From morning to evening, a number of Eastside organizations are set to commemorate this year’s International Women’s Day with a number of wide-ranging events this Saturday, from a health fair and activist’s forum to an art show with live performances and a theater festival.

A global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, International Women’s Day is officially commemorated on March 8. This year’s theme is #EachForEqual.

Health and Resources

The day will begin with the East Los Angeles Women’s Center’s third annual Health and Resource Fair. The free event is open to the public and features more than a dozen social services and health organizations, who will provide health screenings, information, referrals, conduct workshops, and offer games and art activities for children.

In recognition of the upcoming National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (March 10), the Resource Fair will also raise awareness for  a continuing public health concern to which African-American and Latina women are particularly vulnerable in the United States.

Exhibitors will include AHF-LOUD, which will be offering free HIV screenings, LACADA with overdose prevention information, Planned Parenthood and Family Planning Associates, and AltaMed and Family Health Center, which will be enrolling eligible families. In addition, there will be a Wellness Tea Bar and ELAWC will have self-defense workshops and hosting face painting and art activities. 

Held in collaboration with LA County Supervisor Hilda Solís, the free community event runs from 9 am to 2 pm in the parking lot of the East Los Angeles Civic Center, 4801 East 3rd Street, in East Los Angeles. Those who wish to register for the event may do so here:

Celebration of Working-Class Women

Boyle Heights’ Centro Community Service Organization (Centro CSO) will host its Día Internacional de la Mujer | 7 de Marzo Boyle Heights event, from 2 to 4 pm at the Benjamin Franklin Library. The free event aims to honor and represent local women doing local work in the following areas: LGBT rights, fighting for Socialism, defending public education, fighting against police terror/brutality, and ending deportations.

Speakers participating will include a high school student from Garfield High School, Rosario Bonilla from Centro CSO, Josefina Rizo mother of 16-year-old José Méndez who was killed by an LAPD officer in 2019, Vibiana Aparicio-Chamberlin who was attacked at the Chicano Moratorium in 1970 by LAPD/LASD, Eloisa Galindo of Eastside Padres Contra la Privatización de Educación, and Sol Marquez from Freedom Road Socialist Organization.

Organizers say the free event will include food and art. The Benjamin Franklin Library is at 2200 East 1stt Street, in Boyle Heights.

Art and Performance

Also in Boyle Heights, Self Help Graphics & Art will mark the opening of its new exhibition, 2020 Vision: Prophecy Manifested with a live art show and marketplace. Mujeres de Maíz Presents Xingonx Fest… is an interdisciplinary, intercultural and intergenerational live art show and exhibition featuring womxn of color, femme, gender non-conforming (GNC), queer and trans (QT) womxn of color “artivists.” 

Among those appearing: Brown Badass Bonita, Chicanas Cholas y Chisme, Nancy Sanchez, Jessa Calderón, Las Tías, Moni Pérez, Verde and the WOC Sister Collective. Tickets are sold on a sliding scale, with a $10 minimum donation. 

Tickets for the event are available here. Organizers say live art show seating is limited and available on a first come, first served basis. Early arrival is suggested. 

Festival goers will get a first chance to view 2020 Vision: Prophecy Manifested, an exhibition curated by Martha Gonzales, Megan Pennings and Felicia Montes that explores a vision of the future, consciousness, change and community. Viewing on Saturday is limited to paying guests, but all other times it is free for all ages and will remain on view to the public from through April 3.

The SHG Gallery is open Tuesday-Friday from 10 am to 5 pm, Mondays by appointment and weekends only during public programming. Self Help Graphics & Art is at 1300 East 1st Street in Boyle Heights.

Live Theater

Performances continue this weekend of Chicanas, Cholas y Chisme: Womxn in Her-Story, a Latina-centered annual short play festival at Casa 0101 Theater in Boyle Heights.Performances this weekend are Friday and Saturday at 8 pm., Sunday at 5 pm. The festival continues through the end of the month. Casa 0101 is at 2102 East 1st Street in Boyle Heights. Tickets and information: (323) 263-7684

Image above from “Finding a Connection” by Emilia Cruz (2018), part of 2020 Vision: Prophecy Manifested show at Self Help Graphics.

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Boyle Heights Beat

Boyle Heights Beat is a bilingual community newspaper produced by its youth "por y para la comunidad". The newspaper and its sister website serve an immigrant neighborhood in East Los Angeles of just under...

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