FESTIBA at UTRGV

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Festival of International Books and Arts week starts Saturday, Feb. 22

Texas Border Business

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – UTRGV’s annual Festival of International Books & Arts, an educational and entertaining event that promotes literacy and appreciation of reading for all ages, will run from Feb. 22 through March 3 this year.

The theme is “Building a Better World Through Arts and Literacy.”

FESTIBA 2020 is focused on promoting and inspiring education for sustainable development – the idea that we must teach in a way that empowers students to provide tomorrow’s generations with the same opportunities and quality of life that we enjoy today.

HIGHLIGHTS OF FESTIBA 2020

Saturday, Feb. 22

SOUTH TEXAS LITERACY SYMPOSIUM at FESTIBA LIBRARIANS AND EDUCATORS DAY

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Hosted by UTRGV, Librarians and Educators Day will collaborate with the South Texas Literacy Symposium, Literacy Texas, and the South Texas Literacy Coalition to explore the effectiveness of implementing teaching approaches that empower individuals to be catalysts for our rapidly growing region’s sustainable development, providing individuals, adult education students and literacy service volunteers with the education and opportunity to contribute to their community’s literacy, health, and access to the creative arts in a way that will leave a lasting impact.

Location: Edinburg Campus / Ballroom

Time: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 24

SUSTAINABLE FOOD DAY

Begin the day at the Farmer’s Market, where there will be a selection of fresh and organic vegetables, fruit and herbs for sale by local farmers, and displays by local artists, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Edinburg Campus / Student Union, eastside lawn. Speakers will cover in-depth topics ranging from sustainable farming methods to sustainable lifestyle choices. The keynote speaker, UTRGV’s Dr. Alexis Racelis, will discuss the many moving parts of the conventional food system and its consequences, as well as what the public can do to reverse ecological damage. 

THE CASE FOR A PLANT-BASED DIET

Presenter: Angelita Garcia, owner of Angie’s Apothecary

Location: Edinburg Campus / Student Union Theater

Time: 3 – 3:50 p.m.

SUSTAINABLE FARM TECHNOLOGY – PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE

Presenter: Thomas Padilla, owner of The Hour Farm

Location: Edinburg Campus / Student Union Theater

Time: 4 – 4:50 p.m.

THE TRUTH ABOUT THE CONVENTIONAL FOOD SYSTEM BY ALEXIS RACELIS

Presenter: Dr. Alexis Racelis, director, UTRGV’s Agroecology Program

Location: Edinburg Campus / Student Union Theater

Time: 5 p.m.

GEAR UP DAYS AT UTRGV – FEB. 26, 27, MARCH 3

Feb. 26, 27 (Edinburg), March 3 (Brownsville)

More than 1,500 students from the UTRGV and Region One GEAR UP programs will attend presentations by renowned artists, authors and scholars. 

Locations: Brownsville Campus / TSC Performing Arts Center

                 Edinburg Campus / Performing Arts Complex

Time: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 25

CROATIAN PIANIST, JAVOR BRAČIĆ

Javor Bračić was born in Zagreb, Croatia (former Yugoslavia) in 1985. A graduate of the Mozarteum University in Salzburg, he has won a number of significant awards in Croatia, Italy and Belgium. He has performed recitals in Croatia, Norway, Hungary, France, Germany and Russia. His performing activities intensified with his move to New York, where he performed in distinguished venues including Steinway Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Museum, Ana Tzarev Gallery and the New York Historical Society. 

Location: Edinburg Campus / PAC

Time: 7 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 26

DENICE FROHMAN, POET, PERFORMER, EDUCATOR

Denice Frohman, from New York City, is a CantoMundo Fellow and a former Women of the World Poetry Slam Champion. Collectively garnering more than 10 million views online, she has been featured on Buzzfeed, Cosmopolitan, Refinery 29, AutoStraddle and Upworthy. She also has appeared on ESPN’s “One Nacion” TV special and Lexus’ Verses and Flow on TV One Philadelphia.

