Wednesday, March 11, 2009


The Brown Girls’ Chronicles: The Director’s Cuts Otherwise Known as “Antojitos”

Springtime is right around the corner and Proyecto Latina has some wonderful surprises for you! We KICK OFF our March Proyecto Latina with a special Director's Cut from the
Brown Girls' Chronicles so even if you missed their sold out show you can still check them out.

The Brown Girls' Chronicles: Puerto Rican Women and Resilience is a
collection of the stories,voices and songs that long to be heard; the stories of how race, ethnicity, gender, and colonialism shape the lives of marginalized women.

Proyecto Latina Co-Producer Irasema Gonzalez will be doing
an interview with the lovely and talented ladies of the BrownGirl's
Chronicles. You can listen to the interview Sundays at 6 p.m. or
check back on the Proyecto Latina website for the podcast.

Monday, March 16 @ 7 p.m. -FREE!
Radio Arte
1401 W. 18th Street
Chicago, IL 60608
Near blue line / 60 Blue Island Bus/18th St. Bus
Gotta a question?

Written and directed by Yolanda Nieves, The Brown Girls'
Chronicles are the stories of second generation Puerto Rican
women who in their day-to-day lives are the embodiment of
struggle for independence of mind, soul, heart and body.

The Brown Girls' Chronicles is the long-time
realized desire of Nieves to continue the construction
of her identity, a desire shared by her generation and
by the youth of Chicago too. The show, based on the
collection of interviews from scores of second
generation Puerto Rican women, is perfectly described
as "…a vibrant and truthful perspective of the Puerto Rican
woman's experience in Chicago...
" by cultural/artistic activist Carlos Flores, " eradicates
an existing void."

The Vida Bella Ensemble features:

Laura Magdalena Nieves is a third generation Puerto Rican
woman born and raised inChicago. Laura is pursuing her
bachelor’s degree in zoology and is a member of Phi Theta
Kappa, a national honor society. She is also a spoken word
artist and a sketch artist. Laura has danced with Grupo Yuba,
a bomba-plena dance troupe from Chicago, as well as with Spicy
Dance Rhythms, the all women’s dance troupe at Wright College.
Two years ago she made her debut in the play “Brown Girls
Singing.” Laura is excited to be working with the amazing cast of
“The Brown Girls’ Chronicles” and is grateful for the influence strong
Puerto Rican women have had in her life.

Anabel Duarte is a second generation Puerto Rican
woman and isproud of having been born and raised in
Humboldt Park. A Gordon Tech High School graduate,
Anabel is currently attending Northeastern Illinois University
and majoring in business management. “The Brown Girls’
Chronicles” is Anabel’s first production. Anabel is excited
and thankful to be part of this endeavor. It is her desire that
women everywhere can connect with the universal message
of the Brown Girl Chronicles.

Natalie Mia Bermeo is a second generation Puerto Rican
woman with a strong passion for acting and the performing arts.
A sophomore at Carl Schurz High School, Natalie has been
acclaimed for her work in improvisational theater. A member of
Las Caras Lindas, a mentoring program for young Puerto Rican
women established this year in the Humboldt Park community,
Natalie is delighted to be a member of the Vida Bella Ensemble,
and is determined to pursue acting for many years to come.

Yolanda Nieves is a second generation Puerto Rican
woman born and raised in Humboldt Park. She is the
“The Brown Girls’ Chronicles” playwright and director.
Yolanda is also an award winning poet (The Jane’s
Stories Foundation award winner 2006) and published
her first collection of poems, Dove over Clouds, in 2007.
In 2007, Yolanda successfully co-wrote and co-directed
her first production, “Brown Girls Singing” which was
successfully staged at University of Chicago and Jane
Addams’ Hull House. She has also performed parts of the
play to great acclaim at the University of Manchester, England;
the University of Guanajuato, Mexico; and the University of
Rio Piedras
in Puerto Rico. Yolanda performs her poetry at
various Chicago venues and is an active member
of the Neighborhood Writing Alliance-Humboldt Park Branch.
She holds a B.A. from Loyola University, an M.A. from Loyola
an M.A. from Northeastern Illinois University, and is currently
a doctoral candidate at National-Louis University. She is also
a Diversifying Faculty in Illinois Fellowship winner. Yolanda is
grateful for the circle of women, those of the past, present, and
future, and all the godmothers and godfathers that have sustained
the creative integrity of “The Brown Girls’ Chronicles: Puerto Rican
Women and Resilience.”

