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


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.


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.


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.


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 or at the organization’s facebook page at you can send an email to

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.



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

Apply: Nuvein Visionary Scholarship!

Attention Juniors and Seniors in High School!

Nuvein is excited to launch its Visionary Scholarship Award application on April 28th, 2014. The award is made possible by the Enrique Diaz Scholarship Fund, who alongside Nuvein, have supported students seeking a career in the creative fields.

Check out the link under the Education tab to download the application and read eligibility requirements.

SGV Poetry Festival

The San Gabriel Valley Poetry Festival is a month long celebration of poetry writing workshops, contests, outings, and featured performances that is organized across the San Gabriel Valley by the Emerging Urban Poetry Group of Pasadena that occurs annually in conjunction with NaPoWriMo.

Nuvein contributes to this event as well as National Poetry Month Events with events such as: 

The first San Gabriel Valley Poetry Festival was in 2000, organized by Ryan Oba and Emma Rosenthal, with assistance from moi, Tina Demirdjian, Thom Garzone, and Naomi Weiss. 

The second was in 2010 with assistance from Beth Cheng, Erika Wilk, Mina V. Kirby, Mary Torregrossa, Michelle Angelini (AKA Rina Rose), Bozana Belokosa, Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo, CaLokie (AKA Carl Stilwell), John Chase, Pauline Dutton, Helen Graziano, Deborah P Kolodji, and Maja Trochimczyk.The Festival has been annual ever since.

SGV Comic Book Expo

Update: Recap of 2014 Comic Expo. 

With the surging popularity and rise of comic book cinema in the 2000′s, and the great need for arts exposure in the SGV, the Nuvein Foundation decided to create an opportunity to SHOWCASE this popular and exciting art form. 

 See SGV Comic Expo Facebook page for more information

Below you will find:  FAQs, and the history of the SGV Comic Expo

FAQ for SGV Comic Book Expo
1) How do I secure a space as vendor/exhibitor at this event?
Thank you for your interest in this incredible event. You can download all the forms needed to  be a vendor/exhibitor at this event on our website here .

2) Why so many forms? What are they anyways?
The reason for the multiple forms is that they each serve different purposes that relate to this event.  The application allows us to register for the event, the exhibitor/vendor release allows us to host you at the facility/grounds in partnership with the Baldwin Park Arts & Recreation Center (ARC), and the media release allows us to take photos of you at our event. All forms are necessary for your participation in the event.

3) What does it mean to be an exhibitor at Artist Alley?
An exhibitor at Artist Alley must be a independent comic book or comic book art illustrator, animator, publisher who participates in the exhibition hall known as Artist Alley. It is s specific kind of vendor for the purpose of this event, which is to highlight independent comic book creators across Southern California. Artist Alley Exhibitors are housed inside the Baldwin Park ARC (see map on our website)

4) What is it mean to be a vendor at the Fountain Plaza? A vendor is a artisan, crafts worker, artist, or creative that has specialized items, collectibles, and goods that are comic book culture oriented (eg. Custom shirts, comics, hats, toys, etc). Vendors will be hosted at the adjacent Civic Center Fountain Plaza overlooking the Maine/Pacific Ave intersection near Ramona Blvd.

5) What are the fees for being an exhibitor? vendor?
All fees associated with participation in the event are disclosed on the application form as part of event registration.

6) Is there admission charged to go to this event?
No. The Nuvein Foundation for Literature and the Arts, in partnership with the Baldwin Park ARC, are offering the event free to the general public. This is in line with the charitable mission of both organizations to provide access to arts and culture events to the residents of Baldwin Park and the Greater San Gabriel Valley Region and beyond of Southern California. This event is made possible by the support and sponsorship of the City of Baldwin Park.

7) Where is the Baldwin Park Arts & Recreation Center located?
The Baldwin Park ARC is located at 14403-B Pacific Ave, Baldwin Park, CA. The ARC faces the intersection of Maine Ave and Pacific Ave, less than one block south of Ramona Blvd, and lies north across the street from the Baldwin Park Metrolink Station. Parking is available at the adjacent structure on Bogart Ave.

8) When is the SGV Comic Book Expo?
The 2014 SGV Comic Book Expo is taking place on Saturday, June 28th, 2014 from 11am-5pm.  Stay tuned for future information on the event’s programming and attractions. You can also follow the event on Facebook.
9) What is the SGV Comic Art Exhibition? Is this related to the Expo?
The SGV Comic Art Exhibition is a showcase of local artists with works inspired by comic books, comic book culture, comic book characters.
10) What is the exhibition date for the SGV Comic Art Exhibit?
The 2014 SGV Comic Art Exhibition will run from June 16th opening reception on Friday, June 20th free and open to the general public.

