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Arts and Media August 2016 Premium

La Poet Laureate Luis J. Rodriguez Teaches as Scholar-in-Residence at CSUN

Aspiring writers and poets at California State University, Northridge had the opportunity to learn from the ultimate mentor this spring. None other than the Poet Laureate of Los Angeles, Luis J. Rodriguez, a lifelong Angeleno and self-proclaimed “Valley Guy,” is serving as scholar-in-residence this semester and teaching a literature course in the Department of Chicana/o Studies.

Arts and Media July 2016 Premium

Mariachi USA Goes To Cuba Iconic Music Festival, Story by Mariachi USA

MARIACHI USA, the premier mariachi music festival in the U.S., is headed to Cuba for a historic performance this fall. Mariachi musicians, singers and dancers will converge in La Habana on October 4-11, 2016 as part of a seven-day, six-night tour offered by Cuba Tours and Travel, announced Rodri J. Rodriguez, MARIACHI USA founder and longtime concert producer. The show’s company of 25 artists will perform on Sunday, October 9 at Teatro América, a historic theater built in the 1940s that has hosted international top talent over the years.

Arts and Media July 2016 Premium

LA POET LAUREATE Luis J. Rodriguez Teaches as Scholar-in-Residence at CSUN, By California State University, Northridge

Aspiring writers and poets at California State University, Northridge had the opportunity to learn from the ultimate mentor this spring. None other than the Poet Laureate of Los Angeles, Luis J. Rodriguez, a lifelong Angeleno and self-proclaimed “Valley Guy,” is serving as scholar-in-residence this semester and teaching a literature course in the Department of Chicana/o Studies. The class, “The Heartbeat at the Periphery: How Marginalized and Oppressed Literature is Moving the Culture,” focuses on works by people of color and labeled as “other” in the United States, including Chicana/o, Native American, African-American and LGBTQ writers, Rodriguez said. The graduate-level class includes undergraduates and graduate students. “I link literature to real life, to the world we’re in —poetry and its various rhythms, and its impact on people’s lives,” Rodriguez said. “Most of the time, young people are not exposed to great literature any more. Often, the canon is narrowed to white writers. My goal is to connect this great literature to the real world.”

Arts and Media June 2016 Premium

Dora De Larios, The Fierce, The Warrior, The Artist, by Sylvia Mendoza

Internationally acclaimed ceramic and clay artist Dora De Larios wasn’t going to marry the first man that came along and proposed, even though he was a keeper—and any other sixteen year old would have jumped at the chance. It was the 1950s, after all, and what young women often did—even if they aspired to go to college, which she did.

Arts and Media June 2016 Premium

Alex Rivera, A Filmmaker with an Agenda, by Michelle Adam

As a child growing up in New York State, Alex Rivera lived near Pete Seeger, the American folk singer and activist who inspired him to become the artist with a social message that he is today. Rivera was always interested in the arts—he tried his hand at drawing, painting and music—but one day discovered that the best medium for him to combine beauty, story, humor, politics and culture would be through film.

Arts and Media June 2016 Premium

The Library of Congress Appoints its First Hispanic Poet Laureate

One of Librarian of Congress James H. Billington’s last official acts before his retirement in October was to announce the appointment of Juan Felipe Herrera as the Library’s 21st Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for 2015-2016. With that announcement, a historical milestone was reached. Herrera who succeeded Charles Wright as Poet Laureate is the first Hispanic poet to serve in the position.