For the past four years, The Boca De Oro Literary & Arts festival has been a gathering place for local artists, poets, writers, and other creatives in the city of Santa Ana who feature their work through a series of sessions.
Now celebrating its 5th year, Boca De Oro is going to be bigger than ever, boasting 109 sessions with 156 speakers over the course of three days. Every session will be held virtually over zoom with a jam-packed schedule featuring workshops, readings, panel discussions, poetry slams, and visual performances.
Keynote Speaker, Pete Souza, will be embodying this year’s theme of historic memory, visions, and dreams by speaking about his experience as a White House photographer during the Obama & Reagan Administration.
Marc Bamuthi Joseph, arts activist & spoken word artist, will close the festival with a compelling speech sharing his passion for the immigrant youth.
Boca De Oro will also feature Santa Ana natives like Mayor Vincente Sarmiento, Councilmember Johnathan Hernandez, local artist Jouvon Kingsby, and dozens of teachers & students from the Santa Ana School District.
The purpose of highlighting these diverse creatives is to encourage the youth to be more involved. “We want to create a pathway for young creatives to network with professionals, college graduates, artists, and authors so they can be inspired to pursue the same fields,” says Madeline, co-founder of The Boca De Oro Festival.
For many years, artists have served as the true historians, documenting the sentiments of society in a way traditional historians have struggled to articulate.
For our stories to be told, we must encourage our young people to create and show us their perspective on how they see the world today.
Extraordinary events like the pandemic are important to document through one’s art because each community was affected differently. It is especially crucial for those who identify as BIPOC to share their experiences through their work, which is why the festival has made a great effort to highlight their stories.
But before we create, we must observe. Literature can be a great way to gain perspective of other narratives and fuel purpose through our art. “I think that those become like the universal language of true literature. We have the ability to be further than where we are. And we have the ability to express ourselves in more raw and realistic ways than we normally can,” Spencer said.
To forward this message, event founders Robyn MacNair and Madeline Spencer have created a free lending library campaign to increase literacy within the neighborhoods of Santa Ana.
Each participating neighborhood will have a built-in cabinet filled with books donated by the community. Every reader is welcome to take, borrow or return any book with no strings attached.
These collaborative efforts will hopefully bring forth the next generation of artists by connecting them with those who have paved the path before them.
Join us March 5th-7th during Youth Arts Month for an inspiring, reflective, and cathartic event created for all ages. To register for the Boca De Oro Literary & Arts Festival, simply click this link to view our catalog of guest speakers and performers to sign up for their sessions. Listen to the stories of our modern historians and be apart of history in the making.
Article By Sara Marshall
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