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La Peña responds to Anthrax letters
, 3/20/02


La Peña Cultural Center
Berkeley California

La Peña periodically hosts Cuban musicians and artists.

A lo Cubano, 1/31/03

Maravilla de Florida
, 2/23/03

1/31/03 - 8PM - "A lo CubanoAn evening of Yoruba, Bantu, Carabali, Cuban-Haitian, Rumba, Musica Campesina and Comparsa with "Cuban Troop", w/Cuban Jose Francisco Barroso, Sandy Perez, Jesus Diaz, Fito Reinoso and others.

Feb. 23, 2003 From Cuba: Orq. Maravilla de Florida (Camaquey) La Peña, Berkeley (V) 9:30PM, $20 adv, $22 door


La Peña responds to Anthrax letters, 3/20/02


Dear friends,

As you may know, last week many Bay Area Latino community members and organizations received racist letters containing a white powdery substance, aimed at scaring and attacking our community. La Peña Cultural Center was one of these organizations that received a letter. We are all shocked, appalled and angered by this. The perpetuation of such hate-filled acts underscores the importance of our work to bring people of different cultural backgrounds together and support progressive social change through the arts.

Since 1975, La Peña has fought the injustices aimed at the Latino community by providing a space for people to learn about conditions in Latin America and for people of different backgrounds to share their cultural traditions. For twenty-seven years, La Peña has provided a center and community gathering place for Latinos and all concerned people to share information and perform cultural activism for social justice. La Peña's many programs exist to fight for social justice, empower the Latino community at large, while expressing compassion for all people. Our mission is to fight these types of xenophobic attacks, stereotypes, and misinformation with cultural activism in the form of political forums, films about Latin America, artistic performances and classes, and community events.

The letter La Peña received is symptomatic of a period of attacks on various ethnic communities who are deemed to fit a "terrorist" profile and on immigrants at large. We encourage our friends and supporters to unite around strategies for better defense of our community's right to grow without racist harassment, and violent threats. In these unstable times, La Pena is a place where Latinos and all people are welcomed to gather in support of justice for all peoples of the world.

For more information about La Peña and our activities, please visit our website at

La Peña Cultural Center

Staff Collective


March 28th, 2002: Batey

For full schedule, see

La Penna Programs for August 1998

La Penna Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley, Ca. 94705
(510) 849-2568

La Penna Programs for August 1998

Live Music

Saturday 1
Jesus Diaz y Su Qba. Qba brings the fiery swing of timba through original
and popular compositions of Cuban dance music that are sure to bring you
to your feet. Enjoy dinner at Cafe de La Penna before the program. 9:30pm

Sunday 2
Flor de Tango. The Argentine trio of Mirta Wymersberg, Guillermo Garcia,
and Roberto Forte perform traditional tango music and are joined by tango
dancers. Cafe de La Penna will be serving a special Argentine menu. 8pm
$10 (For this show tickets available from La Penna web site by TicketWeb)

Thursday 6
Double bill featuring Sound Decision and Sacred Journey. Rich original
jazz, R&B, reggae and bossa nova compositions by local players. Featuring
Greg Winter, Heather Watkin, David Goodlit, David Crenshaw, CJ, Sophia
Sharp and other special guests. 7:30pm $5-10 sliding scale

Saturday 8
Mingus Amungus. All star 8 piece 1997 Bammie winner weaves its way through
Mingus' charts, combining hard hitting be-bop, fun, classical and hip-hop
jazz. 8pm $10

Sunday 9
Cuban Music Workshops with Musicians from Havana, Cuba. Folkloric
Percussion with Regino Jimenez (2:30pm). Chekere Workshop with Pancho and
Yosvony Terry (5pm). Advance Conga Workshop with Miguel "Anga" Diaz
(6:30pm). At 8pm there will be a Descarga with Yosvony, Pancho, "Anga"
and members of Cuban Jazz group, "Columna B". La Penna and the Stanford
Jazz Workshop are hosting this afternoon of workshops with talented and
renown Cuban musicians. Workshops in Folkloric and popular percussion will
occur throughout the day. In the evening a jam session will take place
with the talented young members of "Columna B", directed by Yosvony Terry.
For more information on these activities please call La Penna.

