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.

Miguel Sankitts


Miguel Sankitts is a proud member of the Nuvein Foundation for Literature and the Arts since 2004. He was invited to join the Foundation by its founder, Enrique Diaz, who saw great promise in him. Miguel met Enrique through a series of encounters at local El Monte and San Gabriel Valley Chamber mixers and meetings, as well as a personal invitation to explore the Digital Business and Design College. The experience combined three deep interests of his life  entrepreneurism, computers and technology, and the Arts. From there, Miguel’s dedication to Nuvein’s mission of spreading arts and culture began. He has proudly served as Vice President of Nuvein since its earliest days.  However, his passion and love for art, beauty and cuture began long ago.

As an American from the St. Croix US Virgin Islands, Miguel’s journey has crossed land and sea. He fell in love with art at an early age,  as a young boy with big dreams on a small Island. He immediately  fell in love with natural beauty of his homeland, often admiring  the landscapes he grew to love. This passion and admiration for beauty followed him when his family moved to the United States mainland. As a student in  junior high his artistic aspirations and inspirations were fostered and encouraged by his art teacher, who motivated him to draw and let his young mind wonder to new and exciting places and just draw. Additionally, in school he then  began to notice the art and beauty of different cultures.

Miguel prides himself to  have always thought outside the box, and is a keen and multifaceted problem solver and  change agent. He is a big believer in personal responsibility, self discipline, holistic health practices, and critical thinking. As a young man he became fascinated with martial arts and pursued the discipline of Muay Thai. This particular discipline has its origins in Thailand. Miguel sees the connection between all the different forms of art he has encountered in his life journey through its passion, love, patience, pain, and so much more.

As a member of Nuvein, Miguel is deeply committed to its vision and mission, as he often looks fo opportunities to share his personal story of his encounters with art to all who will listen so as to hopefully inspire someone to pursue their dreams, think outside the box, enjoy mother nature, be open to take advice, and to train and work hard to obtain whatever goals  one seeks to achieve in life. His message to all those interested in Nuvein and its work is that “Art is all around you, open your senses, hear it, feel it, see it, smell it, touch it. Remember art lives in all of us in one form or another.”

Learn more about the Nuvein team

Jeffrey Steven Bickel

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Jeffrey is an arts and education advocate who was raised in Alhambra and has lived the past 25 years in the community of Baldwin Park. Jeffrey works as a film preservationist, preserving and restoring news film and documentaries for the UCLA Film and Television Archive. In addition, he periodically does public presentations of his restoration work at UCLA’s Billy Wilder Theater in Westwood and at other archival and academic institutions.

In 1996, Jeffrey assisted his late husband, Enrique Diaz, in creating one of the first online literary magazines, Nuvein Magazine. The magazine provided a space for writers who found themselves outside the mainstream literary community and often featured LGBTQ writers. A decade later, Enrique, Jeffrey and a small group of San Gabriel Valley natives founded the Nuvein Foundation for Literature and the Arts. The Foundation was created to raise funds for students interested in pursuing an education in arts or literature and to showcase the rich and diverse arts and literary scene in the San Gabriel Valley. Since Nuvein’s inception, Jeff has proudly served as Executive Board Treasurer, ensuring the vision and work of Nuvein remained true to its charitable mission and in compliance with 501(c)3 requirements.

Since his spouse’s death, Jeffrey has attempted to carry on Enrique’s visionary legacy. He continues to work to build the Nuvein Foundation into a thriving and dynamic institution that promotes arts education and facilitates arts and cultural events throughout the San Gabriel Valley.

Learn more about the Nuvein team

Christopher Luke Trevilla


Christopher is a 30 something arts advocate, poet, writer, actor, singer, and performer who was raised in the Southeast Los Angeles communities of Maywood and Bell who now resides in La Puente. Christopher is also a social worker for the developmentally disabled and their families throughout the San Gabriel Valley. His passion to promote the emergence and enhancement of the whole person through inclusion, education, arts, culture, and community involvement is rooted in his own personal experience and process as a multidisciplinary artist and organizer of Mexican-American descent. Among Christopher’s affiliations and associations have been the Santa Fe Springs Community Playhouse, Emerging Urban Poets, SGV Poetry Festival, Nuvein 3LP, Coffee House Writers, ZZyZx WriterZ, SGV Literary Festival, and other community arts causes.
Christopher identifies himself as a Mexican-American poet(a) . His short stories and poetry have been published by Candalyse Press, Uno Kudo Magazine, Being Latino Online Magazines, San Gabriel Valley Poetry Quarterly, and other online and print publications.  Previously, his works were hosted on Myspace through his blog series “Life Via the Muses” under the nom de plume “C•£•T”.  He has also performed in a variety of Shakespearean productions across California. Christopher was also co-founder of the chicano rock group ‘La Recalentada’ along with fellow Nuvein director Timo Curtiss.

