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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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 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.)
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 Rodriguez, Javier 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.)
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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)
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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 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)
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.
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 3 – El Monte Tonight program, who both supplied a guest host to participate on the main event stage.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The year brought significant transitions and upward mobility for the Nuvein Foundation for Literature and the Arts (Nuvein). The year brought with it changes, expansion, and challenges that in the end, have served to strengthen Nuvein’s overall presence, impact, and profile among so many exciting developments in the San Gabriel Valley region of Southern California.
The Penske College campus allows local non-profits and community causes to request meeting space usage and other resources to advance their charitable causes that impact and benefit El Monte and surrounding communities. For additional information on how to connect with Longo Toyota as pertains to Penske College, see details here.
January 2013 had Nuvein’s 2012-2013 Nomination Season in full swing. (We are currently in our 2013-2014 Nomination Season.) As Nuvein board members and the artistic and cultural leadership community of the San Gabriel Valley sought to connect to one another, statements of interest as well as invitations were made to solidify the organization for what promised to be a year of significance.
In the end, Nuvein’s board of 7 active members grew to 12 with the addition of 5 new members from the communities of La Puente, Covina, Whittier, and Pico Rivera. New members included artisan vendors sisters, a community organizing couple, and a tech savvy poet. All of which proved to be indispensable to the organization in the months ahead.
February 2013 had Nuvein begin its participation in a variety of artistic and cultural events yearlong. Nuvein was invited to participate in the San Gabriel Valley Literature Festival (SGV LitFest). The SGV LitFest was a weekend long event, February 15-17 of 2013, that showcased literary luminaries from across the globe, the US, and featured many local Southern California writers and poets at the West Covina Civic Center, the West Covina Branch of the Los Angeles County Library, and City Hall.
The inaugural literary arts event was organized by local published authors, poets, small press publishers, and literary arts collegiate educators. Nuvein was well represented at the event by its board members and community partners. During the course of the weekend, board members Petra Nieto and Estella Neyer vended their one of a kind artisan crafts, board member Kimberly Cobian and fellow ZZyZx WriterZ offered their Anthology “A Three Hour Tour”, board member Javier Hernandez, artist and comic book creator, offered the vast catalogue of his Los Comex created works, while board member, Chris Trevilla, offered up his chapbook preview of his upcoming Chicano poetry collection to be entitled “Cantos a la Luna Burlona de sus Lobos Bohemios”. Also invited to participate at the Nuvein Booth was Sal Gomez, online radio host and programming coordinator of the Soul Pilot Radio Experience show on Mid Valley Radio as well as to represent Mid Valley News, a longtime Nuvein partner and sponsor.
Additionally, Nuvein President, Chris Trevilla, was among a group of Los Angeles writers/poets/organizers invited to showcase the vitality of LA Letters that included Don Kingfisher Campbell poet/educator/organizer of the SGV Poetry Festival and the Emerging Urban Poetry/Saturday Afternoon Poetry group from Pasadena, Mike the Poet Sonksen poet/organizer and contributor at KCET Departures – LA Letters, and Chiwan Choi poet/editor/author at Writ Large Press and organizing partner of the Grand Park Downtown Book Festival. Other literary luminaries featured were Suzanne Lummis, Tony Barnstone, Sunny Frazier, erald Locklin, Charles Harper Webb, Christopher Buckley, Laurel Ann Bogen, LA’s newly named poet laureate Eloise Klein Healy, and many others.
The event garnered high praise for uniting several prominent literary figures at a family friendly event that tallied over a thousand guests from beginning to end. The event featured literary artists, small press and independent publishers, artisan vendors, food trucks, and musical performances.
Two months In, Nuvein already found itself full steam ahead for the next few hectic and rewarding months.
March 2013 kept Nuvein busy with the return of the successful quarterly arts and culture showcase known as the Un Poquito Mas Arte: Old Town La Puente Artwalk. This marked the second year of this event in the City of La Puente‘s historic Old Town district. The artwalk began in February of 2012 as a coalition formed by Nuvein of local artists, educators, business owners, civic leadership, partner non-profit organizations, and community members created a space for arts and culture to be showcased and offered up to the La Puente Community.
