Aug. 24, 2010 - In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, all of Kern County is invited to join the next community read organized by One Book, One Bakersfield, One Kern. The book, "Burro Genius," by Victor Villaseņor ("Rain of Gold," "Macho!") is a memoir of the author's experience as the child of Mexican immigrants growing up in Southern California during the 1940s and '50s. It is as much a commentary on the education system that discriminated against Spanish speakers - and failed to recognize the author's severe dyslexia that made him seem like a "stupid Mexican" - as it is a story of family, culture, heritage and coming of age.
Lead partners Kern County Library and CSU Bakersfield have organized two months of programming related to the community read, starting with a kickoff on Sept. 16 (Mexican Independence Day) at the Beale Memorial Library, and culminating with the author himself giving a free talk at CSUB on Nov. 9.
One Book, One Bakersfield, One Kern encourages all community members, young and old, to read the book, hold book discussions, and participate in the many events related to National Hispanic Heritage Month this fall. According to www.hispanicheritagemonth.gov, this year's theme "recognizes the strength and hard work of Hispanic Americans, whose zeal for family and country has helped shape society" - a very fitting theme for a community read of "Burro Genius."
Local events include:
Sept. 3, 5 p.m. First Friday art exhibit opening for Latination II, Metro Galleries, 1604 19th St., Bakersfield, free
Sept. 10-25 Bakersfield Community Theatre presents "Bordertown," 2400 South Chester Ave., Bakersfield, admission charged, call 831-8114
Sept. 16, 11 a.m. One Book, One Bakersfield, One Kern kickoff of "Burro Genius" community read and National Hispanic Heritage Month with speakers and entertainment, Beale Memorial Library, 701 Truxtun Ave., Bakersfield, free
Sept. 18, 2 p.m. Pam Muņoz Ryan Day, with proclamations by Mayor Harvey Hall and Assemblywoman Jean Fuller celebrating Bakersfield native and acclaimed children's author Pam Muņoz ("Esperanza Rising"), entertainment, reception and book signing, Russo's Books at The Marketplace, 9000 Ming Ave., Bakersfield, free
Sept. 23, 7 p.m. Actors from The Empty Space Theatre present dramatic readings from "Burro Genius" as inspired by the art of the Latination II exhibit at Metro Galleries, 1604 19th St., Bakersfield, free
Sept. 24, 7:30 p.m. FLICS International Film Society presents "Sin Nombre," a film made in Mexico touching on themes of immigration and gangs, Fox Theater, 2001 H St., Bakersfield, $5, flics.org
Oct. 1-2, CSUB's Modern Languages Department hosts the first "Hispanic American and Spanish Literary and Cultural Symposium," 9001 Stockdale Highway, free with $2 parking, call 661-654-2359 for time and location
Oct. 6, 9:30 to 11 a.m. Bakersfield Museum of Art's First Wednesday features a panel discussion on themes related to "Burro Genius," 1930 R St., Bakersfield, free to museum members, $5 adults, $4 seniors, www.bmoa.org
Oct. 6, 7 p.m. CSUB-UNIR (United Now for Immigration Rights) holds a showing of the documentary "The 800 Mile Wall," about the U.S.-Mexico border, Dorothy Donahoe Hall, Room G102, 9001 Stockdale Highway, free with $2 parking
Oct. 7, 7 p.m., Kern County Library presents Salsa y Salsa, a celebration of Latin dance through demonstration and instruction from local experts with salsa tasting from Bakersfield's best salsa makers, Beale Memorial Library, 701 Truxtun Ave., free
Oct. 13, 7 p.m. CSUB's Kegley Institute of Ethics presents acclaimed author and international dignitary Carlos Fuentes ("The Old Gringo," "The Death of Artemio Cruz") who will speak on "Globalization: A New Deal for a New Age," Doré Theatre, 9001 Stockdale Highway, free admission and parking
Oct. 14, 7 p.m. CSUB's History Forum features Dr. Gabriel Gutiérrez, Director of the Center for the Study of the Peoples of the Americas at CSU Northridge, who will present the historical context of "Burro Genius," Doré Theatre, 9001 Stockdale Highway, free with $2 parking
Oct. 15, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Literary Kern hosts a book discussion about "Burro Genius" at Russo's Books at The Marketplace, 9000 Ming Ave., Bakersfield, free
Oct. 17, 2 to 4 p.m. The Kern County Museum hosts tours of the Lopez House with docent-led talks on local Latino history, 3801 Chester Ave., $5
Oct. 24, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Guelaguetza 2010, a festival celebrating Oaxacan culture with folkloric dances, music, art, crafts and food, CSUB Outdoor Amphitheatre, 9001 Stockdale Highway, adults $7.50, children under 12 free, $2 parking, www.upbj.org
Nov. 1, 3:30 to 5 p.m. CSUB's Movimiento Estudantil Chicano de Aztlån (MEChA) hosts a Dia de los Muertos workshop with guest speaker Eva Patino, Student Union Multipurpose Room, 9001 Stockdale Highway, free with $2 parking
Nov. 2, 5 to 8 p.m. Bakersfield Museum of Art presents "Altares de Familia," a Day of the Dead celebration, 1930 R St., Bakersfield, free, www.bmoa.org
Nov. 2-6, Golden State Mall hosts "Dia de Los Muertos Expo Week," a Mexican cultural event featuring community shrines, live music, folkloric dancers, poets, painters, puppeteers, and other performing artists. Golden State Mall, 2nd floor, F Street & Golden State Highway, 633-9500.
Nov. 9, 7 p.m.: Victor Villaseņor, author of "Burro Genius," will speak about his memoir and sign books, CSUB Icardo Center, 9001 Stockdale Highway, free admission and parking in Lot I
For more information about One Book, One Bakersfield, One Kern, contact organizer Kristie Coons at 661-325-9584 or email@example.com.
For more information:Kristie Coons
One Kern organizer
Media ContactColleen Dillaway, Director of Public Affairs & Communications