Thursday, March 31, 2005

OTHERWISE OCCUPIED - opens in San Antonio April 2nd

If you want to jump down to the Jump-Start theater in San Antonio this weekend, a very intriguing show is set to open on Saturday, April 2nd. Here's the word from one of the performers, Xelena:

"Next weekend I will appear in a play entitled Otherwise Occupied, which will be staged at the Jump-Start Theater here in SA. I will play one of three Palestinian women whose stories have been gathered from first person narratives/interviews. Since our country has played (and continues to play) a major role in Israeli/Palestinian affairs, I believe this piece of work is vital to our understanding of the conflicts occurring there and to the possibility of peace. Please attend if you can (the opening night will be especially fun!). The show times and location details are below, followed by a press release written by the playwright. Thanks for spreading the word.
peace, Xelena"

By Dianne Monroe, in collaboration with Salwa Arnous
Directed by Latrelle Bright

"Otherwise Occupied" is a personal journey into one of the world’s most intense political hot spots. Built out of actual interviews with Palestinian women living in Gaza and the West Bank, this new dramatic work tells the human stories behind the headlines.

Opening: Saturday, April 2nd, 8 pm
Performance Dates:  April 2nd through 10th, Fridays & Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 7 pm

Place:  Jump-Start Performance Co.
   Building ‘B’ in the Blue Star Arts Complex
   Corner of South Alamo and Probant
   San Antonio, Texas

Tickets are $12 general admission and $9 for students and seniors. Groups of ten or more are $7 per person. On opening night, April 2, there will be a reception featuring Arabic food. Naomi Nye and Marian Haddad will read from their poetry at the opening. Tickets for opening night are $20.

For more information and reservations call 227-5867

Artist Statement:
The creation of this work was itself a remarkable journey – accomplished with long-distance calling cards and email. "I wanted to know the stories that aren’t being told, to talk directly to people, to hear their hopes and fears, and to create a dramatic work that would share a reality seldom seen by the American public with San Antonio audiences," says writer Dianne Monroe, who conducted the interviews.  "It was a profoundly humbling experience to talk with women who live the daily experience of occupation. They were so willing and eager to share their lives, to have their words heard in this country."

Otherwise Occupied takes San Antonio audiences inside the lives of women who are both ordinary and extraordinary at the same time. A young woman finds love at a checkpoint. A wedding is held at a checkpoint because the bride, who has a Nablus I.D., was not allowed to cross the checkpoint into Ramallah, where her husband lived. A woman whose family has lived in Jerusalem for 800 years cannot spend the night with her husband, because with his West Bank I.D. he is only allowed to be in Jerusalem between 10 am and 7 pm.

These true-life stories are told with the humor and hope that have become a tool of survival in a situation that often resembles a badly written Theater of the Absurd Play. They reflect the resilience, strength and courage of people for whom, as one woman interviewed said, "Leading an ordinary life is a form of resistance".

Report on results of the TCC-NE action

By the time I arrived on-campus in the Free Speech Zone (which students who I consulted for directions had no idea even existed), the hubub had already happened. Apparently, the opposition to the Young Conservatives of Texas' scheduled "illegal immigrant round-up" was so loud and in-your-face that the lone YCT guy who'd arrived to exercise his Free Speech rights soon pulled out, leaving only (as I was told) a small sign indicating that the scheduled action by his group had been "postponed."

As I wandered into the Free Speech Zone, I encountered a quiet scene: folks from the Mid-Cities Democrats; College Democrats chapter of TCC-NE; and OLAS (Organization of Latin American Students) were standing around, quietly conversing and sharing ideas. One OLAS student wore a hand-painted CHE (Guevara) canvas as a cape, which I thought was pretty cool-looking. I set up my jambox, turning it on and up to play some movimiento music for our activist listening enjoyment. I introduced myself to some of the OLAS students, who were looking a bit restless and ready to resume their regular school day. I told them about the Rock en Espanol show at the Rose Marine Theater in mid-April, trying to encourage them to meet Latino artists in a FW venue.

Richard Gonazales, local writer and columnist arrived. David Lozano and Cesar Hernandez, with the Cara Mia Theatre, also arrived, as did Yvonne Duque, from the Rose Marine Theater. It felt like a veritable pow-wow of Chicano cultural workers. David and Cesar performed their original comedy sketch--created specifically for this event at TCC--which was both funny and insightful.