The March 2013 edition of the La Puente Artwalk featured 10 artistic and creative spaces including an artisan vendors bazaar, scrapbook workshops, poetry and live performance open mic, and 7 galleries featuring the arts in all its forms. Curators and producers of this even included Chris Penalber of Cakeshop Oddities, Heyzen Contreras, Sal Gomez, Kimberly Cobian, Ricardo Ocampo, Lauren Carboney, and others.
Nuvein maintained a physical presence at the La Puente artwalk by organizing the vendor’s bazaar at the La Puente Arcade lot, and facilitating communication between civic leadership, business, artists, and the local community.
Overall, the event was a great success, as over 500 guests participated in the initial 2013 edition of the artwalk series from across Southern California and the local comnunity. The La Puente Artwalk, now officially over a year old, had firmly taken root and established itself as a community driven, artist built, and city supported arts showcase.
March also presented Nuvein with the opportunity to showcase local artistry and encourage cultural identification through supporting a small grant proposal towards the purchasing of arts supplies. The proposal was to support a family tree project proposed by El Monte/Rosemead Adult School educator and activist, Mary Torregrossa of Baldwin Park. The small grant was approved. The project moved forward, led by educator Torregrossa, which helped each student create a visual statement of their identity, heritage, and history. Ultimately, the Adult ESL students of El Monte/Rosemead Adult School were able and successful participants at the District Open House at Wilkerson School that month.
March provided Nuvein the opportunities to educate, encourage, and showcase the arts and creativity in all its forms.
April brought Nuvein into National Poetry Month 2013. Poetry has always occupied an important part in the history and development of Nuvein. The founder and president emeritus of Nuvein, the recently departed Enrique Diaz, was not only a published author and poet, but also helped incorporate the foundation following the success of Nuvein Magazine, a literary and media publication. The current president of Nuvein, Chris Trevilla, himself a poet, met Enrique and the members of Nuvein at the Arts and Literature Festival at the Lakes in West Covina in 2009. Thus, rooted in mutual love for the written/spoken word and creative expression, Nuvein was more than capable of diving into National Poetry Month once again in 2013.
April 2013 brought about the 5th edition of the San Gabriel Valley Poetry Festival, a month long celebration of poetry and spoken word through a series of special performance showcases, workshops, and public events that featured several of the region’s writing groups, as well bringing together many of the emerging and established poets of the area. The festival’s events spanned all across the San Gabriel Valley and were all highly successful and a strong testament to the vitality of Poetry.
One of the SGV Poetry Festival’s events was the 4th Annual SGV Poetry in Motion, a teen and youth poetry competition and open mic showcase held at the Arcadia Public Library. A joint venture of the Library and Nuvein, the event hosted over 30 participants in the competition and open mic showcase portions.
The event also served to connect the youth to the several poets and poetry group/small press organizers and publishers that served as judges for the event. Among the judges were poets Apryl Skies of Edgar & Lenore Publishing, Xochitl Julissa-Bermejo host of the HITCHED reading series at Beyond Baroque, Don Kingfisher Campbell of the SGV Poetry Festival, Angela Moore of Moms Write SGV, Rick Stepp-Bolling of the Coffee House Writers, and Gary Imperial of the Whittier Poetry Group.
All in all, a very successful event that celebrated the creative writing and spirit of middle school and high school aged youth in Arcadia and surrounding communities. The event enjoyed the attendance of over 50 youth and local community members.
As part of National Poetry Month, Nuvein was invited to participate in the inaugural edition of State of the Art. a public arts and arts resource fair, organized by the Downey Arts Coalition (DAC) and hosted by the Downey Moravian Church. The event hosted over 20 different artists and artist organizations from across the area and neighboring communities.
Among the participants were the Last Minute Arts Collective, SGV Literature Festival, the Downey Museum of Art, Stay Gallery, and others. Guests and participants were given a directory of arts groups and resources supplied by the DAC. The highly successful event brought to a close an artistically and culturally rich month full of celebrations and events that Nuvein was privileged to participate in. The event in fact, was the brain child of artist/poet/healer Roy Anthony Shabla of the Downey Arts Coalition and curator of the Green Salon, one of many arts programs offered by the DAC.
