Eclectic Offerings, Episode 1: Matt Vibes (Brown Soul)


Tia Chucha’s in the past couple years has been an essential part of my growth In various aspects of my life. Spiritually & Consciously have been the biggest parts of my life where it’s helped me grow. Tia Chucha’s provides an environment to artist, poets, musicians, confused youth & misunderstood souls like open arms from a mother to a child in need of her care. It makes you feel home away from home & if you never felt home anywhere, I truly believe it sparks an idea in your mind, heart & soul of what warmth a real home should have. I’d like to think I had always been somewhat of a conscious person even in my youth, but perhaps too scared to share my consciousness w/ others In fear that they would not want to hear me out, or that they simply would not understand. I never had been mentored into thinking the way I was thinking so I had no Idea how to go about developing my thought. Tia Chucha’s and all of the wonderful community that unites there helped me get rid of that fear & give birth to strength through self realization, self appreciation & self love. I begun to see that there was many misunderstood, in fear of, nervous souls, just like me there as well but, they were using that fear as a drive & eventually ridding themselves of that fear entirely and transforming it into song, poetry, stories, film, various forms of inspiration for others to feed their conscious minds & loving souls, Allowing themselves to become a tool to move someone else’s heart, letting them know through their creativity “it’s ok, Be you, there is nothing wrong w/ that. In fact, that is a beautiful thing to be.” Tia Chucha’s for me signifies movement, Love, unity & staying strong through the toughest of times because within you there has always been present a strength you had, but may have not been able to understand yourself enough to acknowledge it’s presence. It is a Vision. It is a Dream come Reality. It is a Community giving birth to Opportunity. It’s Tia Chucha’s & I’m glad it’s been a part of my growth. -M.E (Matt Vibes/Brown Soul)

Hearts & Hands, Second Edition, Book Release with Luis J. Rodriguez

We invite everyone to join us in celebrating the Book Release of Hearts & Hands: Creating Community in Violent Times, Second Edition, by Luis J. Rodriguez this upcoming Saturday, July 26, 2014 from 5pm to 8pm. Live Art by Rah Azul and Silent Art Auction Fundraiser during reception beginning at 5pm followed by Author Reading and Signing at 6pm. The event is free to the public.

Hearts and HandsThe event will begin with a Reception that will include Live Art by Rah Azul, a self-taught Painter, Muralist and poet based in the San Fernando Valley. Rah Azul’s work is featured on the cover of the new Hearts and Hands book. There will be limited prints available of the Book Cover Artwork for sale. The Silent Art Auction will feature a special edition Art piece by this featured artist.

“Hearts and Hands is a book that belongs in the hands of any person or organization wanting to understand and work with youth and community in a respectful, meaningful way.”-Trini Rodriguez, Co-Founder of Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural & Bookstore

Hearts and Hands is available for order from Tia Chucha’s. Revenue from your purchases help Tia Chucha’s Cultural Center and Bookstore continue the holistic healing of our community through cultural arts and literacy.

“Rodríguez is a relentless truth-teller, an authentic visionary, a man of profound compassion…[In Hearts and Hands] he acknowledges the lessons we can learn from the social sciences, he scrutinizes what succeeds and what fails in the realm of public policy, but he never allows us to forget that the rescue of young people is also ‘a spiritual quest.’”–Jonathan Kirsch, Los Angeles Times Book Review

For more info check out the Facebook event page:

Download the flyer and share: 2014HeartsAndHands

9th Annual Celebrating Words Festival

CWF2014sqJoin us this Saturday, from 1pm-7pm at Ritchie Valens Park in Pacoima for the 9th Annual Celebrating Words Festival!

This year, in honor of the 25th Anniversary of Tía Chucha Press, the Celebrating Words Festival Planning Committee will be featuring poetry, or better yet, flor y canto at the Annual Celebrating Words Festival.

Flor y canto originates from the Nahuatl phrase In Cuicatl In Xochitl. Cozkacuauhtli Huitzilcenteotl, “Huitzi”, the Mexihcayotl Facilitator at Tía Chucha’s, shares some history behind the Nahuatl phrase:

“In Cuicatl In Xochitl, is a Nahuatl difrasismo, literally meaning Flower-Songs, which was used by the ancient Nahuatl peoples to describe the concept of the ‘arts’ (i.e., song, poetry, music, dance, etc.).  While most pre-Hispanic educational institutions were organized and taught according to gender, the cuicacalli (‘house of song’)–where the arts were developed, involved participants of all genders. Therefore, it’s historically apparent, that In Cuicatl In Xochitl describes the ‘creativity’ and ‘expression’ that all persons possess and need to develop in order to be complete beings–regardless of age and gender.”

Flor y canto is a concept that Tía Chucha’s practices on a daily basis by providing a safe place for our community members to express themselves and tap into their imagination to create positive change. We’re thrilled to be able to showcase our efforts and programming to the community of Pacoima.

Uniting Through Flor y Canto, this year’s festival theme, will be represented by live musical performances, spoken word and poetry, and on-site painting.

