Sor Juana festival kicks off April 16 at the MACC

Austin will honor Mexican trailblazer Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz on April 16.

Austin will honor Mexican trailblazer Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz on April 16.

At a time when educating women defied social, cultural and religious norms, 17th century Mexican nun Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz became an acclaimed poet, playwright and self-taught scholar.

Sor Juana, as she’s known, is often described as the first feminist of the Americas for her trailblazing writing and fierce defense of women’s education.

In honor of her legacy, the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center will present its eighth annual festival “Celebrating Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz: A Tribute to Mexican Women” on April 16.

The free celebration, which starts at 4 p.m., will feature an interactive theater workshop, art exhibits and live performances. San Antonio artists Marisela Barrera and Jane Madrigal, who are behind the Super Xicana Power Hour radio show, will have a live show focused on women and culture at 8 p.m. in the center’s auditorium.

Works by artists Paloma Mayorga of Austin and Mery Godigna Collet of Venezuela will be featured in the center’s galleries. Godigna Collet’s exhibit “Petro-Poems,” which opens at 6 p.m., echoes the poetry of Sor Juana in a unique way. Godigna Collet uses crude oil and its byproducts as her medium and creates “poems” with these materials.

Visit austintexas.gov/page/emma-s-macc-events for more details.