May 2013 brought greater participation and partnership for Nuvein with other San Gabriel Valley communities. This time with the community of South Pasadena, CA. The South Pasadena Arts Council or SPARC and the South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce both invited Nuvein to coordinate a poetry and spoken word event as part of the Eclectic Music Festival and Art Walk. As a result, Nuvein coordinated an event titled Vision and Voices of the Valley II: The Cultural Landscape of LA Poetry. The event unfolded against the backdrop of the beautiful Fremont Centre Theatre in South Pasadena.
The event was hosted by the dynamic and talented Mike the Poet Sonksen and featured female poets representative of the diverse poetic communities across Los Angeles County. Poets featured included Traci Akemi Kato-Kiriyama, Blazhia Parker, Kimberly Cobian, and Jessica Wilson. Among poets participating in the open mic were Don Campbell, Chris Trevilla. Lee Boek, Karineh Mahdessian, Charles Davis, and others.
The successful showcasing of poetry and spoken word as part of the SPARC Stage lineup of performances at the Fremont Centre Theatre was a welcome addition to a day full of inspiring and memorable moments. The yearly event gathers crowds in the thousands who come to enjoy a one of a kind experience full of art in all its forms, a perfect environment for a dynamic partnership between Nuvein and SPARC to flourish and work together to showcase the literary world of art in a unique experience.
Not even halfway through the year, 2013 brought Nuvein from El Monte to West Covina, La Puente, Arcadia, Downey, and South Pasadena. If this part of the year was any indication of what lay ahead, Nuvein was in for an exhilarating remainder of 2013.
As part of the celebrations at the Nuvein Foundation’s 3rd Annual Dia de Los Muertos event in El Monte, entertainment will again this year include the addition of poets/poetas from all over Southern California. The event will have spoken word artists from LA, OC, and SGV.
The event will feature poetry, prose, and spoken word at the Poets Corner/Rincon de Poesia where poets and writers will gather and read their richly colorful poems paying homage to the dead and the living, as well as showcasing the several works of poetry and poetic groups and organizations from across Southern California.
Among the groups to be featured at the event will be the members of the ZZyZx WriterZ group from Los Angeles; members of the Whittier Poetry Group; members of the South El Monte Arts Posse; as well as members from the San Dimas Coffee House Writer’s Group, and many more!
Poets and writers, as well as writing/poetry groups interesed in taking part will be offered free table space to display their works and engage the local El Monte and SGV community at Dia de Los Muertos 2012.
An hosted open mic will be held in conjunction with the hosted space for poets and writers, and will be hosted by well known local Los Angeles poet(a) with SGV roots.
For more information on how to participate, email Christopher Trevilla of the Nuvein Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org
On the 18th day of August in Old Town La Puente, in spite of scorching heat, community, artists, business, vendors, classic car clubs, musicians, public officials, and poets came together to put together Un Poquito Mas Arte! (UPMA!) along 1st, 2nd, Main St. and Glendora Ave in La Puente.
UPMA! Old Town La Puente Artwalk is a quarterly event in cooperation with the La Puente City Hall, the Old Town Business Association, Twin Palms Recovery Center, East Valley Boys and Girls Club, the La Puente Senior Center, La Puente Branch of the LA County Library as well as local businesses, and involved community members.
This 3rd edition of the La Puente Artwalk hosted a reported crowd of 0ver 500 attendees as the event unfolded across various venues in Old Town La Puente.
Here is a listing of events/galleries involved:
Arte Cabalturo Studio & Gallery, the resident Old Town La Puente gallery curated by Art Lopez, hosted a themed group art show entitled “Troll Below Monster Bazaar”, an art show that hosted over 20 artists, oddity vendors, live music, and performances. Arte Cabalturo’s show featured the dark and light side of faerie and fantasy, with images evocative of such iconic films such as HellBoy and Pan’s Labyrinth.
Café Coco Na Dre Gallery, the coffee house that began the entire artwalk, hosted a group art show as well as house a featured art show with live entertainment. The open arts show will feature local community art submissions. The featured art show was an curated exhibit of the ongoing “Activate Vacant” art project organized by the South El Monte Arts Posse. Live music and entertainment played throughout the day and well into the night, as the cafe also housed artistic vendors.