A few students wandered by, but no real civic dialogue happened, which was a shame. I kind of wished that the YCT folks had stuck around so that we could have shared some information and conversation w/ them (or at least we could have tried to). In a sense, I felt like we were doing a preparatory rehearsal for future events where we will really have to be on our toes, challenging the negativity and ignorance.

By the end of our time together, all the progressive activists and Democrats had met one another, chatted a bit, exchanged contact info, and planned future meetings. It was a beautiful sunny day to be in solidarity together.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

It's March 30th--almost the end of Women's History Month

I'm still a woman and I'm still trying to change, or maybe make, history. How did YOU try to change history this month? Lemme know.

Contramanifestacion --- Tarrant County College NE

A T E N C I O N :

El grupo de Jóvenes Demócratas de la Universidad
TCC-NE Campus llevará a cabo una CONTRAMANIFESTACION
ante la manifestación de los Jóvenes Conservadores de
Texas y su "Cerco a los Inmigrantes Indocumentados",
que realizarán el miércoles 30 de marzo de 8am a 1pm
en la Zona de Libertad de Expresión (Free Speech Zone)
del campus.

Los Jóvenes Demócratas estarán actuando en
coordinación con OLAS (Organización de Estudiantes
Latinoamericanos de TCC), con los Demócratas Tejanos
de Fort Worth, el distrito 21 de LULAC, la Compañía
Teatral Cara Mía, los Demócratas de las Ciudades
Intermedias y la organización 1919 Hemphill.

Nuestra alianza tendrá como objetivo el de educar al
estudiantado acerca del tema de los inmigrantes
documentados en Estados Unidos, y constará de
información impresa, videos y oradores para que los
estudiantes puedan tomar una decisión informada en
este delicado asunto.

Estaremos también honrando a los inmigrantes
indocumentados quienes están actualmente en el
ejército de EU, y a todos aquellos quienes en su
intento de obtener la ciudadanía estadounidense; se
enlistaron en el ejército y terminaron dando su vida
en un último sacrificio, al participar en el ejército
de nuestro país.

Nuestra alianza condena las tácticas de los Jóvenes
Conservadores de Texas que plantean este importante
asunto en términos simplistas y bastante inhumanos

Por favor reúnete con nosotros en TCC-NE campus el
miércoles 30 de marzo en el área de libertad de

NOTA: Si puedes asistir por sólo un rato, lo ideal
para ello sería entre 10:30 am y 12 del mediodía.

Contactos (información)

TCC-NE Campus
828 Harwood Road,
Hurst, TX 76054
(817) 515-6100

TCC-NE Campus College Democrats
Presidente - Scott Williams

Mid-Cities Democrats
College Campus Organizer- Todd Hill

LULAC - District 21
District 21 Director- Alberto Govea
Home: 817-428-8239
Cell: 817-797-4015

Demócratas Tejanos
President- Jodi Perry

1919 Hemphill Organization

Teatro Cara Mia
Debido a que se hizo muy POCO para prepararse con
anticipación para contrarrestar este evento en Denton,
y debido a lo MUCHO que se hizo en Ausrin (ocasionando
que se los Jóvenes Conservadores se retractaran y
cancelaran su actividad), quiero asegurarme que este
grupo se dé cuenta que en verdad son una minoría
pequeña y en la dirección equivocada.

Por favor ayódanos a correr la palabra y a participar
en estos planes de "contraacción", para que podamos
tener bastantes compañeros de la comunidad ahí y
apoyar a los estudiantes en el campus a oponerse a las
tácticas de intimidación y odio.

[Thanks a million and a half to Gabriela Lom'onaco for her willingness to do this translation!]

Monday, March 28, 2005

Let's show our solidarity on Wednesday at TCC-NE campus

A counter-demonstration is scheduled for Wednesday, March 30th, on-campus at TCC-NE. This will be in response and opposition to the YCT’s (Young Conservatives of TX) “illegal alien round-up” action, similar to the one staged at UNT-Denton in January. Optimal time to be there on-campus tomorrow: 10:30am-12noon, in the Free Speech Zone.

