Monday, April 30, 2012

Book Review: Enterprise

I would like to share with you a book review I wrote that appeared in yesterday's San Antonio Express-News: ENTERPRISE

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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Bianca De Leon in Concert

Dear Friends of Bihl Haus Arts,Just a quick reminder about TWO special events TODAY, Saturday, April 28t: Austin's BIANCA DE LEON in concert @ Bihl Haus at 7 pm this evening, and  the day-time "First Amendment Celebration!" at TriPoint.  See below for more details.  Both events are free and open to the public, so please bring some friends and forward this message.TODAY, 12:30-4:30 pm @ TriPoint: Join Bihl Haus at TriPoint, 3233 N. St. Mary's, 12:30-4:30 pm for the 2nd Annual "First Amendment Day Celebration!" Organized by the San Antonio Chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church & State (AUSA), this celebration reclaims the spirit of individual liberty that is at the heart of what it means to be an American. Keynote speaker is REV. BARRY W. LYNN, Executive Director of Americans United, Washington, D.C.  Festivities include additional guest speakers, live music, with a powerful song by Austin's Bianca De Leon (see below), information booths from a broad spectrum of SA non-profits, including Bihl Haus Arts, and other activities. Food & drink is available for purchase at the TriPoint cafe.TONIGHT, 7 pm @ Bihl Haus: Then come to the Bihl Haus at 7 pm this evening for a full concert, co-sponsored by AUSA,by singer-songwriter BIANCA DE LEON with guitarist John Inmon. On her fourth album Love, Guns, and Money,"the music is stellar, the mood shines like the moon. The telepathic brilliance of . . . John Inmon (lead guitar) gleams. Bianca’s voice smolders, hovers, strikes, lies down with you, stands up to you, strokes you, pierces you, and makes the whole recording the strikingly personal experience that it is" - Robert Earl Hardy. The cover "features a photo of her standing in front of a Dutch club’s chalkboard that reads ‘de Texaanse Troubadour Bianca DeLeon.’ she’s much better known in Europe than in Texas. . . . DeLeon is rooted in and lives in two different worlds, the Texas-Mexico borderlands in which she was born and raised, . . . and the national and international singer-songwriter venue circuit, . . . she’s a bit different from your average troubadour. How many of them could write “I Sang Patsy Cline (“the Night Noriega Fell’)?"-3rd Coast Music –John Conquest. Special guest this evening will be Rev. Barry W. Lynn.Hope to see you on today!Kellen

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Voices de la Luna Presentation

Voices de la Luna
A Quarterly Poetry & Arts Magazine

Monthly Literary Evening

Wednesday 25 April 2012

Workshop on Writing-6 PM
Mo H Saidi

Featured Author-7 PM

MARIA GABRIELA MADRID was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. She is a bilingual writer, International Editor and Advisor. Madrid studied Education at The Metropolitan University of Caracas, Venezuela, as well as Creative Writing and English as a Second Language at Harvard University, Boston University, and Columbia University. Her short story, “Why” was aired on “Texas Matters” National Public Radio (NPR 89.1 FM) in 2010.

Open Mic to Follow

Barnes & Noble at the Shops at La Cantera
15900 La Cantera Parkway
San Antonio, TX 78256

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Aligning the STARRs: A Research Talk

Aligning the STAARs in Texas’ New System of Accountability and College Readiness: Players, Politics, and Agency

A Research Talk by
Patricia D. López, M.A. – University of Texas at Austin
Associate Director of the National Latino/a Education Research and Policy Project (NLERAP) and a Research Associate for the Texas Center for Education Policy (TCEP)

Monday, April 23, 2012
MB 1.124
(1604 Campus)

This presentation will draw from a three-year ethnographic study examining the politics of Texas’ new system of accountability and college readiness. The presenter will discuss the political life of The State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) beginning with the early conceptualizations of the system, the passage of House Bill 3, and the unfolding of the system into practice. An understanding of whose knowledge informed this system, and whose knowledge did not, is central to this analysis. This work also provides broader theoretical and methodological considerations for how researchers can critically engage policies in a way that moves beyond critique and incites political action across multiple communities.