RiT Center, a local non-profit focusing on the holistic wellness of the person, in cooperation with Trunk Trends Fashions Boutique, collaborated with galleRoy @ to host an artistic event curated by Roy Anthony Shabla that housed a featured artist gallery, a live music and performance stage curated by Gabriel Armenta hosting over 10 bands, and interactive elements for an event entitled “I am Awake In The Garden of Dreams”. Folks attending were encouraged to dress up as their favorite deity, 50 gift bags were raffled off to various guests, and refreshments were provided. An after hours artwalk event also took place with DJs spinning and crowds dancing.
Francisco’s Hall (formerly the Fabric Shop) sponsored a group art exhibition of SGV artists and LA wide concert tour that together, took part in creating an artistic space full of art, poetry, music, and other performances at the former Fabric Shop locale in Old Town La Puente. The group exhibition featured an interactive art installation and experience, live graffiti art, photography and mixed media, as well avant garde traditional art on canvas. Live music, as well as a tour stop for Poetry Palooza, a LA wide touring concert of poetry, music, and art organized by the ZZyZx WriterZ group. This event featured local La Puente poets, artists, and musicians.
Blazin’ PC Computer Repair hosted a solo art show entitled Into the Mind of Mark Gleason, which featured an Art Gallery, live performances, and live art.
Tic Tac Restaurant, an Old Town La Puente local restaurant, hosted the a solo art exhibition featuring the works of Kiki Reina.
The La Puente branch of the LA County Library hosted a children’s sidewalk chalk art program that was organized by members of the La Puente Library and the East Valley Boys and Girls Club.
Rocket Roasters Coffee Company, an upcoming Old Town La Puente café, opened their doors and hosted a featured artist gallery that also hosted several live music and performance sets by local musicians and acts. Attendees and participants in this event will be filmed and broadcast via web podcast to make this event interactive for all present at the event, and those interested from afar.
One Hour Taxes hosted “La Puente’s Got Talent” a talent showcase and competition that put music, dance, and performance on display at the Twin Palms Recovery Center vendor/booth area.
The La Puente Senior Center housed an exhibition of art work submitted by La Puente Senior center attendees.
The Scrap Book Café hosted an interactive scrap book workshop that welcomed all walk ins to participate in creating unique take home art projects.
Vinyl Saurs Records hosted a bring your own vinyl event, where attendees who bring their favorite record will be able to play a side for common enjoyment as well enjoy additional discounts on records, t-shirts, and other memorabilia.
Twin Palms Recovery Center hosted over 20 vendors of arts and crafts, clothing, jewelry, and other items. There was also DJ Mike Mercado who provided live music and on site broadcasting throughout the event.
UPMA! La Puente Artwalk ran from 1pm to 10pm on Saturday August 18th, 2012 in Old Town La Puente between Glendora Ave and Stimson Ave, along Main St, 1st and 2nd Streets.
The SGV Literary Arts Council was an idea based out of the 3LP project. Both the council and the project are not currently focuses of Nuvein, but many positive outcomes were met by pursuing these goals.
“We gather together now, all of us, simply on account of four reasons and four reasons only.
First, because it is beyond silly and escapes understanding that all us organizations, individuals, and groups that are working towards related ends [promoting literature, literacy, and creative expression or letters] should be so separate and apart from one another.
Second, because as much as our individual groups have achieved with our respective communities, and group of supporters, how much more could we achieve if we but work together, and we all need some form of help.
Third, because the San Gabriel Valley deserves our combined effort to unleash all of its suppressed, oppressed, and otherwise silent creative genius and force to be seen all around so as to rival other areas known for arts and culture.
Fourth and last, because we must think of those that will succeed us, those young artists and writers, poets and authors, that need us now more than ever, in stark times, to tell them ‘above all, in spite and despite it all, no matter what, write, write well, and write your heart out.” – Chris Trevilla
Beginning in March 2012, and meeting every two months afterwards, a collection of non-profits, writers clubs, poetry groups, and community organizations dedicated to the encouragement and support of writers of all genre began to meet in hopes of establishing greater partnerships between groups and members, as well as join together to provide greater support for each respective group.
