Since 1987, the month of March has been designated as Women’s History month in the U.S. However, the contributions of women have been celebrated internationally for over 100 years.
In Boyle Heights and on the Eastside, a collective of women artivists”” artists and community activists”” known as Mujeres de Maiz have kept the tradition alive for 16 years.
This year, the collective presented a month-long commemoration of events titled Identity Blinging: an Interdisciplinary, Intercultural, Intergenerational experience honoring International Women’s Day & Women’s Herstory Month.
The events, which were about celebrating and empowering the creative spirits of women in the community, included visual and live art shows, poetry readings, women’s circles, workshops on health, creative writing, and more.
Being a community journalist and poet at heart, I joined the writing workshop. Weaving Words, Creating Worlds: Healing and Empowerment as Women Storytellers began at Eastside Cafe and wove its way through a weekly series of passion on paper.
Our floricanto was lovingly guided by fierce facilitators who helped us craft the written and spoken word through exercises that awakened our spiritual souls and connected us with the journey of our ancestors.
Each Saturday I looked forward to walking into the sacred space filling my senses with the aroma of copal, sage, and lavender; sipping cool homemade tea with citrus oils and rose petals; touching healing stones; tasting almonds dipped with honey and cinnamon; and dancing like a waterfall.
Our writing table was transformed into an altar, as our words became ceremony. We touched, tasted, laughed, cried, and wove our words, creating worlds that we invited each other in to share.
Some of the women were first-time writers and poets while others were veteranas (seasoned). All of us became sisters united by the word, mujeres con palabras (women with words), healing and empowering our lives through floricanto; poetry, art, song, dance, and ceremony.
Look out for more events!
Women Writers at Work panel discussion featuring women authors in the community.
Saturday April 6, 1p.m.
5469 Huntington Drive North Los Angeles, CA 90032
Justice for My Sister in collaboration with Mujeres de Maiz will raise awareness of domestic violence and the strength of women- Featuring poetry by some of the women from Weaving Worlds, Creating Worlds, music, workshops, interventions, and film to Retomar la Noche/Take Back the Night!
Sunday April 7, 1:30p.m. to 9p.m.
Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights (Gold Line Station)
See the full schedule here.