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

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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2017 Nuvein Scholarship: Apply now!

 

Attention Juniors and Seniors in High School!

Nuvein is proud to launch its Visionary Scholarship Award! The application is due on May 1, 2017. The award is made possible by the Enrique Diaz Scholarship Fund, who alongside Nuvein, have supported students seeking a career in the creative fields.

Roberta Lujan


Roberta Lujan was born in Fabens, Texas, an isolated community surrounded by desert with a population of 1200. Seeking to explore beyond her small town, Roberta moved to California in 1976 where she met Nuvein founding member Enrique Diaz in 2003.

She has always been a people person and wanted to help children learn about the arts and craft-making. Thus with hardly a second thought, Enrique quickly convinced her to become part of the Nuvein Board in 2004, where she took lead in the marketing aspects of the organization. Roberta has had many years experience working with children and youth throughout the Whittier, Pico Rivera, and San Gabriel Valley area.

Roberta feels most proud of her children and all that they have accomplished thus far. Herself the middle child of 12, she recalls having to fight for everything, especially with her 9 sisters. It was her upbringing that showed her the value of working together.

Roberta has proudly served Nuvein in many capacities, often helping with organizing volunteers and soliciting charitable donations from local business and organizations. Roberta is a strong supporter of providing students with a proper arts education, especially those children who aren’t in a position to push for these opportunities that they need. She works diligently to provide our Nuvein Memorial Scholarships to local area students and helps Nuvein operate its meetings and programs efficiently as the Executive Board Sgt-at-Arms.

Learn more about the Nuvein team

Michael Churchman

Michael Churchman says that he is just like everybody else  —  he wakes up each morning and has to learn how to think, how to feel, how to exist, how to love, and how to be human all over again.  Sometimes he writes about these things, and sometimes he writes about things that don’t make sense at all, not to himself or to anyone else.

“Whatever roles we are supposed to be playing in this world,” he says, “we can at least play them with full and open hearts, and with style; if it’s a show, we can put on a good one.”


He works as a technical writer, and writes short stories and poetry to keep himself sane.  He has been involved in the arts and allied activities at the community level since his teens, and has served as both a volunteer and board member for a variety of community organizations, including the Shantih Youth Coffee House, the I Care Counseling Center, and the Santa Maria Valley Arts Council.  He has also been involved in several poetry and writing groups, including the Tuesday Poets of San Luis Obispo and Echo Poetry in Claremont.  He is currently an active member of ZZyZx Writerz and the Coffee House Writers Group. Michael, as part of the ZZyZx Writerz along with fellow Nuvein director Kimberly Cobian, helps organize the annual art and literature festival known as Poetrypalooza.

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

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)