I put together a little reading list of material one can find online that might better prepare us for Wednesday's action at TCC-NE. I also have compiled a list of possible slogans/statements/catch phrases folks might choose to use and/or put on signs.

Also---you might want to know that a member of the BOARD OF TRUSTEES of the TARRANT COUNTY COLLEGE system is Chicana Robyn Medina Winnett, who is also a poeta and teatrista. I know her and will be phoning her tomorrow morning (Tuesday) to hear what she has to say about the YCT's scheduled stunts and their tactics.

Because so little was prepared in advance to counter the Denton action and because SO much was done in Austin (causing the YCT to backpedal and cancel the action), I want to help be sure that the YCT group at TCC-NE realizes that they are indeed a small and misled minority. Tomorrow's event will certainly be an opportunity for education, outreach, and expressions of compassion in the face of misunderstanding and anger.

Please help spread the word and publicize these "counter" action plans, so we can have lots of community folks there to support the on-campus students opposing the YCT tactics of fear- and hate-mongering.

Statement from Linda Foley, area activist: "Underlying THEIR position is a complete disregard for the humanity of the people involved...otherwise they could not put on an action that is not very unlike a fox-hunt with dogs running down an animal."
"It also is bothersome because it encourages the dark element of human nature that can objectify human beings, which the Nazis were able to do with the Jews and make the "final solution" acceptable to the average German. It is not very many steps from there to AbuGhraib, so far as how far people are willing to go in the way they treat other human long as you can identify or label the other as an "enemy."
Something to think about.



The Hispanic Challenge Samuel Huntington article

Latino Remittances Swell Despite US Economic Slump (Feb. 2003 article)

Racist Myths about Mexican Americans
Northeast Students Debate Affirmative Action
Slogans and statements:









Sunday, March 27, 2005

Press release from the Young Democrats group at TCC-NE

TCC-NE College Democrats demonstration against YCT's "Immigrant Round-Up"

The Tarrant County College-NE Campus Young Democrats will be peacefully counter-demonstrating the Young Conservatives of Texas "Illegal Immigrant Round Up," set to take place from 8AM-1PM on Wednesday, March 30th, in the Free Speech Zone on campus.   

The Young Democrats will be teaming with OLAS (Organization of Latin America Students of TCC), the Tejano Democrats of Fort Worth, LULAC District 21, the Cara Mia theatre performers, the Mid-Cities Democrats, and the 1919 Hemphill organization. 

Our alliance will be educating the student body on the issue of undocumented immigration in the United States, complete with pamphlet information, videos, and speakers so that students can make an educated and informed decision on this sensitive subject.  We will also honor those undocumented immigrants who are currently serving, and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, in an attempt to gain citizenship into the United States by serving in our nation's military. 

Our alliance deplores the tactics of the Young Conservatives of Texas to take this important issue and place it in such inhumane and deliberately simplistic terms.

Please join us at TCC-NE campus on Wednesday, March 30th in the Free Speech Zone.

NOTE: If you can only join us for a short time, the optimal time would be between 10:30am-12noon. Thanks.

Contact and address information:

TCC-NE Campus
828 Harwood Road,
Hurst, TX 76054
(817) 515-6100

TCC-NE Campus College Democrats
President-Scott Williams

Mid-Cities Democrats
College Campus Organizer- Todd Hill

LULAC - District 21
District 21 Director- Alberto Govea
Home: 817-428-8239
Cell: 817-797-4015

Tejano Democrats
President- Jodi Perry

1919 Hemphill Organization

Cara Mia Theatre performers

Thursday, March 24, 2005

PANZA MONOLOGUES in Fort Worth this week!

The PANZA women, Vicki and Irma, performed their multimedia show last weekend in Dallas. THIS weekend they're in Fort Worth, at the Rose Marine Theater at 1440 N. Main - north of downtown.

The PANZA MONOLOGUES will take place on Friday, March 25th, and Saturday, March 26th. It is an original theater presentation co-created by San Antonio artistas Vicki Grise and Irma Mayorga. They employed the Ensler interview research strategy, compiling statements by women about their panzas, er, stomaches.

