Wittliff Collections to open Sandra Cisneros archive April 29-30

Sandra Cisneros, the author of House on Mango Street, and the recent recipient of the National Medal of Arts from President Obama and the PEN Literary award poses at the Alkek Library on the campus of Texas State University. RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

From her personal diaries to the portable Canon typewriter she used to create her work, noted author Sandra Cisneros’ archives are a literary treasure trove mapping out the career of one of America’s leading writers.

In 2015, Texas State University acquired Cisneros’ archive for $800,000. Last fall, Cisneros gave students and faculty a sneak peek at the 250 boxes documenting her life’s work.

Now, the Sandra Cisneros archive at The Wittliff Collections will finally open with a free, scholarly symposium April 29-30 celebrating the works and career of the Chicana author who is often credited with helping boost Latino literature.

“The House on Mango Street,” by Sandra Cisneros

The symposium, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the seventh floor of the Alkek Library, will feature speakers such as Texas poet laureate Laurie Ann Guerrero, Tey Marianna Nunn from the National Hispanic Cultural Center and Norma Alarcón from the University of California-Berkeley.

On April 30, The Wittliff Collections will present a reading by Cisneros as well as a conversation between her and author John Phillip Santos.

Cisneros’ 1984 novel “The House on Mango Street” has sold more than six million copies worldwide and continues to influence new generations of Latinos.

Evolution of graffiti art captured in Nathan ‘Sloke’ Nordstrom exhibit

Nathan “Sloke One” Nordstrom with his work at the Sam Coronado Gallery at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center on Wednesday, January 25, 2017. The show, titled “Another Side” ran through March 25. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Austin native and veteran graffiti artist Nathan “Sloke” Nordstrom just wrapped up a solo show of graffiti-inspired abstract art last month, but he’s already back with another exhibit featuring new work at the Austin Community College Rio Grande Campus Kramer Gallery. “In the Public Eye: New Work by Nathan ‘Sloke’ Nordstrom,” which shows the progression of graffiti and how it’s changed over the years, runs through May 14.

Nordstrom, whose art has taken him around the world painting murals and participating in art shows, says the exhibit shows the power of the art form. The installation exemplifies the various graffiti styles from bubble letters to an intricate form of graffiti called wildstyle. The exhibit was curated by ACC Instructor and Art Historian Erin Keever.

Related: Aerosol artist strengthens spray can art, teaches new generation of artists

On April 19, the former ACC student-turned-internationally-recognized artist will also participate in a panel discussion at 6 p.m. at ACC’s Rio Grande Campus Auditorium (Room 201, Building 1000) following a free screening of the 1983 film “Style Wars,” a documentary about the early days of hip-hop and graffiti. Nordstrom will be joined by fellow graffiti artists Mez and Wake.

ACC Rio Grande Campus Kramer Gallery is featuring a new exhibit by Nathan Nordstrom. Contributed photo

Related: Exhibit shows ‘Another Side’ of Austin graffiti artist

Over the years, Nordstrom has become a mentor for a new generation of emerging artists and his commission work includes clients such as Nike and Google. Admission to the gallery is free and gallery hours are Monday -Thursday 7 a.m. – 10 p.m., Friday 7 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Saturday 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.

 

Where to celebrate Selena’s birthday in Austin

Queen of Tejano music and pop culture icon Selena Quintanilla Pérez would have turned 46 this weekend. In Austin, the celebrations in her honor began earlier this month with everything from an interactive screening of the “Selena” film at Fusebox Festival to the annual TuezGayz Selena tribute party at Barbarella.

But Austinites can still celebrate with more festivities from trivia night to dance contests leading up to her April 16 birthday. Last month marked the 22nd anniversary of Selena’s death and her legacy is still growing strong. Selena received numerous posthumous awards recently including a Madame Tussauds wax figure,  a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and a spot on the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame.

RELATED: SELENA INFLUENCED STYLE, BEAUTY

Selena performs at Hemisfair Plaza in San Antonio, TX, April 24, 1994. Photo by Sung Park / The Austin American-Statesman

Last fall, MAC Cosmetics launched a limited-edition “Selena” makeup collection that drew scores of fans to MAC retail stores across the country. Here’s a look at some Austin events where you can keep her memory alive.

Selena Movie Parties at Alamo Drafthouse

April 13: Alamo Drafthouse Village Only a few tickets left for the 7:30 p.m. show, so hurry up and buy online if you want to watch the film here.

April 15: Alamo Drafthouse Ritz at 11:45 a.m.

April 16: Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline at 12:35 p.m. and 7:35 p.m.; Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar at 1:15 p.m.; Slaughter Lane at 12:15 p.m. and 6:40 p.m.

April 20: Alamo Drafthouse Ritz at 10 p.m.

MORE LATINO CULTURAL ARTS: CULTURA EN AUSTIN

Other Selena celebrations: 

April 15: Selena Tribute at Sahara Lounge with Son de Rey

April 16: SelenaFest! at The Highball (1120 S Lamar Blvd.) will celebrate the Queen of Tejano music with performances from Austin-based Selena tribute band Bidi Bidi Banda and Su Madre plus cumbia dance lessons, and a Selena lookalike and dance contest.

April 17: Selena Trivia at Dog & Duck Pub (2400 Webberville Road) It’s free to play at this event hosted by Get it Gals, but teams shouldn’t exceed six people.


A mural dedicated to Selena, the late Tejano star and cultural icon, is located along the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail in South Austin. (Tamir Kalifa for American-Statesman)

DID YOU KNOW?

  • It takes about 1,500 rhinestones for Stephanie Bergara, lead singer of Selena tribute band Bidi Bidi Banda, to complete a Selena-style bustier.
  • In 2012, Selena’s husband, Chris Perez, released his book, “To Selena, With Love.”
  • The Selena museum in Corpus Christi was built in 1998 by the Quintanilla family.
  • Selena appeared in the Mexican soap opera “Dos Mujeres, Un Camino.”

After El Gallo closure, Little Mexico picks up Manuel “Cowboy” Donley

Manuel ‘Cowboy’ Donley performs with his daughter, Sylvia Donley, at El Gallo on Tuesday, January 24, 2017. The Tejano music legend had been a fixture at the South Austin restaurant for years.  DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Over the years, fans of Tejano music legend Manuel “Cowboy” Donley, 89, knew that if they wanted to find him, they could drop by South Austin’s El Gallo restaurant on Tuesday evenings to hear the classic boleros and songs of yesteryear like “Solamente Una Vez.” He’d been playing on and off at El Gallo for more than 40 years until the restaurant closed in January. Aside from missing El Gallo’s popular dishes, loyal customers wondered where Manuel “Cowboy” Donley would perform next.

RELATED: Customers mourn loss of El Gallo Restaurant 

Manuel ‘Cowboy’ Donley performs with his daughter, Sylvia Donley. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Now music lovers can find him and his daughter and musical partner, Sylvia Donley, performing at Little Mexico Restaurant (2304 S. First St.) from 7-9 p.m. every Thursday.

Manuel “Cowboy” Donley, a National Endowment for the Arts’ lifetime achievement recipient, packed the house at El Gallo on his last performance there so much that the kitchen ran out of food shortly after 7:30 p.m. Throughout his career he helped popularize orquesta music, which blends Latin rhythms with popular American musical genres such as rock and jazz. He blazed a trail in the Mexican-American music community and has inspired many other musicians along the way.

RELATED: Manuel “Cowboy” Donley receives national honor

Although the Donleys were sad about no longer performing at El Gallo, Sylvia Donley says that Little Mexico has a “warm family feel” that reminds her of all the performances throughout the years at El Gallo.