tonna and pianist Daniel Daroca will present a recital of art songs by composers from Puerto Rico at 3 p.m. TOMORROW at La Casa, 1230 Fifth Avenue, Suite 458 (between Fifth and Madison Avenue) in Manhattan.

Dominican-American mezzo-soprano Anna Tonna and Cuban pianist Daniel Daroca will showcase songs by Puerto Rican composers from the past and present. Tonna and Daroca will highlight the various compositional styles of Puerto Rico's most important classical composers in the genre of art song and their song settings of Puerto Rico's national poets. This same concert will be presented at The Casals Festival of Puerto Rico by these artists on March 19. La Casa’s performance will be the New York premiere of several of the pieces to be performed, including the “Tres Canciones de Luis Palés Matos” by Luis Prado.

This concert demonstrates the rich repertoire and variety of Puerto Rico’s classical composers, with styles that show influences from folklore to romanticism, to more modern and contemporary idioms. Ms. Tonna and Mr. Daroca will interpret 20 songs by Héctor Campos-Parsi, Awilda Villarini, Julio Mirón, Luis Antonio Ramírez, Jack Delano, Narciso Figueroa, Ernes to Cordero and Luis Prado.

The program will conclude with “Tres Canciones de Luis Palés Matos” by the young Puerto Rican composer Luis Prado. This cycle was first premiered by the mezzo Nancy Fabiola Herrera in Philadelphia. The cycle was first presented by Tonna and Daroca in Puerto Rico at the Festival Iberoamericano de las Artes in August of 2008 and was requested again for the March 2009 Casals Festival of Puerto Rico.

Mezzo-soprano Anna Tonna returned recently from Madrid where she served as U.S. Fulbright Scholar to Spain from 2007-2008. She completed an investigation of the Spanish composer Julio Gómez (1886-1973) at La Fundación Juan March, under the tutelage of the distinguished Spanish pianists Miguel Zanetti and Jorge Robaina of the Escuela Superior de Canto of Madrid. In the fields of recital and concerts, Anna Tonna has bowed with the following organizations: Música de Cámara, Los Amigos de la Zarzuela, Elysium Between Two Continents and Joy in Singing in Nueva York. The mezzo soprano has appeared in Alice Tully Hall (Lincoln Center), Weil Recital Hall (Carnegie Hall) CAMI Hall, Merkin Hall and New York's Town Hall.

Cuban born pianist Daniel Daroca has given recitals and master classes in Europe, Asia, and the United States. Daroca has worked as=2 0an accompanist at the Juilliard School and is currently on the faculty of Kean University. He has participated in the opera seasons of Opera de Colombia and Wexford Festival Opera, among others. The Alban Berg Stiftung, the Verein der Freunde der Musiklehranstalten (Vienna), the Folkwangschule Essen, the Rotary Foundation International, and the Manhattan School of Music have endorsed his accomplishments through honors and fellowships. Daroca is a vocal coach and a frequent collaborator in vocal recitals.

Suggested Donation: $10. For more information contact (212)722-2600 or email lacasaprnyc@verizon.net.

source: La Casa release

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Study of our soul

Pensamientos


Puerto Rican studies
is the study of our
soul. It has kept
our identity safe
from assimiliation
suicide. -- Samaris Ayala

Women of El Barrio Wanted

Activism

Women of El Barrio (WOEB) promotes the leadership of Puerto Rican women regardless of age, sexual orientation, religious preferences, political affiliations or socio-economic status. Through the annual Women’s History Month celebration, WOEB has the opportunity to recognize women who have contributed to enhancing the quality of life in El Barrio/East Harlem according to the criteria stated below:

Required Criteria: All nominees must have the following attributes for this award:

*Must be a woman of Puerto Rican descent

*Must be a resident of El Barrio/East Harlem

*Must be active in the cultural, social, political efforts, enhancing quality of life in El Barrio, demonstrating leadership, mentorship and/or creativity.

If nominating a young woman, the candidate should be aspiring, mature, active, creative and be seen as an emerging leader.

Nominations are due by MARCH 12.

Here's the link for the nomination form:

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p231/alyssa2178/WOEB2009NominationForm.jpg

You may also e-mail WOEB at womenoeb@gmail.com to have the form sent to you.