· The Department of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies

· REAL (Research for the Educational Advancement of Latin@s)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Musical Mestizaje: A mini-symposium

Mexican American Studies Program presents Musical Mestizaje: A mini-symposium

Saturday, April 21, 2012
The University of Texas, San Antonio,
Downtown campus
Buena Vista Assembly Meeting Room 1.338
9:30 am to 1:00 pm.

****FREE Parking in Lot D-3 under the expressway***

10:00 -10:45 AM

Chicana/o Soul: Mixing Heritage and Genre
JJ Lopez
Suzie Bravo
Andrea Sanderson (Vocab)

10:50 -11:35 AM

San Anto Hip Hop: Transforming Beats and Rhymes

11:40 -12:25

In-between Spaces: Neplanteras Sing
Heather Go Psycho
Erica Anthony

31st Annual Tejano Conjunto Festival

From Juan Tejeda:

Camaradas: ....the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center's 31st Annual Tejano Conjunto Festival en San Antonio 2012 which will be held from May 15-20 at the Guadalupe Theatre and Rosedale Park. Congratulations to Jeanne Richter, this year's TCF Poster Contest winner, for her colorful and traditional design. You can purchase tickets online with a credit card for the New Directions in Conjunto Music night, the Conjunto Music Hall of Fame Dinner & Baile, the 3-Day All Events Pass for Rosedale Park, and the Accordion & Bajo Sexto Workshops, by going to and clicking on the TCF poster, then tickets. Hope to see you and your familia here in San Anto next month. Por favor, spread the palabra and the schedule. Gracias. Juan

Monday, April 16, 2012

Spanish Language Documentary Festival

This comes to us from former SAAHJ member Matt Flores, who's assistant vice president for university advancement and managing editor of Hillviews at Texas State University:

The Center for the Study of Latino Media & Markets at the Texas State University-San Marcos School of Journalism and Mass Communication will host the third International Spanish-language Documentary Festival, "Puntos de Vista," Friday, April 27 in the LBJ Student Center. Read more here:

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Grace Flores-Hughes Book Signing

Save the date! Friday, April 20, 5 p.m.

Book Reading/Signing: Grace Flores-Hughes
The Twig
200 E. Grayson, Suite 124

Grace Flores-Hughes, the first woman to serve as the Director/Assistant Attorney General level of the Community Relations Service (CRS) for the Department of Justice from 1988-92. Appointed by President Reagan and later kept on by President H.W. Bush, Flores-Hughes was responsible for developing policies and establishing priorities with respect to the resolution of racial and ethnic conflict in communities throughout the country, and the resettlement of Cuban/Hispanic refugees in the United States.

A Tale of Survival is an explosive story that is much more than a simple memoir of an Hispanic woman: it is an important, quintessential American story of adversity and perseverance. This is a brutally honest and provocative tale of not merely survival but success from one who came from a time and place where success and upward mobility for a Mexican-American was not only unlikely but damn near impossible. Unlike some other Hispanic memoirs, Grace Flores-Hughes describes her childhood and transition to adulthood and beyond, against the tapestry of the modern Hispanic experience and the sometimes turbulent era of the rebellious baby-boomer generation. She writes of assimilation, racial and ethnic injustice, her role in coining of the term Hispanic, and her championing the lives of the disenfranchised before and after the civil rights movement. Further, Ms. Flores-Hughes takes you on this treacherous journey while exploring her encounters and friendships with many of America’s leaders. She demonstrates in this colorful and spicy story that “Hold the Salsa” has never been her style; a story that chronicles the emergence of a child’s identity to that of an accomplished Hispanic woman who rose against all odds.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

SLHW Meeting: Financing Your Writing

The Society of Latino and Hispanic Writers of San Antonio
will host its monthly meeting at Barnes and Noble San Pedro Crossing
Monday, April 9th, 2012 7:30 P.M.
Free and Open to the Public

This month’s feature speaker is SLHWSA member Edna Camps Gravenhorst, who will deliver a very interesting talk:

“Financing your Writing”

Please send this invitation to your friends and come to hear Edna, as writers we all have struggled with finding a way to do just that!


Edna Campos Gravenhorst was born and raised in South Texas. She currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and St. Louis, Missouri.

