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)

La Puente Artwalk continues to use the Arts to build Community Identity and Pride

Redesigned La Puente Artwalk icon header by Heyzen Contreras

For nearly 2 years, a renaissance of sorts has been developing in the once self-admittedly sleepy town of La Puente, specifically, its Historic Old Town District.  In 2 years time, in spite of a crushing economic recession, political struggles and realignments, civic and community woes, a thriving arts movement has helped redefine and inspire a town that has been too often perceived negatively, to now view its own role in the San Gabriel Valley with renewed vigor and optimism.

Since its inaugural edition on Sat. February 18th of 2012, a growing confederation of business owners, local artists, community advocates, event organizers, educators, students, and an alliance between local charities, the local business association, and civic leadership has served to help offer the members of the La Puente community and visitors of the surrounding areas a unique quarterly event that serves to highlight local art, community, business, and culture.

Among its many architects are the Nuvein Foundation for Literature and the Arts, a CA 501(c)3 arts organization and the Old Town Puente Business Association, a CA 501 (c)6 civic association.

The La Puente Artwalk, referred to previously as ‘Un Poquito Mas Arte’ or ‘A Little More Art’, grew from both vision and perseverance.

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

The Artwalk is a naturally progression of the vision, passion, and drive of the  late founder of the Nuvein Foundation, Enrique Diaz, who among his many personal convictions maintained the idea that arts could transform communities, unite cultures, and inspire the individual. Since its inception, the Foundation has worked to promote its core values of EDUCATE, ENCOURAGE, and SHOWCASE of the arts in all its forms and facets. This charitable mission was the primary motivating force behind Chris Trevilla’s (subsequent and current President of the Nuvein Foundation) decision to work with the La Puente community to create an arts community.

The Artwalk is also an extension of the perseverance, resiliency, and determination of the La Puente community, who worked together to ensure the survival and resurgence of the Historic Old Town District in light of credible threats of razing and redevelopment at the expense of longtime business and property owners. Sensing a common interest in revitalizing Old Town La Puente, the community and its leaders then began working together with the Foundation as far as accommodating art spaces, and assisting with the navigation of civic leadership and city ordinances, and enlisting area partners and involving local students, the event benefitted and grew as a result. The aim of revitalizing the Old Town District and connecting youth to art was the primary motivating force behind Bob Berdin’s (then Public Relations officer and current President of the Old Town Puente Association) decision to become involved in developing and promoting the La Puente Artwalk.

Two years and 7 events later, the La Puente Artwalk continues to show all attendees what vision and perserverance can achieve by showcasing local art, music, poetry, performance, talent, and creativity. The La Puente Artwalk hopes to continue to use the Arts to transform the community of La Puente.

On behalf of the Nuvein Foundation, Old Town Puente Association, and the City of La Puente, all are invited to join us at the upcoming September 21st edition of the La Puente Artwalk.

For more details on the upcoming event, see attached event description and listing or visit the La Puente Artwalk FB page

UPMA_Venue_Map

LPartwalk-Sept21 (description)

FB Event page

Event- La Puente Artwalk
Date: Sat, Sept 21, 2013
Time: 4pm-10pm
Location: Old Town La Puente (Along Main St, 1st St, 2nd St, and Glendora Ave.)

nuvein_main_banner

Nuvein Logo Header updated by Heyzen Contreras

 

The SGV Arts Directory

Nuvein dedicates itself to ‘voices rarely heard in a world increasingly devoid of diversity’. – Enrique Diaz

The San Gabriel Valley communities of Southern California are a shining example of diverse cultures and societies thriving side by side, where an ongoing process of cultural, ideological, and societal exchange is constant at every level from the evolving collegiate haunts of Claremont, Azusa, Pasadena, and Walnut to the changing demographics of assemblies and local governments such as those of Alhambra, Rosemead, El Monte, Baldwin Park, and evident in the flow and changes of businesses at the Valley Mall or Downtown El Monte, Old Town Monrovia, Uptown Whittier, and the many facets of the swapmeets, farmer’s markets, laundromats, and strip malls north and south of Valley Blvd.

