Multicultural conference promotes voices with ‘Literature as Free Speech’ presentations

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“Hoops of Steel” play shows themes of loyalty and faith.

By Travis Doyle

The 25th annual Multicultural Conference is sponsoring events through April 25.

The conference is a Fiesta San Antonio event that brings together musicians, artists and writers to present aspects of various cultures.

On April 23, a presentation will be given by Kali Fajardo-Anstin, author of “Sabrina and Corina,” and poet Octavio Quintanilla will speak at 7 the faculty and staff lounge of Loftin Student Center.

English Professor Claudio San Miguel, one of the coordinators of the event, said Fajarado-Anstin and Quintanilla represent ethnic voices that aren’t typically heard.

“She’s (Kali) expanding the way people think of Colorado,” he said in an interview April 22. “It’s one thing people look at the Old West and they romanticize the Old West with cowboys and you know these good ol’ guys. She’s showing the dark side of that history as well.”

On April 24, a media and politics presentation by Dr. Joseph McAlhany will be at 9:25 a.m. in the INRW writing center in Room 118 in Gonzales Hall.

There will also be a presentation by author and English professor Patricia Portales and Natalia Sylvester, author of “Everyone Knows You Go home.”

San Miguel said he wants the presentations by authors to help aspiring writers at this college find inspiration from their culture.

“They really emphasize that people need to have their voices heard, and people who never even thought about being writers that your stories, your ideas, your perspective is something that is missing from the national front in literature and that we need to change that,” he said.

On April 25, a viewing of ‘The Forgotten Kingdom’ followed by a Q&A by the filmmaker Sejake Matsela will be at 9:25 a.m. in Room 218 of the nursing and allied health complex.

A play by Mariano Aguilar Jr., English and Mexican-American studies instructor, will be performed at 7 p.m. at that same location.

“Hoops of Steel” is five independent scenes connected by themes of loyalty and faith.

Scenes are based on the Samson and Delilah story from the Old Testament, a story of Judas and Jesus Christ from the New Testament, “Waiting for Godot” by playwright Samuel Beckett, and a Willie Nelson song “Pancho and Leftie.” The fifth is new story Aguilar wrote about a wolf and a fox.

He started by writing the scene based on the play “Waiting for Godot” as a part of the 2016 Viva Theatre Companies 48-hour play fest competition in San Antonio where writers composed a scene in 24 hours and the actors had to learn the scene in 24 hours.

The play was previously opened at the Jump-Start Performance Company.

The only event that is not free is sold out, a Fiesta Brunch on April 23 with Rita Moreno, Puerto Rican actress, singer and dancer.

For more information call the English program at 210-486-0649.


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