Campos Gravenhorst is an author and historical researcher. She has been published in national newspapers and magazines and has been interviewed in print media, radio and television around the country. Her books include Ay, Mija and Ay, Mijo! Why do you want to be an engineer?, Te de Canela/Cinnamon Tea, Southwest Garden, Benton Park West and Historical Home Research in the City of St. Louis. She is working on her seventh book, Negreta; this work in progress won the Kate Chopin Silver Wings Writing Award for 2009. Other writing awards include International Latin Book Awards in 2007 and 2008, and a Kid Power Award in 2007. In 2009 she was awarded a Women on the Move Award by the University of Missouri-St. Louis, in 2008 she won a University of Missouri-St. Louis Women Trailblazer Award and in 2007 was named the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers National Star Honorary Member. She is a member of the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture Organization, the Society of Latino and Hispanic Writers of San Antonio, Las Comadres and the Society of Architectural Historians-St. Louis Chapter. At Gemini Ink-the University Without Walls in San Antonio, she served as a Writer in Communities for Fall of 2009 and was a member of the Spring 2010 Faculty.

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Musical Mestizaje: A mini-symposium

Mexican American Studies Program
Musical Mestizaje: A mini-symposium
Saturday, April 21, 2012
UTSA Downtown Campus

Chicana/o Soul: Mixing Heritage and Genre 10:00AM-10:45
JJ Lopez

Suzie Bravo

Andrea Sanderson (Vocab)

San Anto Hip Hop: Transforming Beats and Rhymes 10:50-11:35
Rob Bombasta

In-between Spaces: Neplanteras Sing 11:40-12:25
Heather Go Physco
Erica Anthony

ALSO: Friday, April 20 at the
Esperanza Peace and Justice Center
Alice Bag, Chicana music artist, The Bags  

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Television Writers Program Seeking Entries

The National Latino Media Council (NLMC)/National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) Television Writers Program is for those writers who can write at least one half-hour comedy or one-hour dramatic television script in English within a five-week period of time. The program will take place in Burbank, CA from October 12, 2012 to November 16, 2012. Each selected participant is expected to complete at least one script by the end of the five-week session, which will then be read by network executives. Those writers whose scripts show promise will be interviewed and mentored by the network executives with the objective of placing them on a show. A stipend of $250 per week will be given to each participant. Flight, housing, and meals will be provided.

The NLMC/NHMC Television Writers Program is an intensive scriptwriters workshop to prepare and place Latinos in writing jobs for the major television networks. This project is modeled after the previously successful Hispanic Film Project. The television scriptwriters workshop is designed to familiarize participants with the format, characters and storyline structure of specific shows that are currently on the air. This five-week, total immersion workshop is mentored and guided by former NBC V.P of Script Development, Geoff Harris. The workshop is conducted in Burbank, CA and a total of 10 writers are recruited nationwide from established network of NHMC chapters, other non-profit agencies, schools, universities, guilds and media organizations. The goal is that the writers garner the skills necessary to obtain employment in the industry. The NLMC/NHMC Writers Program was created in accordance to NHMC's mission to improve the image of American Latinos as portrayed by the media and increase the number of American Latinos employed in all facets of the media industry. The program directly responds to the lack of diverse writers in primetime network TV with the idea that if there are more diverse writers present at the writer's table, more diversity will be reflected on TV.

Application packages must be submitted by August 13, 2012 and selected program participants will be announced September 17, 2012. Writing samples must be in English and television scripts are preferred. We accept any type of writing sample including books, plays, pilots, specs, etc. Please note that writing teams are ineligible. The deadline for submissions is August 13, 2012. Scripts will be evaluated and program participants announced on September 17, 2012.


Submission Period: March 26, 2012 - August 13, 2012
Participants Announced: September 17, 2012
Program: October 13-November 16

For submissions to be considered, the following materials must be submitted:
Program Application (2 copies)
Resume/Bio (2 copies)
Writing Sample (2 hard copies and 2 CD* copies each with the writing sample saved in PDF format)*Instead of CD copies, applicants can submit 2 USB flash drives each with the writing sample saved in PDF format.
Statement of Interest:Why you want to write for television (2 copies)
Writer's Agreement (2 copies)
Waiver of Liability (2 copies)
Medical Form (2 copies)
ABC Notarized Release Form (The original notarized form and a copy)
NBC Release Form (2 copies)

Submissions must be post marked by August 13 and sent to:

Nilda Muhr
National Latino Media Council
55 S. Grand Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91105

*All materials must be submitted together and at the same time. Any application packet with missing materials will automatically be disqualified.