Presenters and moderator: Emmy Perez, Texas Poet Laureate, UTRGV professor of Creative Writing

Location: Edinburg Campus / Borderlands Room

Time: 6 – 7 p.m. 

JERÓNIMO MAYA, FLAMENCO GUITARIST

Guitar genius Jerónimo Maya, a direct descendant of guitarist Ramón Montoya, will present “A gypsy and two worlds” at UTRGV. He will illustrate flamenco in a fusion with other cultures to form a single voice – music – in a performance that conveys the fusion of different cultures. The presentation will include a flamenco singer, dancer, cellist and percussion.

Location: Edinburg Campus / Performing Arts Complex

Time: 7 p.m.

RGV VIETNAM VETS TALK WAR, LIFE AND LITERATURE

This event features Beto Conde and Alejo Garcia, published authors of poetry and prose who write about their memories as military men in the Vietnam War. Conde was stationed in Vietnam and is the author of poetry and prose collections We Were Raza (2017) and Memories in Green, a mind’s fifty-year journey from drafted to PTSD (2019). Garcia was a combat journalist and is the author of Where the Mesquite Tree Grows (2018), a memoir that takes the reader from his childhood working in the cotton fields to the violent jungles of Vietnam and details his return to South Texas after decades away from his homeland. Also, on the panel is Cele Castillo, a Vietnam war veteran, Chicano artist and former U.S. diplomat.

Presenters and moderator: Cele Castillo, Beto Conde and Alejo Garcia with Noreen Rivera

Location: Edinburg Campus / Borderlands Room

Time: 12:30 – 1:45 p.m. 

Thursday, Feb. 27 – Friday, Feb. 28

TEXAS BOOK FESTIVAL READING ROCKSTARS

The Texas Book Festival will bring books to life for young readers during FESTIBA 2020 through Reading Rock Stars, an engaging literacy program in which authors from across the country are invited to present their works to students in economically disadvantaged public schools. At the end of the book presentations, each child receives an autographed copy of the book, and a set of books is also given to the school library. One of the featured authors is UTRGV Assistant Professor Dr. David Bowles, who will read from his book, They Call Me Güero.  

Friday, Feb. 28

MARIACHI FESTIVAL WORKSHOP, COMPETITION and CONCERTS

More than 500 students from Texas and the nation attend workshops on mariachi repertoire, performance practices and mariachi style, with renowned mariachi educators. The lineup of guest artists will help the university celebrate the 30th anniversary of the founding of the UTPA/UTRGV Mariachi Program. Guests include the internationally renowned José Hernández and Mariachi Sol de México and Grammy award winner Aida Cuevas, La Reina De Los Mariachis.

WORKSHOP Time: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

CONCERT I: Featuring the winners of the Vocal Competition, Mariachi Juvenil Aztlan and the Grammy award winner – La Reina de la Canción Ranchera, Aida Cuevas. Tickets are available at patron.utrgv.edu.

Doors Open: 6:30 p.m.

Concert Time: 7:30 p.m.

LOCATION for all events: Edinburg Campus / Performing Arts Complex

Saturday, Feb. 29

Featuring the Middle School Group Competition and the High School group competitions

GROUP COMPETITION: Time: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

CONCERT II: Featuring the group winners in the Middle School level, and the first-place winners of the High School Varsity levels, Mariachi Aztlán, and guest artists Mariachi Sol de México de José Hernández. Tickets are available at patron.utrgv.edu.

Doors Open: 6:30 p.m.

Concert Time: 7:30 p.m.

LOCATION for all events: Edinburg Campus / Performing Arts Complex

ABOUT FESTIBA

FESTIBA was created in 2006 to promote literacy and to foster a culture that appreciates and celebrates the cultural arts. Click here or visit this page for more information www.utrgv.edu/festiba/.

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