But one thing is certain to connect these many communities and cultures, and that is art. Simply put, the need to create something of value to oneself, for another, or for others is a shared experience. This universal impulse has led societies to many great discoveries and has brought about change.

Nuvein’s founder, Enrique, believed in the unity of individuals that expressed itself in a variety of ways, so much so that Nuvein began its work as an online magazine publishing works of fiction, commentary, poetry, graphic and media art, as well as reviews that brought together individuals all over the globe in each volume of publication.  Following a successful nearly decade long run, the drive to affect change locally in the San Gabriel Valley emerged, which then gave rise to the Nuvein Foundation incorporating in El Monte.

So, can you help us bring all artistic groups, organizations, and resources together in an Online Directory?

We hope we can count on your help to make this happen.

This Directory will be for aspiring and emerging artists to get a hold of any chances for further education/training, securing encouragement and assistance, and finding opportunities to showcase their work.

If you are from any of the following SGV regions, please contact us via email at info@nuvein.orgto inform us about your group/organization/resource and provide us any contact information and printable/shared media (eg. logo) that you wish included.

Region A:    Altadena, Pasadena, Sierra Madre, La Canada-Flintridge, San Marino

Region B:    South Pasadena, Alhambra, San Gabriel, Monterrey Park, Montebello

Region C:   Arcadia, Monrovia, Temple City, Rosemead, Irwindale

Region D:   El Monte, South El Monte, La Puente, Valinda, Baldw in Park

Region E:   Whittier (North, Uptown), Avocado Heights, Hacienda Heights, Rowland Heights, La Habra Heights

Region F:   West Covina, Covina, Azusa, Walnut, City of Industry

Region G:   San Dimas, Claremont, Pomona, La Verne, Glendora, Diamond Bar

 

SGVArtsScene

 

Mt. SAC Professor and Mentor Dies at Age 53, Leaves Legacy of Creativity and Ambition


Picture: Enrique Diaz with DBD student, Erica Garces

Enrique Diaz, professor at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, and founder of the Nuvein Foundation for Literature and the Arts, died on March 28. He was 53.

Diaz also founded Digital Business and Design College in El Monte, a private college providing technical degrees in multimedia and computer design. DBD served students and business professionals from Greater Los Angeles, but especially provided the technical education for careers in web design, information technology and networking, and graphic design.

He is survived by: Jeffrey Bickel, husband; Aurora Diaz, mother; Nicolas Herman, Maribel, Judith, and Arlene, siblings.

Diaz was involved in many community organizations, serving as Webmaster for various Chambers of Commerce in the San Gabriel Valley.

Born in Tecomatlan, Jalisco, Mexico, Diaz immigrated here as a child with his parents. They lived in various parts of eastern Los Angeles, including City Terrace.

A graduate of Roosevelt High School, Class of 1977, Diaz spearheaded a folklorico ballet dance troupe at El Sereno Junior High, performing in and choreographing routines for junior high and high school students.

Diaz then enlisted in the United States Navy in 1979, 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 Foundation for Literature and the Arts.

After honorable discharge, he returned home to enroll at Cal Poly Pomona, earning his degree in 1992 in English Literature.

He and Jeff Bickel met in 1986 at KPFK radio in Los Angeles. Bickel was a staff member at KPFK, working on an initiative to enlist volunteers for the station. Since 1999, they were registered domestic partners, and were married in June 2008.

His extensive teaching experience includes a 23-year teaching position at Mt San Antonio College, UEI, Pasadena City College, El Dorado, Palladium Technical, and at his own school, Digital Business and Design College.

Forever remembered as “Our Storyteller”, Enrique will be sorely missed by the countless lives he enriched by means of mentoring, entrepreneurship, artist collectives, scholarships, fundraising, and leadership in community service.

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MEMORIAL SERVICES FOR ENRIQUE DIAZ

Date: April 7, 2011

Time: 6PM – 9PM

Grace T Black Auditorium

3130 Tyler Avenue

El Monte, California 91731

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MEMORIAL MASS FOR ENRIQUE DIAZ

Date: April 9, 2011

Time: 9AM

St. John Baptist Church

3843 Baldwin Park Boulevard

Baldwin Park, CA 91706

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