*Unfortunately due to a small number of judges and lack of resources, NHMC will not be able to provide feedback on any writing samples that are submitted and not accepted into the program.

For more information please contact Nilda Muhr at

Marta Garcia
National Hispanic Media Coalition, Inc.

Monday, April 02, 2012

News Article: Fox Latino News

Arizona Official Considers Targeting Mexican American Studies in University

Written By Roque Planas
Published March 28, 2012
Fox News Latino

TUSCON, Ariz. – An Arizona official who led the effort to suspend Mexican American studies from Tucson public schools is considering taking his fight to the state university system.

Arizona’s superintendent of schools, John Huppenthal, says Tucson’s suspended Mexican American studies curricula teaches students to resent Anglos, and that the university program that educated the public school teachers is to blame.

“I think that’s where this toxic thing starts from, the universities,” Arizona Superintendent of Schools John Huppenthal said in an interview with Fox News Latino.

“To me, the pervasive problem was the lack of balance going on in these classes," Huppenthal said.

Huppenthal's comments reflect an ongoing battle in Arizona over how public school teachers should present issues of ethnic conflict and discrimination in U.S. history and culture—a showdown that resulted in the suspension of Mexican American studies from Tucson Unified School District.

The possibility of government intrusion into what is taught in university classrooms, however, alarms educators and free speech advocates.

“It's an affront to freedom of speech,” Antonio Estrada, director of the Mexican American Studies program at the University of Arizona in Tucson, told Fox News Latino in an email. “We do not indoctrinate, we educate. Academic freedom will be lost if these programs are not sustained at the university level.”

Estrada said he has been worried that Huppenthal and other politicians hostile to Tucson’s public school Mexican American Studies Department will go after the university programs as well.

As a State Senator, Huppenthal helped pass Arizona’s HB 2281, which banned public school courses that advocate the overthrow of the United States, promote racial resentment, or treat students as members of an ethnic group rather than as individuals. The law targeted Tucson’s Mexican American studies program specifically.

After taking office as superintendent last year, Huppenthal determined that Tucson's Mexican American Studies program was out of compliance with HB 2281 and ordered the district to abandon the course of studies or lose 10 percent of its funding—about $14 million over the fiscal year. An administrative law judge upheld Huppenthal’s order in December and the school board voted four to one to shut the program down the next month.

The decision outraged a long list of Latino organizations and free speech advocates across the country, including the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund, the League of United Latin American Citizens and the American Library Association, and prompted a caravan of “Librotraficantes”—“book smugglers”—to travel to Tucson to deliver restricted books and conduct literary workshops.

But Huppenthal is not satisfied with the suspension of the Tucson program. He views the University of Arizona as another source of what he believes are biased educators.

Huppenthal says he became concerned about the Mexican American studies programs at Arizona’s universities after a visit to an ethnic studies course in Tucson High School in 2010. (The encounter was filmed for the documentary “Precious Knowledge.”)

During the visit, Huppenthal says the former director of Tucson’s Mexican American Studies Department, Augustine Romero, characterized Benjamin Franklin as a racist. Huppenthal objected, pointing out Franklin’s role in the Abolitionist movement.

“He was taught in the university system, so that raised questions in my mind about what’s going on in the university too,” Huppenthal said of Romero. “It was obvious that these kinds of things were coming from somewhere.”

Romero disputed Huppenthal's recollection of the encounter.

“I didn’t say he was a racist,” Romero told Fox News Latino. “What I did say was that we need to recognize – beyond all the good things that Benjamin Franklin did – that he also warned the country of the tawning of America, which for all intents and purposes means the browning of America,” Romero said.

“There’s some validity to what Huppenthal was saying," Romero added, "but what we’re trying to do is expose children to a much broader perspective, so that we’re not indoctrinating.”

Romero’s view of Franklin did not alarm historian David Waldstreicher, author of “Runaway America: Benjamin Franklin, Slavery and the American Revolution.”

Though Franklin became affiliated with the Abolitionist movement, he also owned slaves and kept the Abolitionist movement at arm’s length until it became a powerful political ally, Waldstreicher said.

