2014: A Retrospective

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2014 was a year of INSIGHT.

Nuvein began 2014 as it began 2013, as an organization full of promise undergoing continuous change and growth. Throughout the course of 2014, Nuvein took great steps towards solidifying its organizational structure, streamlining its signature events, managing and coordinating partnerships, reforming internal processes, and ultimately concluding another year full of great outreach, programs, goals, and partnerships.

WINTER 2013-2014 (December-February)

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Nuvein had a remarkable year of discovery in 2013, one in which the organization grew, and the communities served increased, continuing a legacy of nearly a decade of continuous arts programming and outreach.

Rounding out a positive year in 2013, Nuvein was invited in December to share its mission and programming to student participants of the KCET Departures – Youth Voices project   at Mt. View High School in El Monte.

Nuvein provided the eager students information on how they could promote arts and culture in their community, ways in which Nuvein could support their projects, as well as provided the students information on its annual arts scholarship.

Finally, Nuvein bid farewell to 2013 by having its annual Board Holiday Luncheon, which was hosted at the Pondahan Restaurant in West Covina. There the board reminisced on the challenges and success of the year and celebrated each other with a traditional white elephant gift exchange.

January 2014 began with the culmination of the annual Nomination Season and the Election of a new Nuvein Board. The electoral process saw the addition of Sean Telles of San Gabriel as Director of Media and Communications, Timo Curtiss of Whittier as Director of Arts Programs, and Bryan Coreas of Valinda as Executive Board Secretary. New and returning board directors and officers were installed in February 2014.

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El Monte Artists/Creatives (clockwise from upper left): Elwing Gonzalez, Dolores Gonzales Haro, Roberto Cordero, and Baldomero Perez.

 

February also had Nuvein participate in the South El Monte Arts Posse (SEMAP) project East of East: Mapping Community Narratives, a public archive project centered on El Monte and South El Monte history funded by the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.

As an invited participant of this project, Nuvein members Chris Trevilla and Kimberly Cobian set about seeking interviews with public art creatives as well as artists in El Monte and South El Monte.  Nuvein was unable to secure interviews with muralists and other public art creatives, but did compile a list of the public art in the community.

However, Nuvein was able to conduct oral histories with artists and creatives with roots in the El Monte area. Among those interviewed were muralist and educator Elwing Gonzalez, graffiti artist and musician Baldomero Perez, muralist and educator Dolores Gonzales Haro, and self-identified  ‘low brow’ artist Robert Cordero.

As participants in the project, Nuvein financed securing of audio recording equipment and interview spaces.

Nuvein also explored the possibility of securing a Creative Community grant with the California Arts Council, but elected to focus its efforts on reorganizing itself and committed to having a retreat to discuss the organization, its mission, and programs.

SPRING 2014 (March-June)

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El Monte-Rosemead Adult School Book store and Book Fair, one of many activities taking place at the active campus during EMSEM Principal for a Day 2014.

 

At the outset of March, the El Monte Union High School District partnered with the El Monte/South El Monte Chamber of Commerce to have chamber members function as Principal for a Day. Nuvein members Chris Trevilla, Miguel Sankitts, and Bryan Coreas attended and visited with South El Monte High School and the El Monte-Rosemead Adult School. The program was a success and all left in high spirits and with greater awareness of the supports and programs offered at each campus.

Nuvein PartnerThe March edition of the La Puente Artwalk saw Nuvein receive a community arts program grant from the office of then 1st District Supervisor Gloria Molina, who visited the event and town. It was a pleasant surprise and honor to have the Supervisor visit the city and the event.

Supervisor Molina was guided along the various galleries and art spaces by board members Chris Trevilla and Bryan Coreas.

The event was a huge success, and helped the event garner regional attention due to its 3rd year of programming and the high profile visit by then Supervisor Molina.

As always, Nuvein organized arts programming out of the renovated La Puente Library.

 

2014pimApril once more brought about Nuvein’s programming for National Poetry Month in conjunction with the 2014 San Gabriel Valley Poetry Festival.

Once more Nuvein partnered with the Arcadia Library to host the Poetry in Motion Competition and Showcase event.Hosted by board member Kimberly Cobian, the event counted on the support and participation of the ZZyZx WriterZ, as well as other local SGV poets, who served as mentors and hosts to showcase the poetry of local high school youth.

Nuvein also facilitated a poetry workshop out of the Montebello branch of the LA County Library. Board member Chris Trevilla led a workshop on illusory language in poetic compositions with a group of local high school students.

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Spring came to a close with the return of the SGV Comic Book Expo at the Baldwin Park Arts and Recreation Center (BP ARC) in June. The event hosted over 50 artists and artisans of various mediums and styles inspired by comic book culture.

As part of the event, the BP ARC hosted its annual Comic Art Exhibition, which showcased comic book inspired artworks in its gallery from June to August.

The event offered workshops, arts and crafts activities, panels, and food trucks to the more than a thousand attendees throughout the event. All in all, the event was a great ending to a spring full of great events and beginning to a summer filled with even more.

 

SUMMER 2014 (July-September)

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Nuvein board members (l to r): Roberta Lujan, Miguel Sankitts, Kimberly Cobian, and Bryan Coreas at Casa la Reina for Nuvein 2014 retreat. Photo by Jeffrey Bickel.

Summer began with Nuvein making good on its promise to look at its mission, values, programs, projects, and membership.  Nuvein was hosted by Roy Anthony Shabla of the Downey Arts Coalition at Casa de la Reina for its annual Nuvein Retreat in July. At the retreat, Nuvein reviewed its history, reflected on the original intent of its founder, Enrique Diaz, as well as went over past and future projects. Board member, Jeffrey Bickel, oversaw the retreat. The respite was a welcomed one, as members took the time to have a casual conversation about their respective goals within the board at Nuvein.

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Poetrypalooza 2014 stop in La Puente at Bridgetown Diy. Photo courtesy of Bryan Coreas.

August saw the return of the highly successful PoetryPaloooza tour of art, music, and poetry throughout Los Angeles County.

Organized by the ZZyZx WriterZ, the tour managed to have several stops across the San Gabriel Valley, including a stop in El Monte. The Poetrypalooza – El Monte stop highlighted a collaboration between the WriterZ and the Art Movement group, who co-organized performances, workshops, and art programming.

Additionally, Poetrypalooza also made a stop at La Puente, as the ZZyZx WriterZ partnered with Bridgetown Diy, a La Puente arts collective, to offer a night of music, poetry, performance, and art in a safe and shared space. Among those organizing and present was Nuvein board member Bryan Coreas.

 

 

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La Puente Artwalk ‘Harmonia/Harmony’ program at the La Puente Library.

In September, the La Puente Artwalk returned for a final time in 2014, where Nuvein, continuing its commitment to offer children and youth arts programming for the event, organized the La Puente Library event.

The program, entitled “Harmony/Harmonia”, featured outdoors chalk art, coloring activities, and a musical instrument lesson.

Through a small arts program grant from then District Supervisor Gloria Molina, Nuvein was able to provided a free musical lesson with instruments and music sheets gifted to local La Puente children and youth. Each participating child received a free recorder with sheet music as well as basic instruction.

The lesson was led by volunteers from both the La Puente Artwalk and Bridgetown Diy that helped the children learn the first few bars of music for  ‘Mary had a Little Lamb’ and ‘Cuckoo’.

 

FALL 2014 (October-December)

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Catrina beauty pageant by Paradise Bridal Boutique closes out Dia De Los Muertos – El Monte.

Nuvein brought in the Fall of 2014 with its annual premier event, the Dia de Los Muertos event, which for its 5th year, took place at the historic El Monte Valley Mall.

The event gathered around 3,500 attendees throughout the day, and was organized by Nuvein and sponsored once more by the Downtown El Monte Business Association.

Dia de Los Muertos – El Monte was covered extensively by Mid Valley Radio, Mid Valley News, and Channel 3 El Monte Television.  The event was hosted by Mike Gomez, en El Monte based arts activist and renowned actor, as well as Vivian Macias, co-hostess of El Monte Channel 3’s program ‘El Monte Tonight’.

Among the performances were Mariachi Los Pasajeros, Danza Azteca Cuauhtemoc Baldwin Park, Ballet Folklorico Tllaliyolo Corazon de la Tierra, and others.