I heard the show is poignant, funny, feisty, and uplifting. It probably won't send you away with an urge for liposection. But it might make you want to pat your tummy approvingly or go out for satisfying soul food afterwards.

Films at 1919 Hemphill on Sunday, March 27th

Folks, the YCT (Young Conservatives of Texas) are apparently locally present, with a campus chapter at TCC-NE. I've been hearing that this group plans to do a public action in the FREE SPEECH ZONE on Thursday, March 31st. Fine, no problem. I'm into free speech and hearing other points of view. I'm also into contestation and rebuking exhortations that are mean-spirited, motivated by hate and fear, and unproductive for society. So, let's see, what should we do?

For one, we're going to screen a 30 minute video on Sunday, March 27th, at the 1919 Hemphill community space at 7pm. The video, NEW WORLD BORDER, focuses on the contributing factors that make "illegal immigration" from Mexico by Mexicans such an incendiary issue. Watching this video might help you make your own assessments of YCT-style stunts, such as the "ILLEGAL ALIEN HUNT" planned for next Thursday, the 31st.

After NEW WORLD BORDER, the film UNCONSTITUTIONAL will also screen. For those of you who like thought-provoking cinema, come join the folks at 1919 Hemphill on Sunday for screenings and discussion.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

"Breast Cancer - Focus on Healing through Movement & Dance"

From an in-house news sheet I picked up at the Sunflower Shoppe a few weeks ago:

Tuesday, March 22nd - “Breast Cancer - Focus on Healing through Movement and Dance.” Using the Lebed Method, this therapeutic exercise workshop is designed specifically for those who have undergone breast surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy. 7pm, at the Sunflower Shoppe, presented by Jennifer Delano, certified in breast cancer education. The Sunflower Shoppe is located just south of Camp Bowie Blvd. (about 1/4 of a block) at 5817 Curzon St. For more information, call 817-732-7729 locally or read about the Lebed Method online.

The Atlantic Breast Cancer Net website features a glowing report...

Friday, March 18, 2005

Once more, with feeling: NO MORE WAR!


a COMMEMORATION of the 2-year anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Performances of music and poetry, and statements by local activists/luminaries will be offered from 12noon-6pm at the Trinity Park Shelterhouse (remember where Shakespeare-in-the-Park used to happen?). Just off W. 7th St., just west of the Trinity River. Free and open to all.

Sponsored by Peace Action Tarrant County, 1919 Hemphill, CODEPINK FW, North Texas for Peace & Justice, and Tarrant County Greens.

FMI: or

U.S. + Iraqis = 2 YEARS 2 LONG

March 2003:
I happened to be in San Francisco during the pivotal weeks when America (and the world) were making a feverish no-holds-barred demand for peace, that is, NO WAR in Iraq. I was doing an artist residency there, and the tenor and timbre was definitely anti-war. Felipe and Liz, who were sharing an artist house with me, would make coffee and turn on the television. Artists don't sit around watching tv, but artists that month were tuning in daily to hear what the Bush administration was conjuring. "Have we done it yet, are we going in today?" were the somber questions we asked, and which colored our day and our work. We drove downtown on Saturday the 14th to join thousands of others rallying and marching for peace; I wore my zip-up "spacesuit" with "WOMD"--"words of mass dissent" that day and it was a good windbreaker for that chilly morning.

Five days later, March 19th, 2003, I had plans to meet a friend at Mel's Diner for breakfast and visit the Asian Art Museum on its grand re-opening day. The big news on tv was certainly BIG news: the U.S. had invaded Iraq, Bush was in and we were in there with him--whether we liked it or not. The big question locally was: should the Asian Art Museum cancel its re-opening, as it was located directly across the street from the Municipal Building and a Federal Building--sites where protesters were sure to gather.

I ended up spending the whole day in San Francisco, joining anti-war street blockages and chants, dancing in intersections to the music of Spearhead, watching dozens of bicyclists clog up the streets as a show of resistance against status quo denial of the impending gloom (for the U.S. as well as Iraq). Numerous police helicopters hovered over us, all day, and all night. Highway patrol squad cars were stationed at both ends of the Golden Gate Bridge, and at on-ramps to highways. I saw a chopper noisily track the movement of one protest march in The Mission District comprised of fewer than fifty people. I sat cross-legged on the floor of the Asian Art Museum, hearing live Mongolian throat singing for the first time in my life, as I imagined what it might be like to be nomadic in Mongolia--in a country without weapons of destruction and the will to internationalize war. It was certainly a day of paradox, a day of confused possibilities.