The WOEB celebration will be Thursday, March 26 at the Taino Towers, Crystal Room in East Harlem.

source: Women of El Barrio

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Former Menudo turned financial expert Xavier Serbia to visit the Bronx

Community calendar



Xavier Serbiá, ex-integrante del grupo Menudo, lanza en Nueva York su primer libro LA RIQUEZA EN CU4TRO PISOS, CÓMO CONSTRUIR LA INDEPENDENCIA FINANCIERA
7 p.m. jueves 26 de marzo
Barnes & Noble Booksellers Bay Plaza
290 Baychester Ave.

Xavier Serbia, a former member of Menudo, will be in the Bronx promoting his first book LA RIQUEZA EN CU4TRO PISOS, CÓMO CONSTRUIR LA INDEPENDENCIA FINANCIERA at 7 p.m. March 26, Barnes & Noble, Bay Plaza. The book is about building financial independence.

Editor's note: Serbia's book is also available at the PRSUN aStore.

PR to slash thousands of government jobs

Yesterday's big story from Puerto Rico is that the governor plans to cut 30,000 government jobs. The government is one of the biggest employers on the island and this is devastating news to the island's economy. This new wave of cuts will also probably lead to new migration to the United States.

Featured story

Puerto Rico plans to slash 30,000 government jobs

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, March 3 (Reuters) - Puerto Rico Governor Luis Fortuno said on Tuesday he would slash 30,000 jobs, freeze salaries of government workers and raise some taxes, as he warned the U.S. Caribbean territory must confront "the reality of a bankrupt government."
For the complete report, go to
http://www.reuters.com/article/bondsNews/idUSN0350631020090303.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Artist spotlight: Mia Roman Hernandez



For Women's History Month, PRSUN talks to boricua multimedia artist Mia Roman Hernandez about her many loves: art, life, culture, family and the month of March.
This month is a busy one for Mia. She's organizing and taking part in a lineup of Women's History Month events in New York City aimed at celebrating and highlighting the work of Latina artists. She is participating in a group art exhibit, curating and showcasing her photography in a group exhibit titled "Latinas En Foco/Celebrating Women in Photography" and performing in a poetry show titled in "Her Food For Thought/Celebrating Latina Women in Poetry." For Mia, March is an important time to celebrate sisterhood.


The Interview

1. What kind of artist are you and what is your mission?
I would say that I am a multimedia artist. I enjoy painting, poetry and photography. I love to sample all types of mediums and touch on various subjects. My mission is to produce art whenever possible. As an artist, I enjoy sharing the love of my culture, spirituality and artistic views with others. I have found a way to express myself with visual arts that I was unable to do in any other way.

2. Did you always want to be an artist?
I never set out to be an artist and never thought I would be an artist. Growing up, I was surrounded by creative people. Watching my mom paint small murals in our Brooklyn apartment, hearing her play the congas, helping her make our Halloween costume and taking crocheting lessons from my grandmother were just some of the daily things that surrounded me. Art was second nature to me growing up. I was encouraged to use my creativity and was always praised when I did. There was no wrong or right to art. It was always a way of self expression even as a child.
2a. When did you realize that art was for you and do you remember what was your first piece of art?
I was always making something. If it wasn't a piece of clothing for my dolls, I was playing makeup artist with my friends. I did crafts, painted clothing and designed jewelry as a teen. It wasn't until the passing of my grandfather that I started painting on canvas. He painted into his late eighties and loved painting landscapes of Puerto Rico. I would watch him paint the patio of the house, build shelves for the flower pots and then paint the flower pots. He painted coconuts, sea shells and anything he could get his hands on. After his passing, I walked into his studio and something came over me. It was almost as if he was passing the torch. I inherited his art supplies, books and sketches and just took it from there. His paint brushes are with me during every show, whether in my pocket or in my bag. It's a way for me to bring him along. My very first piece was a spiritual piece of an altar with offerings on the beach.

3. You mention that life inspires your art. Could you please elaborate on that?
My life experiences are reflected in my artwork: Latino Culture, my travel experiences, people I meet, things I dream, stories I hear. I am a spiritual person, so I enjoy painting things inspired by spirituality. I paint very much like the book "Like Water for Chocolate." My artwork can almost reflect the mood I was in at the moment. I will have very dark and sad pieces because that is how I was feeling, and some will be very bright and colorful. That is the wonderful thing about art: the possibilities are infinite.
3a. You come from a line of family of artists. Please tell me a little about them and how or if they have influenced your art.
On my maternal side, my grandfather was a graphic artist, musician and cartoonist. He designed the logo for the sugar bags in Puerto Rico. He also wrote a cartoon strip for one of the local Puerto Rico tribunes. My grandmother, now 83 years old, still does puntillo and crochets. My mother is an interior decorator and silversmith/jewelry maker in Miami, Fla. My aunt was a photographer and graphic artist and my uncle is a chef. On my paternal side, my uncle was an architect, my grandfather was a painter and my aunt is a jewelry maker. I have a brother that is an amazing mixed media sculpture, my sister a creative writer, younger brother a wonderful sketch artist and my youngest brother plays the piano. Art is in the blood no matter the craft. Each and every one of them inspire me to go forward and have always been very supportive in any endeavor of mine.