 

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‘Galeria Alegrarse’ curator Chris ‘Cakeshop’ Penalber looks on as arts aficianados take in the myriad of art pieces inspired by Dia De los Muertos.

 

Also on site during the event was KCET Departures, who took the opportunity to engage the community and discuss the need for further arts and culture events such as Dia de Los Muertos.

The event featured over 60 artisan vendors, 100 displayed works of art at an exhibit entitled ‘Galeria Alegrarse’ which was curated by Chris ‘Cakeshop’ Penalber and Melissa Lyndell of the La Puente Artwalk.

Additionally, the event featured a Catrina beauty pageant organized by Paradise Bridal Boutique that featured several takes on the iconic Catrina.

Volunteers from the El Monte M.e.Ch.A. and from surrounding communities in the San Gabriel Valley contributed to the success of the event, which coincided with the annual Children’s parade and Harvest festival.

 

November brought Nuvein back into its annual Nomination Season, and new potential board members and candidates to the Executive and Advisory board where reached out to for their interest in serving to advance Nuvein’s charitable mission.

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In December, Nuvein was able to award the Nuvein Visionary Scholarship to Sirenia Cortez, a participant of the Miss Friendly El Monte/South El Monte pageant, who demonstrated a passion for arts and social activism.  The pageant took place inside the auditorium of El Monte High School, and had several entries competing for the title of Miss Friendly EMSEM, as well as other positions within the pageantry court.

empageant2Board member Bryan Coreas represented Nuvein at the pageant and presented the prestigius award to Sirenia Cortez.

The end of the year brought forward the promise of a new year and new board. With the changes within the organization, and the increased leadership within, Nuvein President Chris Trevilla signaled his stepping down to go on as Media and Communications Director and encouraged others within to seek the presidency.

2014 was a year of incredible insight for the organization, and the introspection and wisdom gathered looks to already be serving Nuvein well as it develops its programs into 2015.

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Ryan Storms

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Ryan Storms is a graphic design artist,  fashion entrepreneur, business owner, and event promoter from Los Angeles with deep roots in El Monte, South El Monte, and La Puente.

Ryan came into contact with the Nuvein Foundation through Enrique Diaz, who was then promoting arts and culture in the San Gabriel Valley as well as digital media and design studies at the recently launched Digital Business and Design College (DBD) in El Monte. Ryan was attending South El Monte Chamber mixers at the time and later enrolled at DBD, where he was taught web, media, and graphic design.

Ryan was the first recipient of the Nuvein Visionary Scholarship, which allowed him to continue his media and design studies at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.

 

As Ryan furthered  his studies at DBD and then the ACCD, he became involved in the Nuvein Foundation, and has since been a constant help to the organization reaching out to local students and the business community in the San Gabriel Valley.

Never one to back down from anything, Ryan began his own marketing and clothing line, SLC Collection, which he established in El Monte. Combining his skills acquired in media and web design, unique fashion sense, and an aggressive social media strategy, SLC Collection quickly became a major distributor of urban/alternative fashion.

In addition to enterprise, Ryan has made ample connections across the music/television industry as both an artist/fashionista business owner and event promoter with Klub Events. Ryan has helped organized and promote events in Los Angeles, across California, and Las Vegas.

Ryan’s primary motivation to volunteer with Nuvein is to empower students and youth to dream big and work hard to reach their own goals on their own terms – no holding back.

Learn more about the Nuvein team.

Lucia Flores

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Lucia Flores, 30, is a proud resident of the San Gabriel Valley, having grown up in the cities of El Monte and Baldwin Park. The daughter of parents who emigrated to the United States from Jalisco, Mexico, Lucia has fully embraced the diverse culture of her community.

Graduating on the Dean’s List with honors, Lucia received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Radio/TV/Film from California State University, Fullerton. She is currently a Radio Host/Producer for “Rockin’ Rolas” and “Funk & Freestyle” on Mid Valley Radio. Lucia is a Field Reporter for Mid Valley News, covering local events in the San Gabriel Valley and beyond. She has also worked for over ten years as an Adult Education Assistant at the El Monte-Rosemead Adult School. In her spare time she enjoys video and audio editing, listening to BIGBANG, and blogging.

Lucia believes that it is very important for art and culture to have a presence in the community. Creative outlets for artistic expression help motivate individuals to achieve their goals and aspirations. The Nuvein Foundation for Literature and the Arts represents one of many burgeoning organizations that help facilitate this ideal.

As a member of Nuvein, Lucia hopes to help spread the word about the importance of art and culture in the San Gabriel Valley and inform the public about community events in which they have an opportunity to participate in.

Learn more about the Nuvein team

Maria Estela Diaz

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Maria Estela Diaz is a woman who believes in the power of education to empower, the ability of the arts to connect, and the responsibility to build community. In her 50s, Maria’s background has had her experience both Visual and Literary Art as student and as part of an educational team being inspired and inspiring others.
Maria was born in Jalisco, Mexico and was raised and schooled in California. Growing up in Baldwin Park, a predominantly Hispanic community in the East San Gabriel Valley, Maria grew to identify and appreciate the community where she still resides to this day with her family.
From an early age, Maria was always fascinated by literature, drawing and writing. Herself a creative and expressive youth, she received awards for her art work during junior high school. However, it was literature that had a lasting effect on her, as she chose to develop her writing skills instead. In High School, this passion for writing translated to Maria writing for the Baldwin Park High School newspaper. Not one to limit her exposure and attachment to the arts and organizing, Maria was also one of the principal students involved in creating and instituting a drama program which to this day remains active at Baldwin Park High School.
After graduating from Baldwin Park High School, Maria attended Mt. San Antonio College where she received an AA in Liberal Arts and transferred to Cal State University Los Angeles to pursue a bachelors in Psychology. Unfortunately, family obligations and unforeseen circumstances had her interrupt her studies, and she was unable to obtain her BA.
Nevertheless, while her studies may have been put on hold, her desire to improve her community never wavered. Since the age of 18, Maria has been a volunteer and employee of the Baldwin Park Unified School District (BPUSD) in various capacities and positions, While at BPUSD, Maria was able to observe the benefits of a well rounded curriculum which included arts and literature as well as how a curriculum suffered when visual, performing, and literary arts were not integrated into studies.
Maria also committed herself to improving her community through service at her local church. As a volunteer at her church, Maria was able to implement music, drawing and poetry in her catechism classes to help children learn abstract ideas such as faith and spirituality.
Through her instruction and assistance at her local church and schools, Maria was able to connect with her students by word and example, as she provided them invaluable lessons about team work and leadership participating in band, choir and color guard at the local schools.
Maria feels exposure to art, music and literature provides a depth and richness that creates a fertile environment for creativity and original ideas. Art is an important part of humanity, and any cause that furthers creativity and expression is one of the main reasons for Maria joining the Nuvein Foundation for Literature and the Arts.
As part of Nuvein, Maria sees opportunity to reach out to the community and provide services that promote and support the arts and literature. It is her hope that in doing so, Nuvein will be contributing to the cultural development of the San Gabriel Valley and beyond by increasing the number of students who can continue to pursue their careers in the arts becoming men and women whose creativity and vision will influence generations of budding artists, authors, dancers, and musicians.

 

Learn more about the Nuvein team

Timo Curtiss

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Timo Curtiss, is a multi-disciplinary artist from Pico Rivera, CA. He is a well known visual artist and talent multi-instrumentalist that goes by the name ‘Arte y Cultura‘. His visual art varies in medium and technique with subjects usually drawn from images, symbolism, iconic figures, and spirituality in the Mexica/Chicano tradition. Timo acknowledges that his passion for creativity has in a large way changed his life for the better as he has reportedly ‘been on both sides of the track’. This experience has given him the empathy, respect, and discipline to draw out the various elements of his creativity in both paint and music.

Timo’s art and music has been featured in events across Los Angeles at events such as the La Puente Artwalk, Dia de Los Muertos – El Monte, Boyle Heights Art Walk, Uptown Whittier Dia de Los Muertos, Pomona Art Walk, and others. Timo has also produced and curated events such as a series of Chicano art exhibitions at the La Puente Artwalk from 2013-2014. Timo has played in various musical groups across the years, recently being the founder of the ‘La Recalentada’ band, and now a percussionist of ‘The Automatic Knives‘.