And now, two years later, who is more free and who is less terrorized now that battalions of men and women have been separated from their families, some permanently? Now that Baghdad is an open wound, laden with shrapnel of countless varieties? Mainstream media tries to minimize the impact of the war on me, by launching yet more reality shows which pitch human against human, normalizing competition, distrust, betrayal, and greed. As the leader goes, so does the follower.


Saturday, March 19th - 2 YEARS 2 LONG

a COMMEMORATION of the 2-year anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Performances of music and poetry, and statements by local activists/luminaries will be offered from 12noon-6pm at the Trinity Park Shelterhouse (remember where Shakespeare-in-the-Park used to happen?). Just off W. 7th St., just west of the Trinity River. Free and open to all.


Thursday, March 17, 2005

FLORICANTO: Flower and Song poetry event on Saturday

In conjunction with the "Forgotten Flower" art exhibit of recent works by Ruth Gonzalez, Magda Bowen, and Ivonne Acero, a FLORICANTO will take place this coming SATURDAY, MARCH 19th, at the Oak Cliff Ice House Cultural Center in Dallas at 7pm.

Featured performers for this event, which is titled EL IRIS PUEDE VER, TAMBIEN QUIERO SABER, include Violet Ramirez, Machete, Angelique Benavidez, and Tammy Gomez. We will be performing original poetry and teatro in the gallery. This event is free and open to the public.

Oak Cliff Ice House is located at 1004 W. Page St. (just a few blocks south of Jefferson St.) For more information: 214-670-7524.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Chicana artists on the Glenn Mitchell Show (KERA 90.1 FM) Thursday @ 12noon

Chicana/Latina artists will be on the local radio airwaves tomorrow, March 17th! Tune in at 12 noon, KERA (90.1 FM), to the Glenn Mitchell Show, on Thursday. The following is the blurb I pulled from the KERA website:

"We'll preview "THE PANZA MONOLOGUES" with Virginia Grise & Irma Mayorga. Conceived from kitchen table conversations and gossip and compiled from interviews of Latinas of all ages, places, and spaces, the one-woman show pays homage to the source of many women's self consciousness - the panza! The show will play at The Latino Cultural Center in Dallas this weekend and at Fort Worth's Rose Marine Theater next weekend."

And that's not it, folks. After the host interviews the PANZA MONOLOGUES women, he'll go on to have a conversation with Latina visual artists MAGDA BOWEN, RUTH GONZALES, and IVONNE ACERO, whose work is currently on exhibit at THE ICE HOUSE CULTURAL CENTER in Oak Cliff. The exhibit, "Forgotten Flower" is presented as a celebration of Women's History Month. The mixed-media artworks reflect the roles of women in life and heritage; address issues of equality, justice and marginalization; and depict social problems like domestic abuse. Co-sponsored by Arte Oak Cliff, the exhibit will run through March 26th.

Wow, that's pretty cool, eh? Show your appreciation and attention by calling in during the show tomorrow. Pose a question to the women or make a supporting comment. This is a rare moment for public radio in North Texas. Chicanas in the house!

Call in at 214-871-9010 or 800-933-5372, or email your comment/question to:

PANZA MONOLOGUES in North Texas _ Dallas this week!

[fyi - "panza" is the informal Spanish word for "stomach."]

Guest artists VIRGINIA GRISE & IRMA MAYORGA from San Antonio will be in DALLAS (this weekend) and FORT WORTH (next weekend) with their original theatrical performance:


"Conceived from conversations and chisme with girlfriends and compiled from interviews and replies gathered from Latinas of all ages, places, and spaces, this one-woman tour de force yields un regalo y homanje to the PANZA as told through the words of women speaking with heart-stopping frankness.  The stories create a quilt of poignancy, humor, and revelation.  Performed in monologue format and riffing on Eve Ensler's play "The Vagina Monologues", The Panza Monologues boldly places these stories of the panza front and center as symbols that reveal the lurking truths about women's thoughts, lives, loves, abuses, and lived conditions."