PoetsOur featured poets are acting San Francisco Poet Laureate Alejandro Murguía and Mayda del Valle, cast member of the Tony Award-winning Def Poetry Jam on Broadway. Also featured on the main stage will be Antonieta Villamil, Luivette Resto, Catalina Maravilla, Alejandro Molina, Dan Hernandez, and Jessieca Cervantes.

Our Poetry Booth will feature intimate readings and workshops by Jesse Bliss, Dez Hope, Kenji Liu, Daniel Olivas, Yumi Sakugawa, Nicky Sa-eun Schildkraut, Vickie Vertiz, and In the Words of Womyn. Poesía para la gente will be on-site penning poems on demand, and Writ Large Press will be running a PUBLISH! booth where you can experiment with publishing.

San Fernando Valley artist and muralist Rah Azul will facilitate an interactive mural activity while Kristy Sandoval and other local artists will create live art on-site. Other festival attractions include Mercado Pochtecayotl, offering hand-crafted items, food and refreshments from Pollo Pelón, informational booths presented by various community resources, and a Children’s Corner featuring face painting, a Son Jarocho lesson, and arts & crafts activities for our younger guests.


Read the San Fernando Sun’s article, This Weekend at Ritchie Valens Park Will Rock At Celebrating Words Festival, to learn more about our Edutainment lineup.

For more information about the festival, please visit our website and Facebook page.

See you all Saturday!

The origins of Mother’s Day

"Amor a Todas Horas" by Simon Silva

“Amor a Todas Horas” by Simon Silva

Are you aware of the radical origins of the first US Mother’s Day? I wasn’t. Well, according to “Urgent Message from Mother: Gather the Women, Save the World”, this is the real deal behind Mother’s Day:

“The original Mother’s Day Proclamation written by Julia Ward Howe in 1870, was not a commercial idea created to sell cards, flowers, or candy. It was a proposal to bring women of all nationalities together to bring peace to humanity. Howe had seen the horrors, devastation, and the aftermath of the American Civil War… This first Mother’s Day Proclamation was a call to gather the women. It was directed to women to add their voice to “the voice of the devastated Earth” and called for women to take counsel with each other to find the means to bring peace to the world.”
As Matthew Arnold predicted in the nineteenth century,
“If ever there comes a time when the women of the world come together purely and simply for the benefit of humankind, it will be a force such as the world has never seen.”
That would be a beautiful sight.
Happy Mother’s Day.

Millionth Circle

The book “The Millionth Circle: How to Change Ourselves and the World–An Essential Guide to Women’s Circles” was the seed for the creation of an organization whose intention for change included involvement at the level of the United Nations. I quote from their shared vision statement below:

“Circles encourage connection and cooperation among their members and inspire compassionate solutions to individual, community and world problems. We believe that circles support each member to find her or his own voice and to live more courageously. We intend to see and nurture circles, wherever possible, in order to cultivate equality, sustainable livelihoods, preservation of the Earth and peace for all. We intend to bring the circle process into United Nations accredited nongovernmental organizations and the 5th UN World Conference on Women, and to connect circles so they may know themselves as a part of a larger movement to shift consciousness in the world.”

Circles recapture the connections we have always had but often find ourselves cut off from.

Join a circle. Create a circle. Reconnect to others in strength.

Happy Mother’s Day.

Stand Up Women

Trini Rodriguez Tia Chucha's Co-founder & Operations Director

Trini Rodriguez
Tia Chucha’s Co-founder & Operations Director

Circles of powerful women are re-emerging everywhere, and that’s good news for everyone. For when women stand up in honor of their dreams and the sacrifices of their mothers, we have a fighting chance to make meaningful change.

For example, below is a quote from a Mother-inspired grassroots organization Standing Women, who encourage women to stand together on Mother’s Day and affirm:

“We are standing for the world’s children and grandchildren and for the seven generations beyond them.

We dream of a world where all our children have safe drinking water, clean air to beathe, and enough food to eat.
A world where they have access to basic education to develop their minds and healthcare to nurture their growing bodies.
A world where they have a warm, safe, and loving place to call home.
A world where they don’t live in fear of violence–in their home, in their neighborhood, in their school, or in their world.
This is the world of which we dream.
This is the cause for which we stand.
This is Mother’s agenda.”
Stand up women, wherever you are.
Happy Mother’s Day.

Urgent Message from Mother

Very few people can turn away from matters that have to do with their mothers. So when I recently spotted a book with the title “Urgent Message from Mother: Gather the Women, Save the World” I figured it was a worthy read.

So, in honor of our mothers as we approach Mothers Day, I share the following words from the book’s author Jean Shinoda Bolen, MD:

“I find those who are reading a Message from Mother are motivated by love for whatever it is that needs to be nourished, protected, or saved.  It’s advocacy, caretaking, or outrage at indifference or abuse of power. These people are putting their efforts into saving the life and well-being of a particular vulnerable living thing or thing of beauty or into saving the world.”

It’s wonderful to know that many people who love Tia Chucha’s are these kind of people and that Tia Chucha’s is itself a beautiful thing worth nourishing and saving.

Let’s support eachother’s efforts for beauty in our communities.

Happy Mother’s Day.


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