FESTIBA kicks off Saturday with South Texas Literacy Symposium in Edinburg

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Pictured are attendees at the 2018 FESTIBA Librarians and Educators Day on the UTRGV Edinburg Campus. (UTRGV Archival Photo by Paul Chouy)

Texas Border Business

By Amanda A. Taylor

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – UTRGV’s FESTIBA (Festival of International Books and Arts) officially kicks off on Saturday, Feb. 22, with the South Texas Literacy Symposium Librarians and Educators Day, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Ballroom on the Edinburg Campus.

The symposium, geared toward exploring the effectiveness of implementing teaching approaches that empower individuals to be catalysts for sustainable development in literacy, is sponsored by the Texas Workforce Commission/Literacy Texas and is hosted each year by UTRGV during FESTIBA.

“UTRGV is a catalyst for our rapidly growing region’s sustainable development, providing students 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,” said Dr. Dahlia Guerra, associate vice president for Public Art.

“With the theme of “Building a Better World,” FESTIBA 2020 strives to focus on a bright future by promoting and inspiring education for sustainable development,” she said, “or 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.”

Some of the keynote panelists speaking at this year’s Literacy Symposium are:

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·     Dr. Alex Racelis, a UTRGV professor focused on agriculture, climate change and farming along the southern border of the United States. He teaches courses on agroecology, urban ecology and natural resources management. 

·     Marta de Angula, a local attorney who founded the Hermana Luna nonprofit promoting wellbeing and ecologically sustainable lifestyles and compassion for all sentient beings within the Rio Grande Valley. 

·     Marianella Franklin, UTRGV’s chief sustainability officer. She founded the UTRGV Office of Sustainability in 2009.

·     Stacey Proctor, a Buell Central social studies teacher at PSJA ISD, who actively teaches students about sustainability and environmental awareness.

The panel of speakers will be moderated by Ida Acuna-Garza, CEO of the South Texas Literacy Coalition.

The South Texas Literacy Symposium is free and open to the public. For more information, visit https://literacytexas.org/symposiums/southtx/

FESTIBA will run from Feb. 22-29, with a long list of events promoting literacy and the arts. For a complete list of events, visit https://www.utrgv.edu/festiba/index.htm.

“FESTIBA was established in 2006 to promote the importance of literacy, culture and the arts to students, parents, educators and community members throughout the Rio Grande Valley,” Guerra said. “At FESTIBA, you can discover how you can be a part of the solution by ‘Building a Better World.’”

ABOUT FESTIBA 2020

The Festival of International Books and Arts (FESTIBA) was established in 2006 to promote the importance of literacy, culture and the arts to students, parents, educators and community members throughout the Rio Grande Valley. With the theme of “Building a Better World,” FESTIBA 2020 strives to focus on a bright future by promoting and inspiring education for sustainable development, or 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.

Click here to view a schedule of events.

For more information or special accommodations, contact the UTRGV Office of Public Art at (956) 665-2353 and (956) 665-3881 for concert information and tickets to events in the Performing Arts Complex.

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