FRIDAY AND SATURDAY, MARCH 18th and 19th - 8:15pm
2600 LIVE OAK STREET - just east of downtown Dallas

Tickets: $15 general admission, $10 students and seniors, group discounts available. For ticket & other information, please contact 214-946-9499

VIRGINIA GRISE, a native of San Antonio, is a 27 year old, Chicana cultural worker - writer, performer, and teacher.  IRMA MAYORGA, a native of San Antonio, is an artist/scholar/activista in theater.  Irma holds an M.F.A. in Design from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has worked as a designer in professional theaters across the country. 

The Panza Monologues was written, compiled and collected by Virginia Grise and Irma Mayorga and is presented in Dallas/Fort Worth by Cara MíaTheatre Company. For more information:

"Underground Poetry Circus - Women Empowering Women" - tomorrow, March 17th!

I got the following tip from poet GNO, who helped conjure this celebration going down tomorrow!

National Women’s Month at the University of Texas at Dallas
presents "The Underground Poetry Circus: WOMEN EMPOWERING WOMEN"

UTD's Student Union PUB, 800 West Campbell Road in Richardson
10pm  FREE

In celebration of National Women’s Month, the University of Texas at Dallas presents the “Underground Poetry Circus – Women Empowering Women”. The Underground Poetry Circus has always been an event filled with passion and excitement, a place for entertainment, fun, and culture -- and this month's experience will be no different except for the added bonus of women -- doing it for themselves.

The Underground Poetry Circus, this month, will feature the soul-moving poetry of Denver-based poet ANDREA GIBSON, the six string punk-rock musing of the all-girl trio SUNSET GREY, the turntable sorceress DJ PRINCESS CUT, and will be hosted by the world-renowned playwright/novelist CAMIKA "EMOTION BROWN" SPENCER and special surprise guest ROCKETTE BABE.

There will be an open-mic open to all but it is requested that each open-mic performance be empowering to women. And as always there will be free food, free soft drinks, half-free Starbucks coffees, FREE ADMISSION, and door prizes.

UPC - Women Empowering Women is an endeavor to encourage women to see and bring forth the beauty and strength within themselves. To inspire them to be the best they can be. To let their Spirit, their Goddess Selves, shine through.

All food serving and hospitality duties will be the responsibility of the MEN this night, so ladies come ready to be pampered and honored, just look for any male wearing a “we live to serve you” apron and he will do his best to accommodate you.

The Underground Poetry Circus – Women Empowering Women event
March 17, 2005 (St. Patrick’s Day) at 10:00 PM
at the University of Texas at Dallas in the PUB.
Located at 800 West Campbell Road in Richardson, TX.

The Underground Poetry Circus – Women Empowering Women

Info line: 972-883-6438

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Creative Capital phase 1 deadline: tomorrow!

Get ready, get set, go! You have about 24 hours left to log onto the CREATIVE CAPITAL website to submit the Inquiry Form (basically, a letter of intent to apply, with a description of your proposed project--it has to fall into one of the categories being funded this cycle) and your bio-resume, etc.

This very cool funding agency, based in NY, has supported the work of very adventuresome and experimental work, including the art of some folks I know (Daniel Alexander Jones of Austin, Cristina Ibarra of El Paso, and Liz Cohen of San Francisco). Creative Capital actively assists funded artists throughout the production/distribution/exhibition process of their projects. They are very hands-on.

Even if you choose not to apply for a grant or if you don't happen to get funded (I tried a coupla years ago, and made it to the finalist phase...), there are still some resources you might find useful. Check the website under Toolkit/Toolbox or something like that.

The Guidelines and Inquiry Form for interested applicants are on the website. Keep in mind: Inquiry Forms must be submitted by March 14, 2005.

Liz Cohen, who was just selected for funding, was at the Headlands Center for the Arts when I was doing a month-long residency there in March 2003. She mentioned that she was a little overwhelmed by a new project involving a German car, a car she said that "wants to become an El Camino." It was in storage in Oakland, and she was negotiating a deal with an auto body specialist. I was so impressed by her apparent commitment to learn how to do auto body work and to basically give the German car a "makeover" in the likeness of a classic American car.