Moderated by Christopher Trevilla, acting president of the Nuvein Foundation, and hosted by John Brantingham of Mount San Antonio College Creative Writing and curator of the San Gabriel Valley Literature Festival, this collective welcomes any and all groups, individuals, and organizations working towards the empowerment of human expression in the written and spoken form. Thus these groups have gathered to form the Literary Arts Council of the San Gabriel Valley.
Among the groups represented, involved, or included in this collective are:
Parties interested in participating in this collective are encouraged contactany of the following members:
Chris Trevilla at email@example.com
John Brantingham at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christine Marie Bryant at email@example.com
Poetry is a child’s crying voice that beckons to be heard, and defies age, experience, and circumstances. All it needs is for the right set of ears for it to be heard and appreciated, the right frame of mind to accept and understand its message, and the right mentor to help it develop into a matured and articulate sound- a meaningful thought.
On Saturday, November 5th, 2011, the Nuvein Foundation in partnership with the Norwood Branch of the LA County Public Library will create an opportunity for young aspiring poets from grades 6-12 from across the San Gabriel Valley to be paired up with established Southern California poets who either through publication, online blogs and media, and/or the spoken word circuit in order to receive hands on feedback, encouragement, recommendations, and mentorship for them to develop their poetic craft.
Among those scheduled to serve as Peet Poets (mentors) are:
Mike Sonksen, aka Mike the Poet- A 3rd-generation LA native acclaimed for poetry performances, published articles & legendary city tours. His published works have received acclaim across many poetic and literary circles, as some of his published works have been added to the curriculum of several universities. Mike has provided spoken word performances, poetry workshops, and helped organize poetic events at museums, parks, schools, and other public landmarks and community centers across Southern California as he believes in the power of poetry’s reach regardless of environment, situation, and circumstances. Active as a poet, journalist, historian, tour guide, and teacher, Mike also hosts a poetry open mic in Downtown Los Angeles.
Rick Stepp-Bolling– A former educator for reading, study techniques, and writing at Mt. San Antonio College and creative writing professor at Citrus College, whose relationship with poetry has spanned over forty-five years. A published poet and writer, he has participated with various poetry and creative writing groups and events across the San Gabriel Valley and Los Angeles and is currently at work on several writing projects, including preparing for live performances at future artistic events across the San Gabriel Valley. Rick draws his poetic themes from the world around him as he is generally inspired by what life has to offer and what it denies all of us.
Ryan Hernandez- A musician, blogger, singer-songwriter, and poet whose passion for music is matched for that of the spoken word. He has been involved with several musical, artistic, and spoken word events and groups locally and across Los Angeles as part of his prior musical background and has begun to branch out as a spoken word artist . Ryan operates an online blog, a poetry website, and a music site, and is working towards a poetry publication in the near future. Ryan believes in the power of poetry, spoken or written, to tell a story, and explores themes of love and relationships, as well as more socially conscious and political messages.
Sharon Rizk- A psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist with a private practice in Pasadena, a contracted non-profit supervisor, as well as part-time professor at Citrus College, who wrote her first poem at the age of ten years old. She has participated in numerous writing and poetry groups across the San Gabriel Valley and Los Angeles, and recently co-organized the a writing retreat in Monrovia Canyon. Sharon is a published poet, who also has some of her poetry recorded, and who has conducted poetry workshops out of her office, as she believes in the power of reading and writing poetry to heal wounds and foster growth.
Toti O’ Brien– A poet and writer fluent in Italian, English, and other languages who has been involved with poetry for abotu 38 years, alternating throughout those years with other literary and artistic forms. Toti’s works have been published in various languages and in many forms of media online and in other countries. She currently participates with creative writing and poetry groups, attending workshops and participating at events in Pasadena, La Canada-Flintridge and other parts of the San Gabriel Valley and Los Angeles. Toti has also been a guest poet as part of a summer creative writing and poetry course at Occidental College. Present in her poetry are themes of family and relationships, journeys and and displacements, love and loss, the legacy of historical figures, and the metaphors of religion.