His visual art influences are deeply rooted in the symbolism, mysticism, and traditions of the Mexica and indigenous peoples of the Americas as well as contemporary influences from the Muralism styles of the Chicano Movement, the Pachucho movement of the 1940s and its current revival in the Eastside of Los Angeles. However, preeminent among his influences is the art and expression of the great Mexican artist, activist, engraver, and print maker Jose Guadalupe Posada, whose ‘Calavera Arte’ forms a direct link to Timo’s creativity and style.

His musical influences are diverse and yet still reflect the tribal, indigenous, and activist sources that he draws on for his visual art. Among chief sources of inspiration are Carlos Santana, Poncho Sanchez, Tito Puente, Los Lobos, and oldies and soul in the tradition of Art Laboe’s Oldies but Goodies music collection.

Timo often volunteers his talents at local Pico Rivera and Whittier area schools as an art mentor in mural and other art projects. He has led several art workshops in the local community across the years.

Timo joined the Nuvein Foundation in 2014 under the guidance and encouragement of Javier Hernandez and Chris Trevilla. He proudly serves Nuvein as the Director of Arts Programs, where he is interested in creating murals with students across the San Gabriel Valley, continuing to offer art workshops to children and adults, and support the work of fellow artists and musicians from all over Los Angeles, California, and beyond.

 

Learn more about the Nuvein team.

Enrique de Jesus Diaz

It is still hard to accept that he is so suddenly gone. Yet, I like to think that each time I look up towards the San Gabriel Mountains, there he is and will be, watching over us, enjoying the legacy of his great work to promote the arts spreading across the Valley through Nuvein in its events, projects, and board members.

– Javier Hernandez, Nuvein Advisory Board Member, April 2, 2011
(Man vs. Art podcast with Raul Aguirre Jr., The Vital Importance of Arts Advocates…)

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Enrique de Jesus Diaz, the late founder and President Emeritus of the Nuvein Foundation for Literature and the Arts was a soul too great to be understood in a single sentence. This is simply because his life was a multi-layered story that continues to tell itself.
Enrique was many different things to many different people. For some, he was a passionate poet, for others, a steadfast friend. He was a dedicated mentor, devoted lover, accomplished dancer, loving husband, an ambitious entrepreneur, a family man, trusted business partner, a naturalized immigrant, a dutiful Navy seaman, an empowering publisher, approachable media personality, an ardent LGBTQ and minority advocate, an ingenious web designer, avid reader and writer, goodwill ambassador, charismatic philanthropist, a storyteller with a striking memory for detail, and a tenacious arts advocate.
Yet, to one and all, he was an open hand, mind, heart, ear, and soul. Enrique‘s life inspired the vision of limitless possibilities for which his organization, Nuvein, would become known.
Born in Tecomatlan, Jalisco, Mexico, Enrique immigrated here as a child with his parents and his four siblings. They lived in various parts of eastern Los Angeles, including City Terrace. A graduate of Roosevelt High School, Class of 1977, Enrique joined the Folklorico dance troupe while at the high school and, after graduating, performed with a professional dance troupe throughout the region. He also taught and choreographed Folklorico dances for youth in the Los Angeles Unified School District. In 1979, Enrique enlisted in the United States Navy, proudly serving on the USS New Jersey (BB-62), where he collaborated with like-minded servicemen to share written stories and essays. This group was the beginning of Nuvein Magazine, which in turn spawned the Nuvein Foundation for Literature and the Arts.
Nuvein Magazine began production in 1982, using a photocopy format and was distributed by hand and through the mail. After an honorable discharge from the US Navy, Enrique returned home to enroll at Cal Poly Pomona, earning his degree in 1992 in English Literature. All the while, Enrique was staying in contact and making new contacts for the relaunch of Nuvein Magazine online. In 1996, Nuvein Magazine made its debut on the web. This was the case up to the Fall of 2004.
During this time, Nuvein Magazine was available online and was also printed in anthology format and was one of the first online literary magazines on the World Wide Web. The writers who were part of Nuvein Magazine came from around the world. The magazine included voices from the community, ranging from entertainment to education.  Enrique made a point of being inclusive, with authors from many backgrounds and experiences – men, women, gay, straight, a vast range of cultural and ethnic diversity. As a Mexican immigrant to the US and a gay man, Enrique had great empathy for marginalized and misunderstood human beings, those considered “outsiders” or “different.”
Enrique was never confined by convention, and often surpassed it in amazing and wonderful ways. This was never more true than with respect to his devotion to the love of his life and husband, Jeffrey Bickel. He and Jeff met in 1986 at KPFK radio in Los Angeles. Jeff was a staff member at KPFK, and Enrique got to know him when they worked together on “IMRU”, an LGBTQ radio magazine. Shortly thereafter, in 1988, he and Jeff made a lifetime commitment to each other. From the beginning, Enrique called Jeff his husband, even though much of the world did not recognize their relationship. Enrique, always a visionary, knew that marriage equality was on the horizon. In 2000, Jeff and Enrique became registered domestic partners and were married on June 21, 2008.
Enrique was a tireless mentor to high school, collegiate, and adult students. His extensive teaching experience includes a 23-year teaching position at Mt San Antonio College. In addition, he taught at United Education Institute, Pasadena City College, El Dorado College, Palladium Technical Acadmemy, and, at his own school, Digital Business and Design College, “DBD”. Enrique and Jeff founded DBD in El Monte as a private, vocational college providing degrees in computer technology. DBD served students and business professionals from the Greater Los Angeles area, and provided a technical education for careers in web design, information technology, networking, and graphic design.
With his educational projects, technical school, and Nuvein magazine so well-received, Enrique was encouraged to organize a non-profit arts organization, the Nuvein Foundation for Literature and the Arts. He believed that the foundation could offer literature and arts programs and performances to young people and adults who lived in the San Gabriel Valley region and in communities throughout Southern California. The goal was to increase exposure to arts and literature for those communities that had been overlooked and underserved. This process began in 2004 through a series of collaborations with local schools, libraries, community centers, and chambers of commerce throughout the San Gabriel Valley. From 2004 to the present, Nuvein has continued to offer arts and cultural programming throughout the communities of the region. In 2007, Nuvein became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, with the help of the community and business leaders from various San Gabriel Valley cities, and established its home in El Monte, California.
Prior to his unexpected passing in March of 2011, Enrique led Nuvein to launch a series of workshops and arts education programs out of  DBD, LA County Libraries, and local recreation centers in the region. His leadership also helped unite and support  groups such as the SGV Cartoonistas, as well as award arts scholarships to students pursuing digital/graphic design, animation, dance and other disciplines. Additionally, he supported the establishment of two of Nuvein’s biggest annual events – Dia de Los Muertos in El Monte and the San Gabriel Valley Comic Book Expo. This as well as countless other arts and cultural events that provided lasting connections between communities and their resident creative individuals.
Forever remembered as “our storyteller”, Enrique is sorely missed by the countless lives he enriched through his mentoring, entrepreneurship, artist collectives, scholarships, fundraising, and leadership in community service.  Despite his loss, Enrique ensured a lasting legacy that is carried on through the members of the Nuvein Foundation and through the important connections that are made to individuals and communities throughout the San Gabriel Valley and beyond as Nuvein’s mission continues on into the future.

Arts organization provides decade of access to Art across San Gabriel Valley

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Enrique Diaz, founder of the Nuvein Foundation for Literature and the Arts, in 2004 was asked why the urgency to create a local arts organization for the San Gabriel Valley, he simply stated,

“We are dedicated to voices rarely heard in a world increasingly devoid of diversity.”

Nuvein PartnerFor nearly ten years, a small group of community leaders, educators, business owners, artists, and activists have banded together to connect various communities to free arts programming.

The Nuvein Foundation for Literature and the Arts, an El Monte based arts non-profit organization, has provided arts programming, arts advocacy, arts scholarships, and funding for arts projects since its incorporation in 2007.