Friday 14
Music and Dance from Peru The soul of Peru Negro! Music and dance
ensemble Jaran—n y Bochinche premiering at La Penna with traditional and
contemporary Afro-Peruvian songs and dances of the coastal region of Peru.
8:30pm $8. The Cafe will offer a special Peruvian Menu.

Saturday 15
CD Release Party and Dance for Ras Mo's new recording TjŽbŽ/Hold On.
Zouk, soca, reggae, dance hall, hip hop and poetry with Ras Mo, Junglz
Apart, All Ah We Dance Co. and Sweet Waist Sounds. 9pm $8

Friday 21
The Irrationals & Susan Streitweiser. An exciting a cappella sextet, The
Irrationals feature the music of six diverse Bay Area vocal talents. The
Irrationals work their incredible vocal blend on a unique repertoire of
jazz, gospel and originals. Susan and her band feature songs from her new
CD. 8pm $10

Thursday 27
Mikal J. Hameed presents an original show "Ubediyah" A multi-media solo
performance written and directed by Mikal Hameed in a story about a slave
who runs off the plantation into hip hop culture and embraces all
exploitative aspects. 8pm $10

Friday 28
Dr. Loco's Rockin' Jalapenno Band CD Release Celebration. The "Locomotion"
is back to La Penna blowing out an irresistible dance pulse that turns
every gig into a celebration of Chicano culture and world music. Help
celebrate the release of their latest CD Barrio, Ritmo y Blues
9:30pm $8

Saturday 29
Penna Internacional with Modupe featuring Avotcja, Tarika Lewis & Destiny
and Rafael Manriquez plus special guests. 8:30 pm $8

Sunday 30
New Asian Folk/Pop. Aiko Shimada and Magdalen Hsu-Li hail from Seattle to
perform their respective music ranging from acoustic pop to contemporary
folk. 7:30pm $5-7 sliding scale (For this show tickets available from La
Penna web site by TicketWeb)

Poetry / Literary Events

Wednesday 5
Cafe Poetry. Featured readers & open mic. Hosted by Blake Tolbert. 7:30pm
$2 donation

Wednesday 12
Cafe Poetry. Featured reader Wanda Sabir. Followed by open mic. Hosted by
Joyce Young. 7:30pm $2 donation

Wednesday 19
Poetry writing workshop led by Nina Serrano & Diane Wang. Theme:The August
Moon. 7pm $2

Thursday 20
Resistance in Paradise. Piri Thomas, the Tatau Writers' Group, and other
poets & performers who have roots in Guam, Hawaii, Philippines, Cuba,
Puerto Rico and Samoa will present their work on the theme of 100 years of
resistance to U.S. imperialism. Open mic to follow. Sponsored by AFSC.
7:30pm $3-10 sliding scale

Thursday 20
Spanish Book Club meets in Cafe Lobby. Conducted by Miriam Ruvinskis,
this month we will read Julio Cort‡zar'sLa Autopista del Sur. 7:30pm $5

Wednesday 26
Cafe Fiction featuring Elsie Washington, former editor with Essence
Magazine. Open mic hosted by Wanda Sabir. 7:30pm $2

Wednesday 26
Black Arts poet Marvin X reads from his recently-published autobiography
"Somethin' Proper", and selected poems from over thirty years of
soul-searching and a commitment to Black liberation. Booksigning follows.
8pm $5

Talks / Report Back / Forum

Wednesday 5
Report back from Chiapas. Bay Area members of the Mexico Solidarity
Network Tri-national delegation to Chiapas reportback with video footage
and slides from their recent trip. 7:30pm $5-10