Just a few weeks ago I read that Liz wants to be the first bikini-clad woman, on the cover of a "lowrider" magazine, who owns a show car which she has remodeled herself.

Liz Cohen has exhibited her photographs and video works in San Francisco and Berlin, Germany. Her latest project, BODYWORK, was featured in the July 2003 issue of Wired Magazine, where she has been dubbed an “industrial artist.” She holds a MFA from the California College of Arts and a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Introducing: Herbal Safety website

UTEP (University of Texas at El Paso) has given us an electronic compendium of herbal info in a format that our abuelitas might never have imagined. Researchers with the UTEP/UT Austin Cooperative Pharmacy Program are offering a great new resource for patients, healthcare providers, and those who like to use medicinal herbs. It's the Herbal Safety website. The research is coordinated by Armando González-Stuart and is said to be unique because it's "one of few non-commercial sources of information about medicinal herbs presented in English and Spanish" on the web. The pharmacy program's Herbal Safety Initiative is funded by the Paso del Norte Health Foundation. Recent studies by the UTEP researchers have found that herbal product use on the (Texas-Mexican) border is much higher than national rates. About 70 percent of patients interviewed used some kind of herbal product. Only about a third of the patients said they told their doctors about their use of herbal remedies.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Three places at once? Impossible!

I am typing this up late in the evening. Why? Because I couldn't bear to spend the better hours of beautiful daylight indoors today. So I raked, trimmed hedges, rosebushes, lit my firepit, burned some branches, and cooked some food right in the hot coals. Excellent meal! I am feeling really good NEW MOON energy today, and cannot forget to plant those tiny little (could be mistaken for mustard seeds) flower seeds that Kat gave me a few moons ago. Tomorrow, I plant those seeds. I promise.
(The promise is to the seeds.)

As soon as I finish this entry, I'm hopping over to a gathering of mujeres at the home of Patricia Urbina, an amazing dancer, performer of teatro, and educator. She'll be screening an apparently hard-to-find film about Frida Kahlo, and then we'll do a little little salon with poesia and musica. I opted to do this, since I haven't seen Patricia in a while, and I need to catch up with my local Chicana/Latina sistren.

Where else could I be tonight, if I could time-travel and do Friday 8-11pm three different times? I'd be with Lori at the Firehouse Gallery doing the Friday Night Ladies' Night art thang-hangout! Or I would be in Dallas at the artist Solange's salon; apparently, it's a pretty cool occasional event.

Wow, I just got a phone call from Doug Zachary, who I knew when I lived in Austin. He was with APJC (Austin Peace & Justice Coalition), but now works in Oakland with a national group of 500 anti-war veterans who plan to be in Dallas later this year for a big convention. Cool. Austin was such a crossroads for so many righteous folks and I am happy that we occasionally have reason to re-encounter one another. And now that Doug wants me to perform at the national gathering of this group in Dallas, I will certainly try to involve my new allies and friends of Fort Worth and Dallas.

Okay, I'm off to see the Kahlo film and work on my conversational Spanish.

Enjoy the new moon, wherever you go.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

"What the Body Wants" Interplay workshop

Saturday, March 12th - “What the Body Wants”, an Interplay workshop facilitated by Sheila K. Collins, from 1-4pm, at the Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth Studio (Orchestra Hall, 4401 Trail Lake Dr.). The $45 fee includes a copy of the Interplay cd and book by founder Cynthia Winton-Henry. Read more about Interplay in Texas if you want more info before you take the workshop.

For those of you who performed in "Vagina Monologues" this year, you'll remember our MOANING QUEEN, Rebecca Estes.
Rebecca is a longtime practitioner and proponent of Interplay and its techniques.

Have fun at the workshop and tell me about it if you go (post comments below).

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Women's Art Exhibit at the Public Library

I zoomed through the Women's Art Exhibit on Sunday. That is, I didn't get to spend as much time as I wanted (had a Vagina Monologues cast party to attend), but I honed in on the art works by Lori Carlson, Kathy O'Brien, and Junanne Peck. I'll definitely be heading back for a more prolonged and leisurely tour of the entire exhibit within the next coupla weeks, and I encourage you to do the same.