From creating and organizing annual arts and culture events like Dia de Los Muertos in El Monte or the annual San Gabriel Valley Comic Book Expo in cities such as Baldwin Park, Monrovia and other communities, creating and developing the La Puente Artwalk, sponsoring and supporting the El Monte/Rosemead Adult School with art supplies, as well as funding the PoetryPalooza event organized by the ZzyZx WriterZ group, and handing out scholarships to high school students from Baldwin Park, South El Monte, and other communities, the foundation’s work has been extensive.

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Across the years, Nuvein has enjoyed partnering or participating with groups or organizations such as the East Valley Arts Association, KCET Departures – Youth Voices, Greater West Covina Business Association, South Pasadena Arts Council, El Monte/South El Monte Chamber of Commerce,  Twin Palms Recovery Center, East Valley Boys and Girls Club, South El Monte Arts Posse, M.E.Ch.A., San Gabriel Valley Club Cubano, Monrovia Association of Fine Arts, El Monte La Historia Society, Baldwin Park Arts and Recreation Center, Old Town Puente Association, Arts for LA, San Gabriel Valley Literature Festival, City of La Puente, LA County Public Library, Downtown El Monte Business Association, Downey Arts Coalition, and many others to provide arts programming across the San Gabriel Valley.

These partnerships have helped Nuvein further its charitable mission of promoting arts and culture in a traditionally under served area with limited access to art experiences.

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For this and other reasons, Nuvein also provides funding for arts education.

Specifically, Nuvein awards two annual arts scholarships for junior and senior high school students residing in the San Gabriel Valley  area who are creative and inclined to pursue an artistic profession through higher education at an accredited community college or university.

Nuvein has awarded scholarships to students from San Gabriel Valley communities from South El Monte, El Monte, and Baldwin Park. Past recipients have gone on to major in graphic design, become entrepreneurs, and local representatives of their communities.

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Nuvein is a proud supporter of greater inclusion of arts in education, and has proudly partnered with educators and arts advocates in various surrounding communities to provide students of all ages meaningful learning experiences that provide an arts and culture formation.

Nuvein is a volunteer driven CA 501(c)3 non-profit organization that relies on fundraising, donations, grants, and other charitable gifts to sustain its mission to connect the communities of the San Gabriel Valley to and through the arts.

Nuvein Board PowerNone of its board members have ever, since its founding, gained any financial compensation, incentives, or reward for their efforts, as each position is at-will and voluntary.

Since the beginning, all events and programs organized by the Nuvein Foundation are free to the general public.

For more information on the Nuvein Foundation – how to volunteer, donate, participate at events, or address general questions as to the programs and services Nuvein provides, please visit the organization’s website at www.nuvein.org or at the organization’s facebook page at www.facebook.com/nuvein you can send an email to info@nuvein.org.

We look forward to to continuing our commitment to educate, encourage, and showcase the arts in all its forms across the San Gabriel Valley for many more years.

 

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Guide to 5th Annual Dia de Los Muertos – El Monte

General Event Information

The 5th Annual Dia de Los Muertos – El Monte event is an artistic and cultural celebration of life, death, family, traditions, and community.  The event is developed by the Nuvein Foundation for Literature and the Arts in partnership with the Downtown El Monte Business Assocation. This year’s event is dedicated to the memories of El Monte’s own Enrique Diaz, Bobby Salcedo, Emily Ishigaki, and Adrian Castro.

5th Annual Dia de Los Muertos  – El Monte

Saturday, October 18th, 2013
1pm-7pm

El Monte Valley Mall
along Valley Mall (between Lexington Ave and Clemenson St.)

Presented by the Nuvein Foundation for Literature and the Arts
Sponsored by the Downtown El Monte Business Association

Supported by
El Monte / South El Monte Chamber of Commerce
City of El Monte
Mid Valley News
Mid Valley Radio
El Monte Television Channel 3
Cultura y Mas

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The event will also feature over 50 artists from across the Southern California region and beyond in a curated art exhbit entitled “!Galeria Alegrarse!” curated by La Puente based artists/curators/organizers
Christopher “Cakeshop” Penalber and Melissa Lyndell of CakeShop Oddities and Double Agent: the Art of Melissa Lyndell respectively. Christopher and Melissa are active leadership and organizers of the La Puente Artwalk. They have both organized numerous art shows across Southern California and have exhibited in as many as well.

The event will also feature the artwork of Andrew Cervantes, a native of Los Angeles, who goes by the artistic name of “Glittering Andy”.

Andrew is a 4th generation artisan whose work is based on and inspired by traditional Mexican crafts and techniques passed down through his family. His discipline mixes modern and traditional art forms to find combinations of genres/styles that are fascinating and eye-catching. His art expresses into various mediums, including painting, sculpting, papier mache, and glass painting. Andrew was recognized by the City of Los Angeles for his papier mache, community workshops, and fine arts. He has also received awards for his Dia de los Muertos altars, and has been invited to share his passion and inspiration with our guests at this year’s event.  He also offers workshops for aspiring artists of all ages as the current Curator and Artist in Residence at Holy Grounds Coffee and Tea in El Sereno, where he teaches monthly workshops out of the patio there on varied arts. He also teaches hand-built ceramics at Plaza de la Raza. Finally, Andrew is also a part of El Sereno Community Arts (ESCA) with whom he also offers community based workshops and events, including the upcoming El Sereno’s 5th Annual Dia de Los Muertos Festival.

Facebook Event Page

Map of 2014 DDLM El Monte

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Click for larger view


 


Parking Instructions/Directions

NOTE: Please be aware that this event happens right after the El Monte Children’s Parade, a large city event, that will close down access to Tyler Ave from Valley Mall down to Arceo Park (past the 10 Fwy), parking may be limited on the parking lots. Early arrival encouraged.

 

FROM LA METRO/WEST SGV

  • Head EAST on FWY 10 towards San Bernardino
  • Exit Santa Anita Ave (merge onto Asher Ave.)
  • Make a left onto Northbound Santa Anita Ave.
  • Make a right onto Valley Mall (Pollo Loco on Corner)
  • To park closest to Valley Blvd (North Lots) make the first and only left onto N Granada Ave. (lots on your right)
  • To park closest to  Ramona Blvd (South Lots) make the first and only right onto S. Granada (lots on your left)

FROM INLAND EMPIRE/EAST SGV

  • Head WEST on FWY 10 towards Los Angeles
  • Exit Valley Blvd (merge onto Valley Blvd)
  • Head east on Valley Blvd
  • To park closest to Valley Blvd (North Lots) make a left on either Center/El Monte/Monterrey/Granada Ave (lots on either side)
  • To park closest to Ramona Blvd (South Lots) make a left on Granada, go past Valley Mall (lots on lett)

FROM PASADENA/NORTH SGV

  • Head EAST on FWY 210 towards the 605 FWY
  • Take SOUTH 605 FWY towards Long Beach
  • Take WEST 10 FWY towards Los Angeles
  • Exit Valley Blvd (merge onto Valley Blvd)
  • Head east on Valley Blvd
  • To park closest to Valley Blvd (North Lots) make a left on either Center/El Monte/Monterrey/Granada Ave (lots on either side)
  • To park closest to Ramona Blvd (South Lots) make a left on Granada, go past Valley Mall (lots on lett)

FROM ORANGE COUNTY/LONG BEACH

  • Take NORTH 605 FWY towards Azusa/Duarte
  • Take WEST 10 FWY towards Los Angeles
  • Exit Valley Blvd (merge onto Valley Blvd)
  • Head east on Valley Blvd
  • To park closest to Valley Blvd (North Lots) make a left on either Center/El Monte/Monterrey/Granada Ave (lots on either side)
  • To park closest to Ramona Blvd (South Lots) make a left on Granada, go past Valley Mall (lots on lett)

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Event Itinerary

FEATURING

  • Live Traditional and Cultural performances of ballet folklorico, danza azteca, mariachi music, poesia/poetry, and much more!
  • Over 40 artisan vendors and craftsmakers as well as local charities and organizations
  • Curated Art Gallery and Artistic Altar Creations and Displays

DDLM2014-PerformanceItinerary

OTHER INFORMATION

VENDOR CHECK IN/SETUP/BREAK DOWN

  • Check in and Set up for vendors will begin at 11am along Valley Mall
  • Vendors are to report to the Nuvein Booth located at the Intersection of Valley Mall and Palm Ct (look for Yellow Shirts)
  • Walk ins will be processed at Nuvein Booth. Report to Jeffrey Bickel.
  • Spaces will be assigned by Nuvein.
  • Break down will begin immediately after the event at 7pm.

nuveinddlmbooth

 

PUBLIC UTILITIES/AMENITIES

  • Bathrooms can be found in the several eateries along Valley Mall
  • Public access bathrooms.commodes will be set up on Palm Ct and Valley Mall
  • Limited event seating will be available near the stage area
  • Sidewalk benches open for all use along Valley Mall
  • City waste receptacles will be all along Valley Mall and Event waste bins will be along event route
  • Sidewalk and Streets are wheelchair, walker, and stroller accessible
  • Event volunteers will be at event to facilitate navigation of event

 

   ddlmem

2013: A Nuvein Retrospective (Part II)

sgvartsalive

2013 was a year of fulfillment.

