Friday, December 14th, 2018 3:18 pm
Dear Friends,
In the very same hours we were deepening our appreciation of artists of Mexico and other Latin American nations at beautiful cultural events in New York City this December, the caravan of Central American migrants faced cruel and demeaning treatment at the US/Mexican border. Such painful contrasts remind me how much work needs to be done to open hearts and build understanding. I turn for wisdom and hope to our authors who show so many ways to embrace differences, widen perspectives, and light new paths in the dark.

Recent Event Highlights

ArtSpace Meet & Greet with muralist Rina Lazo
Thanking Elliott Ortiz for hosting Rina Lazo at ArtSpace
Giving thanks to host Elliott Ortiz of ArtSpace. Left to right: Elena Hurst, Elliott Ortiz, Lynne Elizabeth, special guest Rina Lazo, and Cora Cardona. Photo by Frances Velasquez
We could not give enough thanks December 3rd to choreographer Elliott Ortiz for putting together such a lovely event to honor the arrival in New York City of master muralist Rina Lazo. The celebration at El Barrio’s ArtSpace PS109 welcomed Lazo, the last living apprentice of Diego Rivera, who came as a guest of New Village Press for the NYC launch of our book, Conversations with Diego Rivera. Rina was feted by three dramatic artistic performances: Flamenco dancers Xianix Barrera, poet Jesús Papoleto Meléndez, and ceremonial Aztec dancers Meyo & Company Danza Azteca. Other special guests included Teatro Dallas founder Cora Cardona and actress Elena Hurst, who are daughter and granddaughter of the book’s author, Alfredo Cardona Peña.
Before the program, Victor Solano of Univision TV interviewed Rina and Cora for an upcoming television feature. Air date to be announced!
Book Presentation for
Anna Indych-Lopez (left) in conversation with Rina Lazo and emcee Elena Hurst (far right). Photo by Fernanda de la Torre.
On December 4th at the Americas Society, New Village Press and the Mexican Cultural Institute had the absolute pleasure of welcoming Diego Rivera’s last living student, Rina Lazo, to New York City for the East Coast release of the first English edition ofConversations with Diego Rivera: The Monster in His Labyrinth. Art historian, Anna Indych-Lopez, brought a fascinating look into the art and life of Diego Rivera during the period of the 1949–1950 interviews between Rivera and Alfredo Cardona Peña. Rina Lazo presented, and then both women dove into a rare conversation with each other and the capacity audience. It was a celebratory evening where many kisses and bouquets of flowers were exchanged, and books were signed at a wine reception (gracias, MCINY!) in the elegant Mexican Room, where Diego Rivera’s art hung on the wall!
Conversations with Diego Rivera NYC book launch reception in Mexican Room at Americas Society
Artist Rina Lazo at reception for Conversations with Diego Rivera book launch

Authors in the News

Louise Chawla, coauthor of Placemaking with Children and Youth, was interviewed by Susan Glairon for this article in Child in the City. Chawla pointed out how children’s self-esteem soared when they were listened to by adults. Whether they were from a high-income country like the US, or a former communist country like Poland, or a squatter camp in South Africa, discovering that their ideas had value was a transformative experience. featured an interview with Dr. Mindy Fullilove about the 400 Years of Inequality project that she leads, Fixing Something Starts with Seeing How It’s Broken. “Think about it; a whole society put it in the Constitution that people were unequal and we never got rid of that.” Fullilove is the author of Root Shock and Urban Alchemy, and the coauthor with her father of Homeboy Came to Orange.

Upcoming Spring Titles!

We’re excited to announce forthcoming books by activist authors.
Through a series of 43 vignettes—tight biographical sketches of the characters and intimate memories of her personal encounters with them—Chellis Glendinning creates a collective portrait of the rebels, artists, radicals, and thinkers of the 1960s and ’70s who through word and action raised many of the issues of justice, the environment, feminism, and colonialism that we are now familiar with.
This beautifully written memoir is Nadina La Spina’s story—-from her early years in her native Sicily, where still a baby she contracts polio, a fact that makes her the object of well-meaning pity and the target of messages of hopelessness; to her adolescence and youth in America, spent almost entirely in hospitals, where she is tortured in the quest for a cure and made to feel that her body no longer belongs to her; to her rebellion and powerful activism in the disability rights movement.
Nadina LaSpina's Such a Pretty Girl book cover

Preparing for 2019

Contributions sustain New Village Press
New Village has commitments to publish eight significant new books and is working to ensure the resources are available to do this well. We are very happy to announce that Furthermore, a program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund, will be making a grant in support of a Fall 2019 book—Cultivating Creativity, by Iain Robertson.
On the 27th of November, New Village joined GivingTuesday campaigns across the country. It was an opportunity to celebrate our press’s new nonprofit status and to publicly restate our purpose of building healthy, creative, and socially just communities. The generous responses were heartwarming. Your contributions do indeed make a difference in our ability to carry out our mission-driven publishing work.
If you missed our campaign, please consider a year-end donation to New Village Press.
And consider this month, too, the meaningful gift of a book—maybe even to yourself!
In community,
Lynne Elizabeth
Director, New Village Press