Diana Cruz is a third generation Puerto Rican
woman. She is honored to be part of the Vida Bella
Ensemble and performing in the Brown Girls’ Chronicles.
A Chicago native, she holds a B.A. in Communications and
is pursuing her Master’s degree at Spertus Institute. She is a
proud member of Saboreando Obras Latinas (S.O.L.), and
independent publishing press, and is an active participant of
the Neighborhood Writing Alliance. Diana also sings with the
Chicago Puerto Rican Community Chorus. She has been
published in several issues of the Journal of Ordinary Thought
and Area Magazine. Diana sends her love and gratitude to
her S.O.L. sistas, her family, and husband.

Esmeralda Cuevas is a second generation Puerto Rican
woman, born and raised in Chicago, Illinois and joins Vida
Bella Ensemble as a first-time performer. She has always
had an interest in theatre performance, and has acquired
valuable experience through various acting classes and
workshops at both Columbia College and Act One Studios.
Aside from her theatre aspirations, Esmeralda has also
founded her own dance instruction company – Move UR
Hips, Inc. – offering private dance lessons in non-competitive
Latin dance styles. She is also a member of Las Divas Promotions,
with fellow cast member Yvonne Nieves, providing public relations
and marketing services to local businesses. In addition to these
various interests and commitments, Esmeralda spends her daytime
hours working as an assistant for the Human Resources department
of The Marmon Group/ Chicago Public Schools.

Marisel Melendez is a second generation Puerto Rican mother,
daughter, sister, poet, and author. Her current work is an unpublished
manuscript in progress that relates her personal experiences of her
life’s challenges as a Puerto Rican woman growing up in Humboldt
Park. Marisel has a passion for the spoken word and she is the founder
of the Amaryllis Book Club, where young Latinas in middle school get
the opportunity to put their thoughts into poetry. She is a proud member
of Saboreando Obras Latinas (S.O.L.), an independent publishing Puerto
Rican women’s press. As a member of the Neighborhood Writing Alliance
she has had several of her poems published in The Journal of Ordinary
Thought, and most recently in Area Magazine.

Yvonne Nieves is a third generation Puerto Rican and a budding
entrepreneur. After working as an organizer for yearsin the Puerto
Rican community and obtaining her degree in Anthropology, she
realized that her passion was working in the music industry. She is
the head of Las Divas Promotions and works as an independent
contractor, providing support and resources to records labels, local
bands and small businesses. You may recognize her for her role as
Tuti in the 2004 film "Urban Poet" produced by New Film Productions.

Sandra Posada is a second generation Puerto Rican
woman born and bred in Humboldt Park. She is a teacher,
published artist/illustrator, artisan; creator of Coqueta Creations
by PiXie- jewelry line for women. Sandra has been a Bilingual
educator within the Chicago Public Schools for 12 years
and was recently nominated for the Illinois Golden Apple Award.
Sandra successfully co-wrote her first production, "Brown Girls
Singing" which was successfully staged at University of Chicago
and Jane Addams' Hull House. Sandra performs her poetry at
various Chicago venues and has presented her art work at various
local venues including the University of Illinois, Chicago and
the Symposium for Women of Color in 2008. She holds a B.A.
from Roosevelt University and is currently a working on her M.A.
in Bilingual/ Bicultural Education at DePaul University. Sandra
believes strongly in that art can educate. Sandra hopes that everyone
who comes to see The Brown Girls Chronicles will walk
away with a fresh perspective of who "second generation Puerto
Rican women" are.