Already entering the midway point of the year, the Nuvein Foundation for Literature and the Arts (Nuvein) had created momentum towards creating opportunities for artists and communities to connect. Adopting a hectic and fast paced approach, Nuvein continued its work in promoting and cultivating a arts culture across the San Gabriel Valley region of Southern California.

For a detailed look at Nuvein‘s work and achievements earlier in 2013, see details here.

JUNE

Photographic Art Exhibition at the Gallery at ViP (photo courtesy of Heyzen Contreras/La Puente Artwalk)

June began with the collective energy and momentum of Nuvein and its partners, the Old Town Puente Business Association, the City of La Puente, the RiT Gallery and Center, and the community of artists, community organizers, educators, and families culminating in yet another successful edition of the La Puente Artwalk.

The June 2013 edition of the La Puente Artwalk boasted over 7 different artistic and creative spaces that served to feature the area’s finest local creative talent. Once more, this was accomplished by partnering local business, community artists, and involved citizens in the development of the event. In the continuing tradition of prior events, the Artwalk would also feature local students, arts and crafts vendors, community art workshops, and many more attractions  just as Memorial Day weekend had recently heralded the start of summer in Southern California.

The event took place on Saturday, June 15th, 2013 from 4pm to 11pm.

Kimberly Cobian performs “Veiled Vanity” with musical arrangements by Richard Torres as part of the “Poetry with a Side of Show” venue at the June 2013 La Puente Artwalk (photo courtesy of Alex Rodarte/La Puente Artwalk)

 

As in prior editions, Nuvein member and artist Kimberly Cobian curated the celebrated “Poet’s Corner” series, rebranding it “Poetry with a SIDE of SHOW”, featuring poets, musical performances, dancers, and sidewalk performers in the tradition of the Venice Boardwalk. The event engaged people of all ages in its carnivalesque environment with performances including collaborations from artists of different performance mediums. As in prior editions, the performances took place along Main Street in Old Town La Puente.

Other such artistic events included exhibitions that covered (recovered) classic and contemporary rock album covers, a photography art exhibition, a car culture art show, a student art gallery, a graffiti art showcase, and many others. All events added to the kaleidoscope tapestry that was evolving each time to become the next edition of the La Puente Artwalk.

 

Artwork and Sketchwork inside the RiT Gallery’s “RE-Covered Oddities” Exhibition (photo courtesy of Sal Gomez/La Puente Artwalk)

 

Aside of the many artistic, musical, performance, and creative experiences to be had at the artwalk, the community was offered a showcase of its local and nearby community car culture enthusiasts and their incredible restored vehicles. over 15 different car clubs from across the San Gabriel Valley and Inland Empire Region participated, lining Main Street with classic cars from the 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s. The vehicles were on proud display by their owners as many attendees took advantage of posing next to the vehicles, including in one instance, a new bride and groom. Additionally, the car club’s families were treated to the local flavor of Old Town’s many eateries, and the sights and sounds of the Artwalk.

The result was an event that offered a greater connection between the local community, business, families, artists, and car culture enthusiasts that brought over 1,200 attendees to Old Town La Puente.

 

Chrome, Cars, and Culture on proud display at the June 2013 LP Artwalk (photo courtesy of Sal Gomez/La Puente Artwalk)

 

If one massive event in a single month was enough, Nuvein took on relaunching the long awaited San Gabriel Valley Comic Book Festival. The event, established in 2008 by Nuvein Board Member Javier Hernandez, was rebranded as the SGV Comic Book Expo and Comic Art Exhibition. (For additional information on the SGV Comic Book Festival and its history, click here.)

 

SGV Comic Book Expo logo (design by Javier Hernandez/Nuvein)

 

The rebranded and relaunched 2013 edition of the San Gabriel Valley Comic Book Expo was a joint venture between Nuvein and the Arts and Recreation Center of Baldwin Park or Baldwin Park ARC. The Baldwin Park ARC, no stranger to successful community events and art exhibitions, only added to the success enjoyed by this event in co-producing the event’s programming, promotion, and logistic organization. The event was supported by the City of Baldwin Park in every facet of its development.

 

The 2013 SGV Comic Book Expo invades the Baldwin Park ARC (photo courtesy of Grasiela Rodriguez/SGV Comic Book Expo)

 

The event itself was chaired by Nuvein members Javier Hernandez, creator of the event, and Nuvein President, Chris Trevilla, in cooperation with Helen Hernandez, Program Director at the Baldwin Park ARC, and her staff. Nuvein also recruited the assistance and guidance of successful curator, arts program developer, and Nuvein advisory board member Grasiela Rodriguez. Other partners in the event included the Last Minute Arts Collective, a Baldwin Park based arts group, who organized a children’s outdoor chalk arts program. Together, the event was organized to incorporate various program elements including a curated art exhibition, story telling, children’s arts & crafts, outdoor chalk art, and much more. (For additional information on event programming, go here.)

 

Comic Art Exhibition at the Baldwin Park ARC (photo courtesy of the ARC Baldwin Park)

 

The event took place on Sunday, June 23rd, 2013 from 11am to 6pm at the Baldwin Park ARC grounds, and included usage of the West Covina City Hall Chambers for the panels and animation screening held there. The in house Comic Art Exhibition featured comic book inspired works of art by artists across Southern California. The exhibition ran from June 10th to August 10th, with an opening reception on Friday, June 21st.  Among the artists showcased were Grasiela RodriguezJavier Hernandez, and Jose Cabrera, whose artwork was used in the design of all promotional work for the event. In the end over 20 artists contributed works of art to showcase as part of the exhibition.  (For more information on artists exhibiting as part of the 2013 Comic Art Exhibition, click here.)

 

SGV Comic Book Expo – Exhibitors Hall inside the Baldwin Park ARC (Photo courtesy of Grasiela Rodriguez/SGV Comic Book Expo)

 

The Expo enjoyed a diverse crowd of families and children drawn by the free family friendly comic book themed programming and arts and crafts, teen and youth comic fans interested in exploring the works of independent comic book creatives, art collectors and enthusiasts, cosplayers, and many others drawn to the interactive panels, workshops, and animation showcase offered as part of the event.

All in all, the event was a huge success, boasting an attendance of 1400 plus people throughout the day’s programming. The hard work of Nuvein, the Baldwin Park ARC, Last Minute Arts Collective, the City of Baldwin Park,  and all other event supporters, partners, and participants ensured a great family friendly event that showcased the thriving comic book culture and connected it to its fans.

Nuvein members assemble at the SGV Comic Book Expo at the Baldwin Park ARC (photo courtesy of ARC Baldwin Park)

 

Thus, with the summer just beginning, Nuvein spent little time building momentum across the Mid Valley region of the San Gabriel Valley with the continuance of promoting local culture, building community, and showcasing artistic and creative talent in all its forms.

 

JULY-AUGUST

Javier Hernandez, co-founder of the Latino Comics Expo, recognized by the LA County Board of Supervisors Office of Don Knabe (photo couirtesy of Javier Hernandez/Latino Comics Expo)

 

July was a bittersweet month for Nuvein, for as time passes, more than just the seasons change. Following the successful relaunch of the SGV Comic Book Expo in Baldwin Park, Nuvein Executive Board Member Javier Hernandez, made a decision to step down from his role as Executive Board Member at Nuvein following the SGV Comic Book Expo.