4. The subject of the woman is an important part of your artwork. Why is that?
In my family, the women play a very important role. They have been mother, father, friend, and spiritual advisor. They are the band aid to the boo boo. They always made it better no matter how bad it was. They showed strength, determination and will. These attributes are very inspiring. The images in my artwork are of my family, friends, the women that have crossed my path, and the women I admire and inspire to be.

5. You are involved in several exhibitions and activities during Women's History Month? Why is this month significant to you?
The month of March is a very important month for me. It's a month that showcases the achievements of all women. The month of March is empowering and inspiring no matter what the age, field or craft. I am able to take the month of March and bring a group of talented women together and collaborate as a sisterhood on a particular project or endeavor.

6. Who are your favorite artists and why?
Some of my favorite artists are Frida Kahlo, Lola Alvarez-Bravo, Rafael Tufino and Michael Angelo. The styles of their work inspire me. The works evoke emotion, dialogue and culture and that is exactly what I like to convey in my work.

7. What are your biggest accomplishments as an artist and why?
Some of my biggest accomplishments as an artist are not the awards, merits or honorable mentions. They are the smiles on the faces of the youth I teach art to; they are the ones that I am able to help through donating my artwork to charities/auctions. They are the people that I inspired by sharing my artwork. These are the accomplishments that truly give me a breath of fresh air.

8. What are your biggest challenges as an artist and why?
My work is very cultural and I have found it challenging to showcase my artwork outside the Latino communities. I am a self taught artist. I do not have a fancy fine arts degree from a fancy arts school, and my artwork reflects that independent self taught style, which is very nontraditional.

9. Outside of your art, what do you enjoy doing?
I collect books and am an avid reader, so I will read till I fall asleep or organize my bookcase. I love to go to Coney Island for Nathan's French fries, cotton candy and jelly apples, love the water balloon shooting games and enjoy to watch DVD's in my PJ's on a rainy day.

10. Please tell me anything else I didn't ask that you'd like to share.
I have a Golden Retriever named Bingo, which I adopted from North Shore Animal League. He is nine years old and is the son I will never have. He is a major part of the family.


Mia Roman Hernandez was a guest at PRSUN Radio at www.blogtalkradio.com/prsunradio. You can listen to the show online right here.



For more information about Mia, visit her blog at http://artbymia.blogspot.com or her MySpace page at www.myspace.com/1mamamia.
-- Clarisel Gonzalez

Photos courtesy of Mia Roman Hernandez

Monday, March 02, 2009

Opportunity

Request for Partnership Proposals for Centro Voices
Application deadline: March 15

The Center for Puerto Rican Studies (Centro) at Hunter College in NYC seeks partners to launch Centro Voices, a new peer-reviewed, online magazine devoted to Puerto Rican studies. Centro Voices will be a web-based outlet for the exchange of ideas and scholarship not regularly covered by traditional academic journals. Within this new framework, we propose to support a number of specific community-based and CUNY academic groups that will be able to create online content in their areas of expertise for the public and for the university community.

For more information, www.centropr.org.

source: Centro

Sunday, March 01, 2009


Community calendar


Cemi Underground's annual Latina Women's History Month celebration

Cemi in East Harlem is planning a monthlong of events, including art exhibitions, comedy, poetry, freestyle night, music, books and more.
Just in: I have been invited to be part of a panel with Iris Morales and Lenina Nadal about the "Cyber Boricua Chicas-Web 2.0 and the Puerto Rican Experience" on March 12. Details to come.

The events kick off at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 5 with an art exhibition and comedy show, featuring artists Mia Hernandez, Amy Ponce, Reina Miranda, Elena "Mamarazzi" Marrero and Cindy SugaRush.

For more information, www.cemiunderground.com.

(Click on image for larger text.)