This year's show seems much stronger than the previous Women's History Month art exhibit at the public library, and I would guess that has to do with the support women artists are getting from one another and from the library. There was one incredibly provocative piece, a tryptych created with inter-connected cardboard (!) panels, that addresses the dismaying policy change towards deprioritization and defunding of arts education in the public schools. This piece is quite political, very "outsider art", yet it is rendered with sensitivity and a sense of hope. (Sorry, but I cannot remember the artist's name.)

I also spent a little time distributing hard copies of the XX COMMUNICATOR (March event/activity calendar). One woman rushed up to me later--after scanning my handout and feeling a connection btwn. our efforts--and introduced herself as the director of Resurrection Art, which is a project that encourages and showcases art made from recycled/trash materials. Resurrection Art is affiliated with the Dallas Peace Center, and maintains a pretty cool website with links to Metroplex artists doing recycled art (such as Romance Fire Starters, made with pages from romance novels!) Julia Schloss is the Resurrection Art coordinator and director, and wants to meet all of us who like to make creative things with cast-out materials. Check out RESURRECTION ART for more info.

Julia also mentioned that she is going to be looking for participant-artists for an event which will focus on child trafficking. The Dallas Peace Center is going to be hosting this, so stay tuned for more details as they become available.

Oh, while you're at the library, check out the Women's History Month book display. I did, and immediately grabbed their copy of Helena Maria Viramontes' "The Moths and other Stories." I highly recommend "Krik Krak" by Edwidge Danticat and poetry by Joy Harjo. I could go on, but I shan't. Discover your own new literary sheroes.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Women's History Month & International Women's Day events

So much is coming up, during this, Women’s History Month of March 2005.

First off, thanks for all the wonderful women (and men) who helped create a wonderful V-Day/Vagina Monologues experience in Fort Worth last month. I met and worked alongside some very dedicated and extremely talented women, and I am hoping that many of us will continue to support one another in our future activist and acting endeavors.

I don’t know how many of you noticed, but three (count ‘em--three!) different stage presentations of plays specifically about women’s issues and self-determination vis a vis body/health integrity were produced in the Metroplex within a three-week period. The plays? “Vagina Monologues”, “un becoming”, and “Wit”.
(“un becoming” focused on the medically-unnecessary hysterectomies that doctors often pressure women to undergo while “Wit” was about one woman’s battle with ovarian cancer.)

It seems that, these days, I hardly have a chance to turn about twice before I hear about yet another woman-advocating project or event. Amazing.

Here’s more to know about. Please help spread the word!

SUNDAY, MARCH 6th - “Her Story”, women’s art exhibition & reception, at
Fort Worth Downtown Central Library,   500 W. 3rd St., from 4pm-6pm.

Over a dozen local artists contributed work, including Lori Thomson, Tomeca Richardson, Junanne Peck, Evita Tezeno, Jo Dufo, Kathy O'Brien, Ericha Ahlschier, and Amalia El Masri--w/ silent auction/music/refreshments.

SUNDAY, MARCH 6th - “Their Eyes Were Watching God”, a made-for-tv-by-Oprah adaptation of the classic novel by Zora Neale Hurston. (I’m trying to finish the book before Sunday--only 150 pages to go!). Highly recommended. Ch. 8 @ 8pm.

Make sure you treat yourself well and help proclaim our history loudly, proudly.

Celebrate IWD 2005 at Black Dog Tavern (903 Throckmorton, downtown FW)
Open Mic Poetry Night hosted by Tammy Gomez. Sign-up @ 8pm. We’ll be there ‘til at least 10pm. Bring a poem/rant/cheer/story to share. Give a damn, m’am!

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 9th - “Celestial Body” with DUNYA in Austin, at the
Sri Atmananada Memorial School (4100 Red River), from 6-9pm.

fluid yoga
spiritual bellydance
sufi healing

Fee: $30 by 3/8: $40 after; you can register online too:
FMI: 512-293-3753 or
I took a workshop w/ Dunya, and she is amazing. This type of dance is very high-chakra oriented, and is more spiritually elegant than conventional “bellydancing.” Dunya is phenomenal!
Dunya Dianne McPherson
Director, Dervish Society of America,
a non-profit organization dedicated to dance and embodied practice for personal, spiritual evolution.