Javier Hernandez and Enrique Diaz pose at Nuvein school outreach event (photo courtesy of Javier Hernandez/Nuvein)

During his tenure at Nuvein dating back to early days of the Foundation, Javier had taken part and developed projects such as Planet Comic Book Radio (an online podcast on comics), Nuvein Television,  the SGV Cartoonistas art collective (video here) as well as founded both the SGV Comic Book Festival (now the SGV Comic Book Expo) and the Dia de Los Muertos/Day of the Dead celebration in El Monte. This in addition to countless live art performances, library comic book workshops. and other education arts engagements in association with the Foundation.

Javier Hernandez at a live art event supported by Nuvein. (photo courtesy of Nuvein)

For over 6 years, Javier had been a tireless advocate and supporter of all things Nuvein, and continues to do so, but on a much more limited scale. This is chiefly due to time needed for further pursuits of his personal artistic projects,  including creation of new comics, but also in large part to his involvement in the founding and development of the Latino Comics Expo. While his presence on the Board would be missed, his remaining on the Nuvein Advisory Board allowed for future avenues of collaboration and partnership. Thus with every change a new direction full of opportunities is what remained.

 

PoetryPalooza 2013 promotional logo (courtesy of ZZyZx WriterZ/PoetryPalooza)

 

Summer 2013 also brought Nuvein the opportunity to promote arts and culture through supporting and sponsoring the highly successful PoetryPalooza 2o13 Tour. The tour is organized by the ZZyZx WriterZ, a multi-disciplinary arts group out of Alhambra/El Serreno who created the event in the Summer of 2011. Under the leadership of Kimberly Cobian, both President of the ZZyZx WriterZ and Executive Board member at Nuvein, the tour has garnered a large support following for blending poetry, dance, music, visual art, and performance at one night events across Southern California. (Click here for interview of Kimberly Cobian with Univision about PoetryPalooza)

 

Poet Angela Moore of Moms Write SGV recites poetry at PoetryPalooza 2012 – Friend’s Cafe in Monrovia (photo courtesy of Nuvein/PoetryPalooza)

 

Nuvein had previously fully sponsored the PoetryPalooza 2012 tour to ensure its continuing promotion of arts and culture from neighborhoods as diverse as Venice Beach, Monrovia, Whittier, Lincoln Heights, and many others. Though on a more limited basis, nevertheless, Nuvein made the decision to sponsor the tour which spanned 12 different communities across Southern California.

 

The ZZyZx WriterZ Group pose for a celebratory picture at the end of the 2013 PoetryPalooza Tour (photo courtesy of ZZyZx WriterZ/PoetryPalooza)

 

The tour was a success in every way as it traveled to Alhambra, Venice Beach, North Hollywood, Long Beach, Pomona, Historic Filipinotown, Whittier, Claremont, Highland Park, La Puente, Downey, and Downtown Los Angeles during the month of August.

 

Peer Poet Program logo (courtesy of Nuvein)

 

Another event took place at the very end of August involving poetry and educational outreach which Nuvein took part of was part of the “Peer Poet Program’ Series. This poetry workshop series is aimed at partnering local SGV youth and students with established authors, poets, and spoken word performers in order to examine poetic composition and performance.  The Peer Poet Program took place at the LA County Regional Branch Library in Montebello.

 

Coffee House Writer Board Member and poet Rick Stepp-Bolling and Whittier Poetry Group President and poet Gary Imperial partner up with Montebello HS students at Peer Poet Program (photo courtesy of Nuvein)

 

The Peer Poet Program “Improv Poetics” program was facilitated by Chris Trevilla, with assistance from poets from the Whittier Poetry Group, poets and writers from the Coffee House Writers Group, and the Pasadena Saturday Afternoon Poetry group. The interactive workshop explored every day situations, current issues, and personal revelations in a fast paced and casual format. Participants in the event were students from nearby Montebello High School. The program was a success, leaving students and youth inspired and motivated to explore further creative writing.

All in all, the Summer of 2013 was a season of change and excitement for Nuvein, which would surely follow in the months ahead.

 

SEPTEMBER

 

Artwork on display at “Feed Your Eyes” exhibition at RiT Gallery (photo courtesy of Sal Gomez/La Puente Artwalk)

 

September 2013 brought Nuvein back to Old Town La Puente for the final edition of the La Puente Artwalk for the year.  The event marked the two year anniversary of Nuvein’s efforts in fostering the growth of a thriving arts culture in the Historic Old Town La Puente district. The event boasted over a dozen unique art experiences for attendees along Main Street, 1st Street, and 2nd Street.

 

 

Artwork of Baldomero Perez on display at Fairy Tales Boutique (photo courtesy of Grasiela Rodriguez/La Puente Artwalk)

 

The Artwalk featured over 75 artists from across the San Gabriel region and Southern California in 9 different art galleries with themes ranging from Food, Los Angeles, Glamour Photography, Vintage models and cars, 40s-50s Hollywood and Mexican Cinema, Mexican Independence propaganda posters, solo art exhibitions, and a student art exhibition. (For additional information on the event, click here.)

 

Kandy Yanez poses with models after Vintage Fashion Show as part of “Squaresville” exhibit at Kandy’s Vintage. (photo courtesy of Heyzen Conteras/La Puente Artwalk)

 

The event also boasted unique performances and guest appearances. Among the attractions was the popular “Poet’s Corner” Series rebranded the ‘Sabor Factory’ which was coordinated by Efrain Oquendo and The Art Movement, an El Monte based collective of artists, musicians, activists, and performers.  Also present, was a unique vintage fashion show, photo shoot, and photography show entitled ‘Squaresville’, which took place at the newly established Kandy’s Vintage in Old Town La Puente.

 

JC’s Latin Ensemble Band performs at Mid Valley Radio Stage at “A Taste of Bridgetown” event at J&B’s Burgers (photo courtesy of Nuvein)

 

Additionally, a special showcase of Disney Legends and Imagineers who graced the event with their participation. Lastly, as a special treat, Mid Valley Radio, a division of Mid Valley News, sponsored a special performance stage event titled ‘A Taste of Bridgetown’ at J&B’s Burgers. The stage housed several performances from local musical groups, including  a latin jazz ensemble, a latin rock cover band, among others.

Ultimately, the final 2013 edition of the La Puente Artwalk was an immense success, gathering over 1,000 attendees throughout the evening.

 

SGV Fall Candidate Survey promotional logo (courtesy of Nuvein/Arts for LA)

 

During September, Nuvein was also a proud partner of the Fall Candidate Survey on Arts & Culture process with Arts for LA. The survey was for school board candidates ahead of the Fall elections to weigh in on their thoughts on the role of art in education as well as share their memories of how the arts impacted their educational experience. Arts for LA, an arts advocacy organization. recruited several area partners to help reach across the many school districts in Southern California having elections. Nuvein was invited to participate in the process with connecting with school board candidates in the the Mid Valley Region of the San Gabriel Valley. The experience was rewarding and a great opportunity to make arts an important issue in the elections as well as articulate the need for continued arts support in all communities.

 

President of Nuvein, Chris Trevilla, and President of the Old Town Puente Association, Bob Berdin, receive recognition from Ian Calderon at La Puente City Council Meeting (photo courtesy of Nuvein)

 

Through events like the Artwalk and others like it, Nuvein continued to demonstrate its commitment to connecting communities through the Arts. For its work on the La Puente Artwalk, the Nuvein Foundation was the proud recipient of a Certificate of Recognition from Assemblymember Ian Calderon of the 57th District for their efforts in cultivating Community, Culture, and the Arts in the Historic Old Town La Puente District. Encouraged by this and other developments, Nuvein moved forward with its charitable mission.