Friday 7
Lesbian Comedy Night. Elvira Kurt, veteran standup comic, who's rubber
faced, animated, upbeat and charmingly self-deprecating. She's appeared on
Comedy Central's Out There II, New York's OUTrageous Comedy! with Sandra
Bernhard and many others. With local comic Charlene Tapia, a favorite at
Josie's and LunaSea. 8pm $13 door. Adv tixs $11 adv. at La Tienda. (For
this show tickets available from La Penna web site by TicketWeb)


Wednesday 19
Solo Theater with Charlie Chin. Did you ever wonder what goes on in a
restaurant kitchen? Shake the salt off your shoes, count out your tips,
and order your staff meal from a banquet made for ghosts. 8pm $5-7 sliding
scale (For this show tickets available from La Penna web site by

Saturday 22 and Sunday 23
Sara Felder in "June Bride: Solo Theatre About a Traditional Jewish
Lesbian Wedding" Will the parents of both brides attend the wedding?
Will the marriage be accepted by the Jewish faith? Will the brides both
wear wedding gowns? A former member of the Pickle Family Circus, Felder
employs juggling knives, monologues and (hopefully) a strait jacket escape
in this hilarious and touching tale of family, tradition and marriage in
modern America. "June Bride" has been hailed by critics and audiences
alike. 8pm $13 door, $11 adv. tickets at La Tienda. Co-sponsored by the
Berkeley-Richmond Jewish Community Center. (For this show tickets
available from La Penna web site by TicketWeb)

Thursday 27
Mikal J. Hameed presents an original show "Ubediyah" A multi-media solo
performance written and directed by Mikal Hameed in a story about a slave
who runs off the plantation into hip hop culture and embraces all
exploitative aspects. 8pm $10


La Lesbian @ La Penna Film Festival
Sunday, August 16. Noon - 10:30pm (For these shows tickets available from
La Penna web site by TicketWeb)

Multicultural shorts, documentaries, erotica, and discussions with local
film makers. Sponsored by La Penna Cultural Center and Frameline Films,
with support from the
BACW's A Fund of Our Own administered by the Horizons Foundation.
I/Yo (dir. Adriana Pacheco, 13 min.) Memory montage of queers in Colombia.
Bayou (dir. Dina Ciraulo, 8 min) Part travelogue, part diary, the film is
an intimate account of a trip taken to the South.
Untitled (dir. Aarin Burch, 10 min.) African American body as a landscape
and memory source. Silence Broken (dir. Aishah Shahidah Simmons, 8 min)
Dedicated to the memory of Audre Lorde, voices the struggle of Black
lesbians resisting the pressures to choose between race, gender and
Queer Women Martial Arts (dir. Akko Nishimura and Dyke TV, 15 min.) These
women get your chi moving!
Some Ground To Stand On (dir. Catrine Clay, 36 min.) Amazing tale of Blue
Lunden, working class feminist peace activist whose odyssey of personal
transformation parallels lesbians' changing roles over the part 40 years.
film maker discussion follows.

Lessons in Baby Dyke Theory (dir. Thirza Cuthand, 5 min.) Playful and
insightful work of a baby dyke's initiation into her culture.
Tomboy (dir. Donna Carter, 5 min.) Local jock high-achiever.
A Religious Experience (dir. Margo Dean, 10 min). Campy comedy with Karla
Carmony & Amy Boyd vs. the religious right.
Sightings (dir. H Lenn Keller, 14 min.) Sexy, humorous study of two
African American lesbians attempts to connect romantically.
Dance with Me (dir. Cassandra Nicolaou, 9 min.) Nicoloau resisted learning
the women's parts in Macedonian dances, until she found in them a way to
connect emotionally with her aging mother. Zeuf (dir. Charlotte Lagarde,
5 min) Poignant and inspiring short about breast cancer survival and
Bodily Functions (dir. Jocelyn Taylor, 14 min) Images of a naked woman's
body in an urban landscape as metaphor for desire, empowerment and black
lesbian identity.
My Girlfriend Did It (dir. Dawn West, 30 min.) Personal stories of woman
to woman violence--makes the connections between many forms of oppression