History of San Gabriel Valley Comic Book Expo

Nuvein founder, and president emeritus, the late Enrique Diaz, knew all too well the magic that opportunity, the right people, and the eagerness and excitement of the youth could create around the SGV. This as well as discovering a wealth of local independent comic book creators, illustrators, animators, and promoting the formation of the SGV Cartoonistas by SGV natives Javier Hernandez, Jim Lujan, Grasiela Rodriguez, Raul Aguirre Jr., and others only led him to considering and creating the Nuvein Foundations’ “SGV Comic Book Festival”.

The initial 2008 edition took place at the Cuban Club in El Monte, a long time partner venue of Nuvein, on April 6, 2008. The SGV Comic Book Festival was a successful event where local youth, fans, and aspiring artists alike met with independent comic book creators, animators, illustrators, and the SGV Cartoonistas. The event featured workshops and live art.

The follow up edition of the SGV Comic Book Festival took place Saturday, October 10, 2009. The event moved location to the Monrovia Library, as part of the Monrovia Fine Arts Association “Celebrate the Arts” event.The event featured independent comic book creators, animators, illustrators, and the SGV Cartoonistas.

In 2010, the Comic Book Festival was once again held at the Cuban Club in El Monte on September 19th. The event featured independent comic book creators, animators, illustrators, and the SGV Cartoonistas.

After a 3 year hold, the Nuvein Foundation relaunched this event in Baldwin Park in the Summer of 2013 as the SGV Comic Book Expo, an event that featured a curated comic book art themed gallery, animation festival, as well as workshops and vending from indie comic book creators from around Southern California. The event unfolded at the Baldwin Park ARC.

For information on the 2014 SGV Comic Expo see visit Facebook

—Learn about what else Nuvein does —

Upcoming events

Click for Nuvein events on Facebook

Click for Nuvein events on Facebook

March 15th, 2014 – La Puente Artwalk
La Puente Branch of the LA County Library
The Nuvein Foundation will partner with the LA County Supervisor’s Office for Gloria Molina and the LA County Library – La Puente Branch to host a children’s chalk art activity (with volunteers from 2pm-4pm), will have a booth handing out information on the Foundation (1pm-4pm) and its events as well as other art events/resources locally, and will coordinate a children’s art workshop inside the Library (4pm-6pm). Volunteers should contact the Nuvein Foundation. For other inquiries, please contact Jeanette Freels ( the LA County Library – La Puente Branch
April 18th, 2014 – SGV Poetry in Motion: A Teen and Youth Poetry Competition and Showcase
Arcadia Library – Cay Mortenson Auditorium
The Nuvein Foundation will partner with the Arcadia Library to host a Poetry Competition and Showcase for students (grades 6-12) that will be hosted by Kimberly Cobian and a special guest young poet host. Students in the competition portion of the event will be judged by a poet’s panel (this year the ZZyZx WriterZ Group) and awards will be given in various categories. Students in the Showcase (Open Mic) portion will be eligible for a single prize for overall performance and delivery.Interested students should contact Petra Morris ( the Arcadia Library for details  This event participates as part of the San Gabriel Valley Poetry Festival (
April 19th, 2014 – PEER POET PROGRAM: Show, Tell, Reveal
Montebello Regional Library Branch of the LA County Library
The Nuvein Foundation will offer a free community poetry program for students (grades 8-12) on poetry techniques that will also include peer exercises that will partner students to poets from across Literary Los Angeles. Chris Trevilla, president of the Foundation and published poet, will be leading this interactive workshop. For additional details, contact Beth Krupsaw ( at the Montebello Library.This event participates as part of the San Gabriel Valley Poetry Festival (


Nuvein partners with Arts for LA to have local SGV school board candidates weigh in on Arts Education

Candidate Surveys Social

As part of the Nuvein Foundation’s mission and core values of EDUCATE ENCOURAGE SHOWCASE, the foundation has partnered with Arts for LA for the purpose of having local school board candidates at local San Gabriel Valley community elections share their views on arts education ahead of the upcoming November Election Day.

To this end, Nuvein issues an open invitation to the candidates of the following school districts to participate in the Fall 2013 Arts & Culture Candidate Survey:

Bassett USD

Hacienda-La Puente USD

San Gabriel USD

Mountain View ESD

Valle Lindo ESD

Rowland USD

The community at large in the SGV cities of El Monte, South El Monte, Bassett, City of Industry, Valinda, La Puente, Hacienda Heights, Rowland Heights, San Gabriel, Rosemead, Temple City, and West Covina are encouraged to share this invitation to participate with their local candidate.

Download Nuvein’s invitation to participate here:   2013-CandidateSurvey-NuveinLetter