 

OCTOBER

 

DDLM2013postcardflyer

4th Annual Dia de Los Muertos – El Monte promotional logo design by Cultura y Mas (image courtesy of CYM/Nuvein)

 

October 2013 brought Nuvein back to its home of El Monte to once again produce the annual artistic and cultural celebration known as the Dia de Los Muertos – El Monte. The 2013 edition of the event was the 4th Annual Dia de Los Muertos event, which took place along the Valley Mall main avenue on Saturday, October 19th, 2013 from 1pm to 6pm. (For information on the history of the event, click here)

 

Aztec Danzantes en route to perform at Main Stage on Valley Mall at DDLM 2013 (photo courtesy of Nuvein)

 

Dia de Los Muertos – El Monte 2013 was the collaborative effort of the Nuvein Foundation, and its primary event sponsor, the Downtown El Monte Business Association (DEMBA).

The event, which began in 2010, has been sponsored each year by DEMBA, and supported by organizations such as the Crystal C. Chavez Foundation, the Ms. Friendly El Monte/South El Monte, the Bobby Salcedo Memorial Foundation, the SGV Conservation Corps, , the El Monte La Historia Society, the Sisters Cities Association, the El Monte Cultural Commission, as well as the City of El Monte and its many departments.

 

Traditional Ballet Folklorico dancers perform on Main Stage on Valley Mall at DDLM El Monte 2013. (Photo courtesy of Nuvein)

 

The 4th Annual Dia de Los Muertos – El Monte event featured Danzantes Aztecas, Ballet Folklorico, Spoken Word and Poetry Performances, a Mariachi musical performance, and a Latin Rock ensemble group. Entertainment for the event spanned across the duration of the festival. The stage and video production of the event was assisted by dual media sponsors and partners  Mid Valley Radio as well as the El Monte Channel 3El Monte Tonight program, who both supplied a guest host to participate on the main event stage.

 

Mariachi performance at Main Stage on Valley Mall at DDLM El Monte 2013. (photo courtesy of Nuvein)

 

The event also featured over 65 vendors of unique artisan craftworks from across Southern California. Custom made jewelry, hats, clothing, artisan dolls and figurines, calaca and luchador masks, churros, art work, and much more was available for the crowds to immerse themselves in an outdoor tianguis (swapmeet) experience with items for sale themed around Dia de Los Muertos.

An event of such magnitude would not have gone through without the supporrt from other local organizations, DEMBA, El Monte City departments, and a sizeable volunteer group from El Monte High School AVID program.

 

Crowds of thousands attend DDLM El Monte 2013 (photo courtesy of Nuvein)

 

Lastly, the event housed a set of memorial altars to local heroes and leaders Bobby Salcedo, an educator and educational reformer who spent his life in service of the students in El Monte and was taken too soon due to tragedy. Also honored was Nuvein founder and arts advocate Enrique Diaz, who spent his life promoting arts and culture in all its forms across El Monte and the San Gabriel Valley.

 

Commemorative altar for Enrique at DDLM El Monte 2013 (photo courtesy of Nuvein)

Thus, with offering up an event immersed in the cultural traditions of Day of the Dead, as well as incorporating the participation of various community and civic organizations and groups, the event was a huge success and served as a proud testament to the celebration of culture, traditions, and history of the Mexican-American experience in El Monte across the years. The event, as always, was dedicated to the memory of the late Enrique Diaz.

 

NOVEMBER-DECEMBER

 

Mountain View HS Students engage in group discussions about community projects that can help improve daily life in El Monte (photo courtesy of KCET Departures)

 

As the year began winding down, Nuvein began to reevaluate its role in promoting arts and culture in the San Gabriel Valley and look to future reorganization of the foundation via the annual Nomination Season. An open invitation stands to any individual interested in promoting arts and culture in the San Gabriel Valley.

Nuvein was also invited to participate in the Youth Voices program at Mountain View High School coordinated by KCET Departures. Nuvein President Chris Trevilla had the opportunity to engage students as to the role of public art in communities as well as the history, mission, and projects of the Nuvein Foundation. The experience was a rewarding one, as students engaged and discussed their ideas on how to use art to improve daily life in their communities.

Having thus reached the end of 2013, Nuvein and its members look to 2014 as a year full of promise, and to be like 2013 was, a year of growth, discovery, change, and fulfillment.

 

Quote from Nuvein founder, Enrique Diaz (courtesy of Nuvein)

2013: A Nuvein Retrospective (Part I of II)

sgvartsalive

2013 was a year of discovery.

The year brought significant transitions and upward mobility for the Nuvein Foundation for Literature and the Arts (Nuvein).  The year brought with it changes, expansion, and challenges that in the end, have served to strengthen Nuvein’s overall presence, impact, and profile among so many exciting developments in the San Gabriel Valley region of Southern California.

The year began with the continued support and accommodation of Nuvein meetings by the generosity of the staff and leadership of Longo Toyota at the Penske College campus.

Penske College (courtesy of www.longolexus.com)

The Penske College campus allows local non-profits and community causes to request meeting space usage and other resources to advance their charitable causes that impact and benefit El Monte and surrounding communities.  For additional information on how to connect with Longo Toyota as pertains to Penske College, see details here.

JANUARY

nuvein

“Nuvein” (artwork by Jim Lujan)

January 2013 had Nuvein’s 2012-2013 Nomination Season in full swing. (We are currently in our 2013-2014 Nomination Season.) As Nuvein board members and the artistic and cultural leadership community of the San Gabriel Valley sought to connect to one another, statements of interest as well as invitations were made to solidify the organization for what promised to be a year of significance.

2013 Nuvein Board (photo courtesy of Nuvein)

In the end, Nuvein’s board of 7 active members grew to 12 with the addition of 5 new members from the communities of La Puente, Covina, Whittier, and Pico Rivera. New members included artisan vendors sisters, a community organizing couple, and a tech savvy poet. All of which proved to be indispensable to the organization in the months ahead.

 

FEBRUARY

SGV LitFest logo (courtesy of sgvlitfest.com)

February 2013 had Nuvein begin its participation in a variety of artistic and cultural events yearlong. Nuvein was invited to participate in the San Gabriel Valley Literature Festival (SGV LitFest). The SGV LitFest was a weekend long event, February 15-17 of 2013,  that showcased literary luminaries from across the globe, the US, and featured many local Southern California writers and poets at the West Covina Civic Center, the West Covina Branch of the Los Angeles County Library, and City Hall.

 

2013 SGV Litfest Map (courtesy of sgvlitfest.com)

The inaugural literary arts event was organized by local published authors, poets, small press publishers, and literary arts collegiate educators. Nuvein was well represented at the event by its board members and community partners. During the course of the weekend, board members Petra Nieto and Estella Neyer vended their one of a kind artisan crafts, board member Kimberly Cobian and fellow ZZyZx WriterZ offered their Anthology “A Three Hour Tour”, board member Javier Hernandez, artist and comic book creator,  offered the vast catalogue of his Los Comex created works, while board member, Chris Trevilla, offered up his chapbook preview of his upcoming Chicano poetry collection to be entitled “Cantos a la Luna Burlona de sus Lobos Bohemios”. Also invited to participate at the Nuvein Booth was Sal Gomez, online radio host and programming coordinator of the Soul Pilot Radio Experience show on Mid Valley Radio as well as to represent Mid Valley News, a longtime Nuvein partner and sponsor.

Left to Right – Kimberly Cobian, Christopher Trevilla, and Sal Gomez at SGV Litfest. (photo courtesy of Nuvein)

Additionally, Nuvein President, Chris Trevilla, was among a group of Los Angeles writers/poets/organizers invited to showcase the vitality of LA Letters that included Don Kingfisher Campbell poet/educator/organizer of the SGV Poetry Festival and the Emerging Urban Poetry/Saturday Afternoon Poetry group from Pasadena, Mike the Poet Sonksen poet/organizer and contributor at KCET Departures – LA Letters, and Chiwan Choi poet/editor/author at Writ Large Press and organizing partner of the Grand Park Downtown Book Festival. Other literary luminaries featured were Suzanne Lummis, Tony Barnstone, Sunny Frazier, erald Locklin, Charles Harper Webb, Christopher Buckley, Laurel Ann Bogen, LA’s newly named poet laureate Eloise Klein Healy, and many others.

Cornucopia of Poetry/Prose at the SGV LitFest (photo courtesy of Washing Machine Press)

The event garnered high praise for uniting several prominent literary figures at a family friendly event that tallied over a thousand guests from beginning to end.  The event featured literary artists, small press and independent publishers, artisan vendors, food trucks, and musical performances.

