Toma Mi Corazón exhibit at La Peña turns 25

The Toma Mi Corazon exhibit at La Pena raises funds for its  community outreach, art and education programs. A wooden heart by artist Brian Joseph will be among the those auctioned.
 A wooden heart by artist Brian Joseph will be among the those auctioned.

For 25 years, the Latino art gallery La Peña has been opening up its heart to Austinites with the popular Toma Mi Corazón, or Take My Heart, fundraiser. The gallery distributes wooden hearts to crafty Austinites, from artists to local celebrities, who then convert the pieces into artwork. The hearts are auctioned at the Toma Mi Corazón annual exhibit, which raises funds for the gallery’s community outreach, art and education programs.

Even Austinites without celebrity status can create a corazón if they swing by the Congress Avenue gallery to pick up a heart and drop off the donated artwork by 5 p.m. Saturday.

Over the years, the Toma Mi Corazon fundraiser has grown in popularity.

At a time when Austin faces the ongoing displacement of arts and music venues, supporting the longtime organizations promoting Latino arts and culture has become even more significant. La Peña, which launched in 1981, has a $10,000 fundraising goal. Veteran Trinidadian artist Brian Joseph will be among this year’s contributors.


The Toma Mi Corazón party begins at 4 p.m. on Feb. 11, followed by a silent auction at 6 p.m. Keep celebrating at the after party at 8 p.m. with food and refreshments. Admission is $10. Visit for more information.

Weekend Latino Cultural Art Picks June 23-26

Maria Elena Martinez, a former chair of Raza Unida Party and former educator, is featured in the upcoming KLRU documentary "Austin Revealed: Chicano Civil Rights."
Maria Elena Martinez, a former chair of Raza Unida Party and former educator, is featured in the  KLRU documentary “Austin Revealed: Chicano Civil Rights.”


“Austin Revealed: Chicano Civil Rights” Film Screening & Discussion at Monkeywrench Books at 6:30 p.m.

The latest installment of KLRU-TV’s Austin Revealed series, an oral history project launched in 2014 that aims to encourage discussion about the city’s future, focuses on the Chicano Civil Rights Movement in Austin and weaves together the compelling stories of trailblazing Austinites who were part of an era that helped shape today’s Austin.

A Q&A will follow with filmmaker Joe Rocha and some of the documentary’s featured trailblazers.

Echocentrics “Echo Hotel” Album Release at Parish Austin from 8-11 p.m.

Check out what Austin360 music writer Deborah Sengupta Stith had to say about the latest album in a roundup of “Best of Austin Music.”

“It’s been five years since Austin super-producer Adrian Quesada released an Echocentrics album, but it’s certainly been worth the wait. Though songs are fleshed out with a live band and guest vocals from Alex Maas (Black Angels), James Petralli (White Denim), Jazz Mills, Tita Lima and Natalia Clavier, this is Quesada’s creative vehicle to stretch out and explore. The result is a richly textured scrapbook featuring the best of his signature sounds, from the psychedelic ramble of album opener “Canyon” to the dramatic passion that always sounds better in Spanish, “Muerto En Vida.” — D.S.S.


Enanitos Verdes and Hombres G at Coliseo Austin at 8 p.m.

Two of Latin America’s rock en español legends perform together for what should be a must-see show.

Eastside Soul Session showcase at Sahara Lounge at 7 p.m.

Austin Vida features a night of multicultural sounds with its Eastside Soul Session showcase, which is billed as a night of Afro-soul meets Chicano soul. Featured artists include Austin hip-hop, soul and funk band Afrofreque as well as Big Band Tejano, which will bring its 1960s and 1970s Chicano soul grooves to the party. Doors for the $8 show open at 7 p.m.

B Scene: ¡Viva España! at the Blanton Museum of Art from 6-10 p.m.

The Blanton Museum of Art’s party series pairs its current exhibit “Goya: Mad Reason,” which features works by Spanish  painter Francisco de Goya with a Spanish-style celebration. The soiree will feature tapas, sangria, flamenco performances, Latin jazz music, DJ El Canoso, and more. Free for members, who also have access to the member lounge with live paella cooking demonstrations and wine tasting, and $12 for the general public.


¡Cine Resistencia! Summer Film Series at Resistencia Bookstore at 6:30 p.m.

Check out selected footage from the documentary “Woman of the Water” directed by local filmmaker Tahila Xicahuamazatl Chavez Mintz. The free screening gives the audience a chance to offer feedback about the work-in-progress documentary, which features powerful women leaders from indigenous communities across the Americas.

Light refreshments will be provided. Donations or book purchases will be accepted.

Danny Camacho was East Austin historian. Photo by Ralph Barrera
Danny Camacho brought Austin history to the forefront. Photo by Ralph Barrera

Celebration of Life for Danny Camacho at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center from noon-3 p.m.

As an unofficial historian of Mexican American history in East Austin, Danny Camacho touched the lives of many Austinites. Camacho died in April of a heart attack. He was 70. Family, friends and community members will gather for a celebration of his life and accomplishments. In 2010, the Statesman’s editorial board selected Camacho as one of its “Heroes” for bringing Austin history to the forefront.

The celebration is open to the public and will feature remembrances and special remarks by several guests including former Austin mayor Gus Garcia. Free parking and refreshments will be available.