Among his artistic influences are Edgar Allan Poe, Aesop, Yolanda ‘Tongolele’ Montes, Robert Rodriguez, Jack White, Dita Von Teese, Kenneth Branagh, Frida Kahlo, Luis Miguel, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Eugenio Derbez, Betty Page, Marc Bolan, Michael Jackson, Tin Tan, John Alberto Leguizamo, the “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, Elvis Presley, Robert Frost, Frank Sinatra, Pablo Neruda, Jim Morrison, Walt Whitman, Rocio Durcal, and many others. Pre-eminent among his influences in dance, theatre, and literary stylings is the astutely accessible and succinct observations and quips of Mario Moreno Cantinflas and comedic stylings of Roberto Gómez Bolaños “Chespirito”.

As a poet(a), Christopher’s writing emphasizes the sacred and the profane, the common mundane aspects of every day and forces it into psychosocialsexual symbiosis with the hidden revered mystical and misunderstood aspects of our existence with a few accentos and references to history, mythology, religion, and philosophy thrown in for a deeper and more meaningful utterance he calls “magiapoesia”. Currently, he is at work compiling his first anthology of this style of poetry.

Christopher has always been a big advocate of community change through active service, earned leadership, and continuous learning. This was a large part of him being recruited into the Nuvein Foundation by Enrique Diaz, founder of the organization, in 2010. Following Enrique’s passing, he ensured the continuance of the projects and efforts of the foundation, culminating in being elected President of the foundation, a role he served in from 2012 to 2015. Currently, Christopher serves alongside his fellow directors in guiding the messaging and outreach of the organization as head of Communications and Development.
Christopher’s vision for the Nuvein Foundation is that of serving to connect under served communities to experiences of arts and culture that they would not otherwise have access to as a result of an ongoing culture of austerity, isolation, skepticism, and division. The accomplishment he is most happy with is having helped Nuvein through its transition following the loss of its visionary founder, and his friend, Enrique Diaz. The fact the Nuvein continues its efforts is an accomplishment that fills his life with meaning. Christopher proudly serves, guides, partners, promotes, and assists many community arts organizations and collectives in order to promote arts and culture across many Southern California communities.
Photo credit – James Plascencia
Learn more about the Nuvein team

Meet the Team

Our board is a mosaic of cultures, backgrounds, artistic interests/passions, voices and visions. We aim to provide arts education programs, supports, and resources, encourage emerging and aspiring artists within their community and showcase the rise of arts and culture across the SGV region. Each member of Nuvein is a volunteer and not a single person gets a salary from our fundraising efforts. All money raised goes back into the community through our current projects.
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FOUNDER:

*    Enrique de Jesus Diaz, Late Executive Board President

OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS:

1.    VACANT, Executive Board President
2.    Miguel Sankitts, Executive Board Vice President / Events
3.    Jeffrey Bickel, Executive Board Treasurer / Events
4.    Roberta Lujan, Sgt-at-Arms
5.    Bryan Coreas, Secretary / Educational Outreach
6.    Lucia Flores, Director
7.    Kimberly Cobian, Director
8.    Christopher Trevilla, Director / Communications and Development
9.    Ryan Storms, Director
10.  Michael Ian Churchman, Director
11.   Maria Estela Diaz, Director
ADVISORY BOARD:
1.    Sean Telles,  Associate Director / Communications and Development
2.    Timo Curtiss, Associate Director/ Arts Programs
3.    Javier Hernandez
4.    Renato Aguirre
5.    Jody Bush
6.    Tina Flores
6.    Lisa Ruiz
7.    Sylvia Lopez
8.    Carlos Aranibar
9.    Ana Bernal
10.  Tracy Ramirez
11.  Roy Anthony Shabla
12.  Adrian Diaz
13.  Tatiana Diaz
14.  Manuel “Manny Lynx”
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2013: A Nuvein Retrospective (Part II)

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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

 

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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)