“There are historians who think that because Franklin opposed slavery at the end of his life and he was an Abolitionist, he should not be portrayed as a racist," Waldestreicher said. "I think that based on the few things that he wrote in his life, it is fair to say that he was a racist and that he was not anti-slavery most of the time.”

When asked if he had brought his objections up with university officials, Huppenthal said he had not, but that he may raise the issue in the future. “There’s only so many of these battles I care to take up at one time,” Huppenthal said.

Huppenthal isn’t the only one who views the University of Arizona’s Mexican American Studies program with suspicion.

Attorney General Tom Horne, who authored the 2010 law used to suspend Mexican American Studies from Tucson public schools when he was serving as state superintendent, said in a telephone interview he also had concerns.

The readings selected for the Tucson public school’s Mexican American Studies summer institutes, which were held at the University of Arizona, bothered Horne.

“I’ve seen troubling materials on the agenda of that conference,” Horne said.

He cited the example of a panel conducted by Tucson social studies teacher José González in the 2009 institute called “Teatro Mexicayotl: Planting The Seed of Xican@ Activism.”

“It is unethical and unprofessional for teachers to use their power over students to get the students to be activists in support of the teachers’ political causes,” Horne said. “Encouraging civil engagement is legitimate, but not solely in service of the cause of the teacher’s political ideology.”

Horne did not attend the summer institutes and neither Horne nor Huppenthal have a background in teaching. Horne is a lawyer by profession, while Huppenthal holds a degree in engineering and a master’s in business administration.

Advocates of Tucson’s Mexican American studies resent being portrayed as racists, saying their classes were culturally relevant and fostered critical thinking.

“It’s utterly ridiculous. His assumption – and it’s a false assumption – is that we’re politicizing students to act on our behalf,” González told Fox News Latino, when asked about the panel he presented.

“Part of the state standards is to teach civic engagement,” González continued. “They can form their own opinion. They don’t need adults to tell them what’s right and wrong. They can do that themselves. These students have minds of their own.”

David Hudson, a law professor at Vanderbilt University and a scholar at the First Amendment Center, agreed that government interference in university curricula would threaten academic freedom.

“It’s a dangerous precedent for a government to be dictating what a university can teach. That’s just troubling,” Hudson said in a telephone interview. “As a policy matter, you do want people to be presented with different sides and all that. But the whole concept of the first amendment is that the government shouldn’t weigh in and impose its own view.”

Horne said he did not plan on taking a leading role in scrutinizing Mexican American Studies in Arizona colleges, a job he said would fall to the Board of Regents, which sets policy for Arizona’s public universities.

The Board counts Huppenthal among its members. Gov. Jan Brewer, who signed HB 2281, also sits on the Board of Regents.

Brewer’s office did not return phone calls or email requests for comment.

The allegations against Mexican American studies programs say more about politics in Arizona than the state of the discipline, according to Devon Peña, the former director of the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies.

“There’s people doing PhD’s in Chicano studies all over the planet. They wouldn’t be doing that if it weren’t a legitimate field of study,” Peña said.

Peña viewed the attacks as politically motivated. “There is a precedent, and it’s called McCarthyism,” Peña said. “It’s just a witch hunt of a different color. Now, instead of going after the reds, they’re going after the browns.”

Bias in the classroom has a way of sorting itself out, according to Peña, who noted that the material produced by scholars must go through peer review before publication – a standard to which public officials are not held.

“Politicians are never vetted,” Peña said. “They just go out and say stuff.”

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Roque Planas can be reached at  or @RoqPlanas.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

UTSA Ballet Folklorico Itzel

UTSA Ballet Folklórico Itzel will be performing on the following dates and places in UTSA: 
Aprill 5th at International Expo at UC Paseo at 5:30 pm

April 10th at the Latin Dance Showcase from 7pm to 10pm in the Denman (our specific time TBA)

April 20th at Fiesta UTSA (specific time TBA)

April 21st at 11:30am at Fiesta Especial and at Cultural Bash for FSA in Richard Liu Auditorium later that day (our specific time TBA)

We will also be selling tacos al pastor this semester once again for Fiesta UTSA. I really hope you can make it to one of our performances! We will be showcasing several new dances.

Andres Ruiz
Ballet Folklórico Itzel UTSA
Ballet Folklorico Itzel at UTSA