MECA Performing Arts Presents: “Women’s Stories From The Margins” on Thursday, April 7, 2016

Arts & Entertainment, Books

Apr. 07, 2016
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

MECA (Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts)
1900 Kane Street
Houston, TX 77007

WHAT: MECA Performing Arts Presents: “Women’s Stories From The Margins”

WHEN: Thursday, April 7, 2016 at 6 pm to 8 pm

WHERE: Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts (MECA)
1900 Kane St.
Houston, Texas 77007


MECA will be presenting a reading of the works of three nationally recognized women writers of color: Sarah Rafael Garcia, Jasminne Mendez, and Isabel Quintero. The authors are widely known for their feminist works and community engaged style, often writing about the subject of marginalized communities, especially women of color. Their literary range covers the genres of poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, spoken word, thus readings of their work are always unique and illuminating. The reading will take place at the MECA Dow School Library, also known as the MECA/Librotraficante Underground Library.

Before the reading, the three writers will deliver a creative writing workshop to local youth in MECA Dow School Library. The reading will be followed by a book sale and signing. Spoken word artist, Edyka Chilome, will host the reading.

The event is supported in part by Poets & Writers.

Sarah Rafael García is a writer, community educator, and traveler. Since publishing Las Niñas, she founded Barrio Writers, and obtained a M.F.A. in Creative Writing. She writes poetry, creative non-fiction, and fiction. Most recently, Sarah was awarded a residency for her next project, Santana’s Fairy Tales; the residency is supported in part by a grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts towards the Artist-in-Residence initiative at Grand Central Art Center in Southern California. Sarah Rafael is currently the Editor for the annual Barrio Writers anthology and Co-editor of the forthcoming Pariahs: Writing From Outside the Margins anthology. Her writing has appeared in LATINO Magazine, Contrapuntos III, Outrage: A Protest Anthology For Injustice in a Post 9/11 World, La Tolteca Zine and will be featured in Issue 03 of Lumen Magazine.

Jasminne Mendez is a performance poet, actress, teacher and published writer. Mendez has performed her poetry in venues all around Houston, including the MFAH, Rice University, and the Alley Theatre. She has shared the stage with respected writers and poets, notably, Sandra Cisneros and Taylor Mali. Mendez has been published both nationally and internationally, and her first multi-genre memoir, Island of Dreams, was published by Floricanto Press in November of 2013. She is currently working on her second memoir, Thick Skinned, about living life with chronic illness.

Isabel Quintero is the daughter of Mexican immigrants and was born, raised, and resides in the Inland Empire of Southern California. Isabel also sits on the Board for a non-profit literary arts organization, PoetrIE. Her first novel, Gabi, A Girl in Pieces, from Cinco Puntos Press, is the recipient of the 2015 William C. Morris Award for Debut YA Novel, the 2015 Tomas Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award, the California Book Award Gold Medal for Young Adult, and the 2015 Paterson Prize for Books for Young People (Grades 7-12). In addition to writing fiction, she also writes poetry and her work can be found in Huizache, As/Us Journal, The Acentos Review, The Pacific Review, and other publications.

Edyka Chilomé, born Erica Granados – De La Rosa, is a queer woman of color writer, artist, social justice educator, and spiritual activist. She is the daughter of Salvadorian and Mexican spiritual, intellectual, and community leaders. Her many years of experience passionately walking and building with women, young people, and communities of color in the U.S. and Latin America have deeply informed her fusion of art, scholarship, and what she defines as her spiritual {art}ivism. Edyka holds a B.A. in social and political philosophy from Loyola University Chicago and an M.A. in Multicultural Women’s Studies from Texas Women’s University. She has published numerous articles, essays, and poems including a collection of poetry that explores queer mestizaje in the diaspora entitled She Speaks | Poetry, praised by the founder of Democracy Now en Español as “…a must read for those yearning to discover new ways to open up to deep personal and global transformation.” She has been invited to share her spoken word poetry and speak on social justice issues around the country including The Dallas Museum of Art, The Prindle Institute for Ethics, Boston University School of Theology, The Black Academy of Arts and Letters, The General Commission on the Status and Role of Women of The United Methodist Church, The Texas Democratic Convention, TEDx, and National Public Radio. Edyka currently serves on the steering committee for Human Rights Dallas and is an instructor for Free Minds Dallas at El Centro College, host of the presidential award winning initiative The National Clemente Course for the Humanities.

MECA is a community-based, nonprofit organization committed to the healthy development of underserved youth and adults through arts and cultural programming, academic excellence, support and community building. For more information about MECA, please visit

A Latino-based multicultural arts organization, MECA has been a leader in providing culturally based arts education for youth for almost 40 years from its home in the Old Sixth Ward Historic District of Houston. MECA also offers live performances and visual art exhibitions by local, national, and international artists through the series, MECA Performing Arts.

MECA Performing Arts is a platform that convenes community through the arts and encourages dialogue about issues ranging from social justice and equity to diversity and community transformation. From incubating works in progress to presenting local and touring artists, MECA seeks to work with innovative and socially engaged artists whose work expands the boundaries of tradition and practice. MECA is especially interested in projects that bring to light the experiences of life on the margins of societies, economies, and cultures.

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Tags: Authors, MECA, Poetry

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