Broken Sword Publications brought Lowriting to Tucson, Arizona for the Tucson Festival of Books and it was a huge success! We started off the weekend at the John A. Valenzuela Youth Center in South Tucson for a benefit and the evening was absolutely amazing. There was a lowrider car show, Ceremony, Danza & blessing, poetry readings, slide show, platica, raffle, pin up models and family fun.
Photographer Art Meza and myself sold Lowriting books and prints in order to donate money to the youth center and it was truly an honor to be there that night. Meza was interviewed by some kids who were doing a story for their newspaper!
As a publisher, I believe in giving back and seeing so many children at the event was truly inspiring. Having youth centers in communities like South Tucson is something that we all wanted to support. I was humbled to be there. Lowriting authors Steven Alvarez, Robert Flores and Roberto “Dr. Cintli” Rodriguez were there that night to read and share stories with the crowd. It was a beautiful evening and experience.
If that wasn’t enough, Guero Canelo, owner of legendary Tucson restaurant, El Guero Canelo, showed up to the benefit and then treated us to dinner at his amazing restaurant! He hung out, traded stories and ate with us. That was also a huge honor!
The 2014 Tucson Festival of Books was also a complete success. BSP had two panels; one on Lowriting and the other on self-publishing. Both panels were attended by great crowds and it was a blast conversing with people.
For the Lowriting panel, moderator Neto Portillo, Jr. of the Arizona Daily Star, did a masterful job and had the crowd laughing the whole time. Co-panelist and author Ben Chappell also brought a great perspective to the topic of lowriding and literature.
We also hooked up with Festival rock star, Luis Alberto Urrea, and witnessed him signing a baby! The baby’s shirt read: I read banned books! How cool is that?!
All in all, the Festival was a blast. Huge thanks to Pima County Library, Nuestras Raices, Paula Maez, John A. Valenzuela Youth Center, South Tucson Raza, Manuel Guzman, Steven Alvarez, Dr. Cintli, Gloria Hamelitz-Lopez, Guero Canelo, and everyone who made the trip awesome!
Tucson is an amazing city and one I always look forward to visiting!