The following is a press release from an organization unaffiliated with Voice of OC. The views expressed here are not those of Voice of OC.

Contact: Madeleine Spencer


2018 Press Release

Luis J. Rodriguez comes to Santa Ana’s Second Annual Art & Literature Festival 

This whole event, featuring a beautiful range of diverse and evocative artists of authentic self-expression in its rawest form, offers an eclectic, dynamic and diverse menu of literary readings, poetry, spoken word styles and artists of all kinds, in and evening heightened by live events throughout the downtown with music, performance, and titillating visual art experiences. Join us on the first Saturday of March for Boca de Oro, Santa Ana’s Second Annual “Mouth of Gold” Festival.

SANTA ANA, CA- All the eyes of the region are turned on Downtown Santa Ana for its Second annual Art and Literature Festival. The city has welcomed a diverse mix of some of the finest writers, poets, thinkers and artists to come out and perform. Hosting over 100+ authors as well as 500+ home grown emerging visual and performing artists, this fascinating festival appeals to readers, writers and thinkers and anyone who loves the arts. Boca de Oro is an enticing mixture of keynote presentations, literary reading, poetry slams, panel discussions, author workshops, book signings, and more.

Opening the festival leading a line-up of over 35 events is the Poet Laureate and presenter, Luis J. Rodriguez, an author who has won national recognition as a poet, journalist, fiction writer, children’s book writer, and critic. Currently working as a peacemaker among gangs on a national and international level, Rodriguez helped create Tia Chucha’s Café & Centro Cultural, a multiarts, multimedia cultural center in the Northeast San Fernando Valley and continues to influence, inspire and delight writers, readers and poets both young and old.

Leading Festival organizers Madeleine Spencer, of the Santa Ana Business Council, Robyn MacNair The Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator for the District and Marcus Omari the poet and author who established the Poetic Reform Party have shared their great enthusiasm for this year’s festival.  Spencer stated: “I am enormously excited by the diverse and eclectic mix of writers, poets as well as visual and performing artists we have lined up, it is bound to be a spectacular evening and I believe that visitors and residents alike will go home with their ears ringing and hearts filled with a taste of the artistic talent that is Santa Ana’s gold.”

This second Art and Literary Festival has a packed program confirming the OC Registers 2017 question affirmatively since it asked whether Santa Ana can become a literary hotspot within the OC region. Organizer, Robyn MacNair stated: ” Santa Ana is not only a hotspot but is fast becoming one of the most significant, cultural and authentically talented urban spaces in all of Orange County.”

Some highlights of this year’s lineup includes:

Historical Fiction which you will find it at Fourth Street’s Alta Baja Market where an amazing group of authors celebrating “Women’s Voices” curated by Diana Giovinazzo Tierney host of the popular online podcast Wine, Women and Words, brings us award winning and emerging authors Jennifer Laam, Holly Kammier, Christina Cigala, Rolonda Watts, J.J. Gesher, Christina Julian, publicist Heather Reinhardt.

For All Time – the program also takes a refreshing look with local historians at the legacy of the Orange County’s barrios in an event called “La Gloria de Nuestro Pueblos/ The Glory of our Towns” to discuss how Orange County’s where early Latino families were spatially segregated into barrios yet thrived to establish strong resilient communities that are spread throughout Orange County.

At Avantgarden Gallery you will find prize winning children’s authors Meadow Griffen, A.J. Cosmo, Romina Ramirez as well as emerging author Mitch Robinson and more who will present a fun filled experience for the little ones in event called “Children’s Storytime.”

For poetry lovers, this Festival is jam packed with everything from spoken word to poetry slams taking place all over Downtown from East to West and North to South from the Frida Art House Cinema on the east side of La Cuatro, to our local Good Beer Brewing Co. on the West end of 4th street and from South Broadway’s Gypsy Den to North Main Streets Makara Center for the Arts. Here we will find amazing groups like The Poetic Reform Party with Marcus Omari, Pillowtalk with Sara Armstrong, Tounge and Groove  with Conrad Romo, Poetry in Music with Allah’s Apprentice and finally the SISTER SPIT TOUR 2018: QTPOC Cruising the West who will bring us a fully packed evening of provocation, feelings, analysis, astrology & shade with poets Mari Naomi, Jamal Lewis, Juliana Delgado Lopera, Wo Chan, jayy dodd, Virgie Tovar &  Andrea Abi-Karam all performing at Makara Center for the Arts.

Chapman University’s Centro Comunitario de Educacion located in Downtown Santa Ana will focus on connecting with the community in a shared space for cultural and literary exchange and celebration. Curated by Anaida Colon-Muniz and Jorge Rodriguez, Chapman University faculty and student authors join community artists to link the arts and literature with community education. Performances include moving bilingual readings in English and Spanish book and poetry readings, Academic authors Mildred Lewis and Gerri McNenny; community authors Juan Farias, Maricela Loaeza, Ulises Rodriguez, and children’s author Mac Morante. Then, renowned artist, Fino Ortiz kicks off a series of community performances that help us connect the literary world with the visual and performing arts, including the smooth jazz sounds of saxophonist Joaquin Martinez, folclórico and Jorge Rodriguez will present a demonstration and workshop on Son Jarocho 

Strong as ever is the Festival’s selection of workshops and panels starting off with Santa Ana’s home-grown literary leaders Latina Breath of Fire’s workshop hosted by Diana Burbano and Sara Guerrero out of Cal State Fullerton’s Grand Central Arts Center. Then, recognizing this era of divisive rhetoric, Writers Resist Journal Editors Kit-Bacon Gressitt and Sara Marchant will conduct a workshop to help bridge the gap with: Convince me! An interactive discussion and workshop on writing creatively to persuade.  In AvantGarden Gallery, Teri Arana will lead a Forgiveness Project workshop. District Librarian Tami Davis will lead a Blackout Poetry workshop in M. Lovewell’s little shop of stationery goods and gifts.  The Santa Ana Library will host Tea Time with books. And you won’t want to miss “Image the Body” with author Natalie Graham and Cynthia Alessandra Briano who will share a workshop in radical envisioning.

A fringe of the regular first Saturday Artwalk event you will find spaces filled with artists dedicated to visual and performing arts in the sister component of the festival’s called Almas Sonadoras where each plaza and paseo will be filled with dance, song, performance and you will be delighted by instrumental music as well as visual and performing arts.

Advance tickets for all events are currently available at

Note: This Festival is a gift from Santa Ana’s small businesses through the Santa Ana Business Council in Partnership with the City of Santa Ana and the Santa Ana Unified School who are dedicated to making this event possible.

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