Two months In, Nuvein already found itself full steam ahead for the next few hectic and rewarding months.

 

MARCH

LP Artwalk logo (designed by Heyzen Contreras)

March 2013 kept Nuvein busy with the return of the successful quarterly arts and culture showcase known as the Un Poquito Mas Arte: Old Town La Puente Artwalk.  This marked the second year of this event in the City of La Puente‘s historic Old Town district. The artwalk began in February of 2012 as a coalition formed by Nuvein of local artists, educators, business owners, civic leadership, partner non-profit organizations, and community members created a space for arts and culture to be showcased and offered up to the La Puente Community.

Photograph of Star Theatre iconic “Star Light Tower”, taken by Sal Gomez.

The March 2013  edition of the La Puente Artwalk featured 10 artistic and creative spaces including an artisan vendors bazaar, scrapbook workshops, poetry and live performance open mic, and 7 galleries featuring the arts in all its forms. Curators and producers of this even included Chris Penalber of Cakeshop Oddities, Heyzen Contreras, Sal Gomez, Kimberly Cobian, Ricardo Ocampo, Lauren Carboney, and others.

Inside the Blood Lust art show at the RiT Gallery (photo courtesy of La Puente Artwalk)

Nuvein maintained a physical presence at the La Puente artwalk by organizing the vendor’s bazaar at the La Puente Arcade lot, and facilitating communication between civic leadership, business, artists, and the local community.

Poet’s Corner with Curator Kimberly Cobian (photo courtesy of Heyzen Contreras)

Overall, the event was a great success, as over 500 guests participated in the initial 2013 edition of the artwalk series from across Southern California and the local comnunity. The La Puente Artwalk, now officially over a year old, had firmly taken root and established itself as a community driven, artist built, and city supported arts showcase.

El Monte-Rosemead Adult School ESL students create family tree project displays. (photo courtesy of Mary Torregrossa)

El Monte-Rosemead Adult School ESL students create family tree project displays. (photo courtesy of Mary Torregrossa)

March also presented Nuvein with the opportunity to showcase local artistry and encourage cultural identification through supporting a small grant proposal towards the purchasing of arts supplies. The proposal was to support a family tree project proposed by El Monte/Rosemead Adult School educator and activist, Mary Torregrossa of Baldwin Park. The small grant was approved. The project moved forward, led by educator Torregrossa, which helped each student create a visual statement of their identity, heritage, and history.  Ultimately, the Adult ESL students of El Monte/Rosemead Adult School were able and successful participants at the District Open House at Wilkerson School that month.

March provided Nuvein the opportunities to educate, encourage, and showcase the arts and creativity in all its forms.

 

APRIL

SGV-Poetry

SGV Poetry in Motion (designed by Javier Hernandez)

April brought Nuvein into National Poetry Month 2013. Poetry has always occupied an important part in the history and development of Nuvein. The founder and president emeritus of Nuvein, the recently departed Enrique Diaz, was not only a published author and poet, but also helped incorporate the foundation following the success of Nuvein Magazine, a literary and media publication.  The current president of Nuvein, Chris Trevilla, himself a poet, met Enrique and the members of Nuvein at the Arts and Literature Festival at the Lakes in West Covina in 2009. Thus, rooted in mutual love for the written/spoken word and creative expression, Nuvein was more than capable of diving into National Poetry Month once again in 2013.

CLT spits Poetry at the Lakes (art by Raul Aguirre Jr.)

 

April 2013 brought about the 5th edition of the San Gabriel Valley Poetry Festival, a month long celebration of poetry and spoken word through a series of special performance showcases, workshops, and public events that featured several of the region’s writing groups, as well bringing together many of the emerging and established poets of the area.  The festival’s events spanned all across the San Gabriel Valley and were all highly successful and a strong testament to the vitality of Poetry.

2013 SGV Poetry Festival logo (courtesy of 2013sgvpf.blogspot.com)

 

One of the SGV Poetry Festival’s events was the 4th Annual SGV Poetry in Motion, a teen and youth poetry competition and open mic showcase held at the Arcadia Public Library. A joint venture of the Library and Nuvein, the event hosted over 30 participants in the competition and open mic showcase portions.

From left to right: Apryl Skies, Xochitl Julissa-Bermejo, Don Campbell, Angela Moore, RIck Stepp-Bolling, and Gary Imperial (photo courtesy of Nuvein )

The event also served to connect the youth to the several poets and poetry group/small press organizers and publishers that served as judges for the event. Among the judges were poets Apryl Skies of Edgar & Lenore Publishing, Xochitl Julissa-Bermejo host of the HITCHED reading series at Beyond Baroque, Don Kingfisher Campbell of the SGV Poetry Festival, Angela Moore of Moms Write SGV, Rick Stepp-Bolling of the Coffee House Writers, and Gary Imperial of the Whittier Poetry Group.

Youth spectators and participants at SGV Poetry in Motion event. (photo courtesy of Nuvein)

All in all, a very successful event that celebrated the creative writing and spirit of middle school and high school aged youth in Arcadia and surrounding communities. The event enjoyed the attendance of over 50 youth and local community members.

DAC logo (courtesy of downeyarts.org)

As part of National Poetry Month, Nuvein was invited to participate in the inaugural edition of State of the Art. a public arts and arts resource fair, organized by the Downey Arts Coalition (DAC) and hosted by the Downey Moravian Church. The event hosted over 20 different artists and artist organizations from across the area and neighboring communities.

State of the Art event at the Downey Moravian Church (photo courtesy of the DAC)

Among the participants were the Last Minute Arts Collective, SGV Literature Festival, the Downey Museum of Art, Stay Gallery, and others.  Guests and participants were given a directory of arts groups and resources supplied by the DAC. The highly successful event brought to a close an artistically and culturally rich month full of celebrations and events that Nuvein was privileged to participate in. The event in fact, was the brain child of artist/poet/healer Roy Anthony Shabla of the Downey Arts Coalition and curator of the Green Salon, one of many arts programs offered by the DAC.

Nuvein at the State of the Art event organized by the Downey Arts Coalition (photo courtesy of Nuvein)

MAY

May 2013 brought greater participation and partnership for Nuvein with other San Gabriel Valley communities. This time with the community of South Pasadena, CA. The South Pasadena Arts Council or SPARC and the South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce both invited Nuvein to coordinate a poetry and spoken word event as part of the Eclectic Music Festival and Art Walk. As a result, Nuvein coordinated an event titled Vision and Voices of the Valley II: The Cultural Landscape of LA Poetry. The event unfolded against the backdrop of the beautiful Fremont Centre Theatre in South Pasadena.

Main entrance to Fremont Centre Theatre (photo courtesy of southpasadena.patch.com)

The event was hosted by the dynamic and talented Mike the Poet Sonksen and featured female  poets representative of the diverse poetic communities across Los Angeles County. Poets featured included Traci  Akemi Kato-Kiriyama, Blazhia Parker, Kimberly Cobian, and Jessica Wilson. Among poets participating in the open mic were Don Campbell, Chris Trevilla. Lee Boek, Karineh Mahdessian, Charles Davis, and others.

Mike the Poet Sonksen hosts the Vision & Voices of the Valley program at the SoPas Eclectic Music Festival & Artwalk SPARC stage (photo courtesy of Nuvein)

The successful showcasing of poetry and spoken word as part of the SPARC Stage lineup of performances at the Fremont Centre Theatre was a welcome addition to a day full of inspiring and memorable moments. The yearly event gathers crowds in the thousands who come to enjoy a one of a kind experience full of art in all its forms, a perfect environment for a dynamic partnership between Nuvein and SPARC to flourish and work together to showcase the literary world of art in a unique experience.

The band ‘Torches’ perform at the Emerging Artist Stage at the Eclectic Music Festival & Artwalk (photo courtesy of South Pasadena Chamber)

Not even halfway through the year, 2013 brought Nuvein from El Monte to West Covina, La Puente, Arcadia, Downey, and South Pasadena. If this part of the year was any indication of what lay ahead, Nuvein was in for an exhilarating remainder of 2013.

EDUCATE/ENCOURAGE/SHOWCASE

 

To be continued in 2013: A Nuvein Retrospective (Part II)