Crisálida: Community Arts Project | Writers, Singers and the U.S. Poet Laureate!
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Writers, Singers and the U.S. Poet Laureate!

20 Jun Writers, Singers and the U.S. Poet Laureate!


Writers, Singers and the U.S. Poet Laureate!

It has been a remarkable week in Crisalida-Land.  Tuesday we were at the Crisalida Poetry Writing Workshop led by Maria Galaviz in the Mecca neighborhood of North Shore right on the Salton Sea.  Thursday we set up our mobile art studio/music venue at The Gallile Center in Mecca, and Friday we hosted the new Poet Laureate of the United States, Juan Felipe Herrera, for a rousing two-hour Skype poetry reading/open mic.

The East Valley is sharing its voice, a lot!

Poetry Workshop – North Shore

Maria asked me to give a workshop to her dedicated students on effective techniques for reading poetry aloud.

Writers doing what writers do, and with team work.

Mano a mano, voice to voice.

The Salton Sea from the North Shore.

Gotta say the students were terrific.

See the class, see the sea…

Maria Galaviz brings home cooked meals to each of her classes, makes for a delicious time.

Tools of the trade…

The poet speaks…

The teacher reads…

Getting down…literally.

It was Mrs. Garza’s last class (seated in center with white shirt), so we sent her off in style.

Galilee Center Performance

Another dream came true on Thursday.  Back in September I volunteered at the Galilee Center Food Bank in Mecca and had the thought that one day we would have a Crisalida Van packed with art, a sound stage, and offer music and joy to the weekly gathering of folks who wait for hours for their baskets of groceries.  Though the heat was 115 degrees, and the van didn’t yet have A/C, our Crisalida Team of Moises Huerta and Oscar Guevara made magic happen.  The van looked great, Oscar’s artwork drew a crowd, and our guest artist, Jesus Galaviz, sang his heart out. 

Delighted that Mitch Gershenfeld, the CEO and President of the McCallum Theatre came out to Mecca to see the project in action.

Jesus Galaviz sang original songs and some popular favorites.

Take note of the butterfly…and the eyes.

Take note of the butterfly…and the cheeks!

The scene…

Visitors inside the van with Oscar Guevara and his remarkable artwork.

Tribute to Juan Felipe Herrera at Coachella Valley Arts Center

Crisalida Community Arts Project raised the roof last night at the Coachella Valley Art Center in Indio in praise for our new U.S. Poet Laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera.  Thanks to local artist/photographer Jacklyn Garcia Lopez and East Valley Rep founder, Carlos Garcia we were able to bring Mr. Herrera to the community via Skype.  An enthusiastic crowd of poets, artists, musicians, readers and thinkers gathered to celebrate the first Latino poet laureate.  The deal was if you read an Herrera poem you can read one of your poems…and it worked beautifully, about a dozen poets brought Herrera’s words to life, and then got to present their work the crowd.  Once again big thanks to the Crisalida team for making this happen!  Special thanks to Francisco Rodriguez, Mariana and Isidro Zepeda, Moises Huerta, Luis Fausto, Bill Shinksy, Edgar, and Oscar!  Also, big thanks to Sofia Enriquez who brought her stunning visual art to show in/out of the Crisalida van.  These are just a few images…more on the way.

The Giant, (aka Mario Garcia) rendered Mr. Herrera’s poetry with a hiphop flavor.

Red sun over Indio.

Notice Mr. Herrera on the screen – he was wonderfully generous, genuine, and fun to hang with.

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