Gary Imperial- A poet and writer who has been writing poetry on and off, though mostly on for the last 34 years. His early influences were narrative rhyme poetry like The Night Before Christmas and Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven. It was in that style of narrative rhyme that he wrote a sequel to The Headless Horsemen of Sleepy Hollow entitled Ichabod’s Revenge. Gary has had his poetry published in several publications, with the most recent being in
the San Gabriel Valley Poetry Quarterly. He is presently a member and organizer of a poetry group in Whittier and has been thus involved for the last nine years.
Mina Kirby- A former collegiate educator who had her poetry first published in a state high school anthology during her junior year in middle school. She took a hiatus from poetry for much of her transition from school age to professional life, as she eventually became a mathematics professor at East Los Angeles Community College. However, while instructing and mentoring collegiate students, she wrote numerous songs about mathematics and published a book entitled Mathematical Dreams. Having retired, she began to explore her interest in poetry and prose composition. She has published several chapbooks, and is currently on working on future publications. Mina is a member of several poetry and creative writing groups out of the San Gabriel Valley and Los Angeles, has been featured as part of a artistic television show, and has recited poetry at the Pasadena Art Walk.
Mary Torregrossa- An English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor working in the San Gabriel Valley, her interest in poetry began during her childhood growing up in Rhode Island. She participated in an Summer Arts program during her sophomore year in high school, where she first began writing poetry in a group setting. In her collegiate years, she nurtured her talents as an Arts Page Editor. Recently, Mary continued to develop her poetry as member of several poetry groups across Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley, performing her poetry in various settings and for various events, as well as facilitating numerous poetry writing and critique workshops. A published poet and devoted philanthropist, the sale of one of her chapbooks of poetry entitled Shoebox Poems, went towards a foster care center in Pasadena. Mary is a narrative poet, as she believes in a poems interesting ability to tell a story both passionately , and draws her inspiration from events in her life, and the people and places she has come across.
Dennis Gomez– A poet, musician, event organizer, entrepreneur, and artist who has been writing Hip Hop poetry for over 20 years. He has spent these years writing about things that he would observe in his environment, politics, social circumstance as well as creating story lines, depicting them as cleverly as possible with words (that rhyme). He is not only a poet, but also a Visual Artist and Musician. He is the founder of a weekly Trip-Hop and Downtempo excursion experience in Los Angeles, and runs a website featuring the latest recordings from this weekly auditory experience. He is also the president of a local graphic arts and media design company. He is also currently working on art for his first personal Art Exhibit and continues to work on his Hip-Hop project “Non Human Intelligence” whose first video was recently voted “Best New Video” on MTVu’s Freshmen. You can say Poetry and Arts are in his blood: Gomez’s Great Uncle Rubén Dario is known as the “Father of Romanticism”, and his Uncle is the abstract Painter, Orlando Sobalvarro.
for more information on this event contact either:
Ana Garcia at the Norwood Library at (626) 443-3147.
Christopher Trevilla of the Nuvein Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org
As part of the celebrations at the Nuvein Foundation’s 2nd Annual Dia de Los Muertos – El Monte event, entertainment will this year include the addition of poets/poetas from all over Southern California. The event will have spoken word artists from LA, OC, and SGV.
The event will feature award-winning spoken word performances by: Mike the Poet, Radomir V. Luza, Rick Stepp-Bollin, Christopher Trevilla, Kimberly Cobian, and others.
The spoken word will also be showcased at the Poets Corner/Rincon de Poesia where poets will gather and read their richly colorful poems paying homage to the dead and the living, as well as showcasing the several works of poetry and poetic groups and organizations from across Southern California.
Among the groups to be featured at the event will be the members of the ZZyZx WriterZ group from Los Angeles; members of the Spartan Cafe Poetry Club from Schurr High School in Montebello; members from the Whittier Poetry Group; members from the Unbuckled NOHO Poetry Open Mic of North Hollywood; members of the Spoken Word @ the Last Bookstore from Downtown Los Angeles, members of the San Dimas Coffee House Writer’s Group, and many more!
For more information on how to participate, email Christopher Trevilla of the Nuvein Foundation at email@example.com