Filmmakers discussion, food and schmoozing

Ruth C. Ellis (dir. Yvonne Welborn, 5 min.) Trailer on a feisty
(98-year-old) oldest known living African American lesbian in the U.S.
Party Favor (dir. Lisa Udelsen, 26 min.) Susie hesitantly accompanies her
lesbian lover to a bridal shower. Just when they think they can't endure
another round of gossip and games, they are given a very special party
Two-Doh (dir. Michelle Mohabeer, 5 min.) Intersection of the cultural and
erotic connections between two lesbians: Persian/Armenian and South
Asian/Sri Lankan.
Treyf ("Not kosher" in Yiddish, dir. Alisa Lebow and Cynthia Madansky, 55
min.) Exploration of culture, family and progressive politics by two
Jewish lesbians who meet and fall in love at a Passover seder.

Adam (dir. Andrea Stoops, 1 min.) Wry animated look at a playground
conquest by a butch baby dyke.
Lesbian Tapes (dir. Melissa Levin, 1 min.) Funny quickie on the challenges
of spicing up a long term sexual relationship.
Mother Fucker (dir. Laurel Swenson, 4 min.) A fast hard rant about lesbian
mothers who feel fucked over.
Day in the Life of a Bulldyke (dirs. Lorri Millan and Shawna Dempsey, 10
min.) The story of a big boned butcher, we follow her into skirmishes and
the arms of a beautiful recruit.
Why I'll Never Trust You (dir. Cassandra Nicolaou, 11 min.) Two women
tenderly lie together after love-making, until one makes a revealing phone
Sabor A Mi ("Savor Me" dir. Claudia Morgado, 20 min.) Erotic short about
sensual yearnings and guilty pleasures of watching.
2 or 3 Things But Nothing For Sure (dir. Tina DiFeliciantonio and Jane C.
Wagner, 20 min.) Profile of acclaimed author Dorothy Allison, Bastard Out
of Carolina.
Wavelengths (dir. Pratibha Parmar, 15 min.) Lusciously rendered cybersex
solution to the all-too-familiar predicament of lesbian heartbreak

Good Citizen Betty Baker (dirs. Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan, 27 min.)
With Pee Wee Hermanesque sets and a feminist sensibility, this madcap
chase takes our housewife heroine Betty to a strangely exciting all-girl's
bar and the arms of a handsome lady golfer.
Badass Supermama (dir. Etang Inyang, 16 min.) Playful but questioning
personal exploration of "blaxploitation" movie goddess Pam Grier.
Her Sweetness Lingers (dir. Shani Mootoo, 12 min.) A garden tea party, a
swirl of fragrance, flowers and beautiful women. An aesthetic culled from
the director's layered Irish-Indo-Trinidadian cultural heritage.
Trappings of Transhood (dirs. Christopher Lee and Elise Hurwitz, 27 min.)
Documentary about gender identity.

La Penna's 25th Anniversary...Just Around the Corner

It is hard to believe that La Penna will turn 25 in June 2000, just
two years from now. At its founding few of us would have imagined the
Center would be going so strong at the turn of the century.

We invite you to participate in making the 25th a very special
celebration. This is our first call to our community to help us plan
those festive events. We need your creativity, enthusiasm, and labor.
The agenda is wide open for your suggestions as long as you are willing
to back them up with work. We would like to see a wide range of events
that highlight La Penna's cultural and artistic diversity. It will be fun
to bring back together some of the thousands of people whose lives have
been touched by La Penna.

Would you be willing to help organize a Penna reunion around
historic themes such as Chile Solidarity, Central American struggles,
Cuba, and different social and artistic movements? We also plan to create
an anthology on the history of La Penna. If you are interested in writing
an article, submitting testimony, poetry, artwork or photos, please
contact us. If you are interested in getting involved with the 25th
anniversary planning or community history please contact Sylvia at
510/849-2568 ext.16.



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