Urbano Project Hosts Music, Poetry and Art Series at Librería Donceles

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Fernandito Ferrer performs at Urbano Project on Feb. 22

Urbano Project is pleased to announce a series of bilingual salon-like gatherings to be held at Librería Donceles, a participatory art installation and meeting place for the community in JP's Brewery Complex.

Events include an homage to Puerto Rican poet Julia de Burgos on Feb. 17th, a performance by Puerto Rican singer/songwriter Fernandito Ferrer on Feb. 22nd, a book arts workshop with Sara Rivera and Denise Delgado on March 4th; and a book launch/story slam with Suzanne Skees, author of "My Job: Real People at Work Around the World" on March 16th. More events, presented in partnership with local organizations, will be announced throughout the winter.

Librería Donceles, a socially-engaged art project consisting of a bookstore of more than 10,000 used books in Spanish, is open Monday through Friday, 1 to 6 pm and Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm, at Urbano’s Gallery space, 29 Germania Street (The Brewery Complex) in Jamaica Plain, through March 31. For more information and the updates on programming visit www.urbanoproject.org or call 617.983.1007.

Friday, February 17, 7-9 pm
Noche de Homenaje a Julia de Burgos

Poet Glaisma Perez Silva and guitarist Gian Carlo Buscaglia pay homage to Julia de Burgos (1914-1953), Puerto Rico’s most illustrious poet, on the anniversary of her birth. Burgos was an outspoken civil rights activist whose poems engage themes of feminism and social justice. Hosted by Center Without Walls and Luis Edgardo Cotto, director of Egleston Main Streets. $5 suggested donation (no one turned away due to lack of funds)

Wednesday, February 22, 7-9 pm
Fernandito Ferrer: ‘Musica Nueva Trova’ live performance at Librería Donceles

Puerto Rican singer-songwriter Fernandito Ferrer is a young pioneer among a new breed of singer-songwriters in Puerto Rico. Born in San Germán, Ferrer draws inspiration from the Nueva Trova giants of the 70's whose songs were a cornerstone of Latin American protest music of that era. His percussive guitar technique and impressive vocal abilities, together with the use of subtle yet powerful melody and poetic imagery, puts his home-grown music in a much wider context. His style is best compared to the works of Tracy Chapman, Ani DiFranco, Antonio Cabán Vale, Silvio Rodríguez and Nick Drake. Hosted by Center Without Walls and Luis Edgardo Cotto, director of Egleston Main Streets. $5 suggested donation (no one turned away due to lack of funds)

Saturday, March 4, 3-6 pm
Book Arts & Alteration in the Age of Omission

Join artists Sara Rivera and Denise Delgado for a book arts workshop at Librería Donceles. They have set aside texts from the collection and will lead participants through an interference with these books–changing them linguistically, narratively, and physically–as a way to experiment with ideas and materiality. The language and history of Latin America, dystopian narratives, and mapping processes, along with other themes, may emerge from this activity. The end product of the workshop will be a set of sculptural, altered artist books that will again become part of Librería Donceles, perhaps to be shelved in an entirely different section than where they started.

Saturday, March 16, 7-9 pm
Book Launch and Story Slam with Suzanne Skees, author of "My Job: Real People at Work Around the World"

"My Job: Real People at Work Around the World" is a compilation of vivid first-person accounts of people in unique jobs from a diverse range of cultures and sectors, exploring the dignity, identity, economic viability, and inherent challenges of each occupation. "My Job" explores global perspectives, reflecting the daily struggles and successes of working storytellers in their own distinct voices.

Hosted by JP Resident Andrea Atkinson, director of One Square World, who wrote the forward for the book.

“Librería Donceles is a project that seeks to respond to two important phenomena in the urban landscape of the U.S: the phasing out of the bookstore and the invisibility of the Spanish language” says artist Pablo Helguera. “Amidst the upheaval caused by many important social and economic events in the 21st century, the demise of the physical bookstore might be a small footnote. Yet it is important to think about the cause of these events. We live in a society that while everyday being more interconnected through social media is less invested in the physical experience of holding and reading a book. And yet it is widely acknowledged that bookstores serve as important gathering places for a community where meaningful interactions can take place.”

The exhibit was made possible by support from State Street Bank.

Urbano Project brings together urban youth and professional artists to ignite social change through place-based participatory art and performance projects. Together we foster future generations of creative and civic leaders committed to social justice. Urbano’s 2016-2017 curatorial theme, ‘The Commons | The Other,’ addresses themes of racial, ethnic, cultural and urban identity and representation that are embedded in our society.

Support for Urbano Project is provided by Barr/Klarman Foundations, The Boston Foundation, Surdna Foundation, Mass Cultural Council, Boston Cultural Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Frank Reed and Margaret Jane Peters Memorial Fund I, and Bloomberg Philanthropies.