Recommended Read for Earth Month: Violence Girl by Alice Bag

Gwendolyn Alley aka Art Predator:

Pre-order your copy of Alice Bag’s memoir Violence Girl today and pick it up April 22 at Earth Day when she reads and performs at Ventura College from 630-730pm!

Originally posted on art predator:

violencegirlorderformIf you’re into music, grew up in the 70s, are curious about the LA punk scene, or life growing up in East LA, Alice Bag’s book Violence Girl is for you!

“The birth of the 1970′s punk movement as seen through the eyes of Chicana feminist and punk musician Alice Bag. Set against the colorful backdrop of an East LA childhood and the Hollywood Punk Scene, this alternately harrowing and hilarious coming of age tale surveys the sweeping social changes of two decades through a lens of subversive art and thought.” Published by Feral House, 2011.

Alice Bag Photo by Martin Sorrondeguy at the Masque, 2014.

Alice Bag Photo by Martin Sorrondeguy at the Masque, 2014.

Right now I’m taking pre-orders, then you can pick it up Ventura College Earth Day Tues April 22, hear her perform and read, and get her to sign it and personalize it! Only $18 and a great read!

“If I could have a punk…

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Maya Angelou + The Importance of Artists + Festivals

Gwendolyn Alley aka Art Predator:

Are you going to Lucidity? How can attending a music festival help achieve social justice and environmental justice?

Originally posted on art predator:

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According to Maya Angelou,  author of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, “When members of a society wish to secure that society’s rich heritage, they cherish their arts and respect their artists. The esteem with which we regard the multiple cultures offered in our country enhances our possibilities for healthy survival and continued social development.” (See more quotes from Maya Angelou).

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As we seek environmental justice and social justice, we would be wise to heed Maya Angelou’s advice. Artists provide us with vision, bring us vitality, show us the truth, provide a mirror and a window for  our souls. We must encourage and support a diversity of artistic voices as these voices will help us hear and see the solutions.

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The “new” festivals that are blossoming worldwide like Burning Man and Lucidity, or how festivals like Coachella

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JFK: We are tied to the ocean

Gwendolyn Alley aka Art Predator:

Dian Sousa kicks off National Poetry Month with a reading tonight at EP Foster Library Ventura CA.

Originally posted on art predator:

10150041_10203721950236202_653635915_n “We are tied to the ocean,” said John F. Kennedy, “and when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch, we are going back from whence we came.”

Today is the third day of both National Poetry Month and Earth Month, and today I am writing to invite you to hear poetDian Sousa from San Luis Obispo County read tonight at EP Foster Library in the Topping Room at 7:30pm (651 E. Main Street, Ventura). Hosted each Thursday (except the fourth Thursday) byPhil Taggart, an open mic.

I chose this Earth Month poster for today because when I think of poets who write about and love the sea, about poets who go back from whence we came, I think of Dian, an ocean loving surfing poet if there ever was one. The video below, with a funny introduction about national poetry…

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April is Earth Month AND National Poetry Month: how will you celebrate?

Originally posted on art predator:

No foolin’! April is National Poetry Month AND it’s Earth Month! How will you celebrate? Will you share poetic good works? Will encourage environmental good works? Or both? Because, as Dr Seuss says, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

Personally, I will be posting a poem a day this month on my own facebook wall as well as either on my “middle of the night poems from daughter to mother :: mother to son” page or on my “The Write Alley” page which feeds onto twitter. I also plan to continue working with Sheila Louise Photo to produce inspiring quotes and images like the one here and then publish them daily with hopes that one or more of them will go viral to spread these important messages.

And of course, my students and I are putting together a really…

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Tonight! #Earth Hour #YourPower

Gwendolyn Alley aka Art Predator:

Will you go dark tonight to celebrate the light that life on our planet offers us?

Originally posted on art predator:

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Tonight, join millions of people around the world  in switching off lights in homes, offices and famous landmarks at 8.30pm local time for an hour to mark World Wildlife Fund’s Earth Hour held annually on the last Saturday in March as a way to call attention to our planet before  April’s Earth Month activities.

Please join us! It’s simple to participate. Just turn out the lights from 8:30pm to 9:30pm, sit back, relax, check out the stars! Learn more at earthhour.org.

While I have participated in the past at home, tonight we will be at the Banf Mountain Film Fest. So several hundred people will be gathered in a darkened hall to watch films that celebrate our home, what we do here, and why we love it.

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Writing Practice – why it’s time to stop thinking of writing as a profession

Gwendolyn Alley aka Art Predator:

A lot of insights here. Check this article out!

Originally posted on Damien G. Walter:

If you go to a good art school (and yes you STEM readers out there, such places do exist) they teach to think of your art as a practice. And yourself as a practitioner. There’s a purpose to this tradition, although admittedly it takes most art students – myself included – until well after they graduate and are in to their practice to understand why.

Before I say more about practice, I should say why I think this idea is useful at this time for writers. Today the writing world is in a certain amount of turmoil. Digital technology means that the limitations imposed by print have evaporated overnight. And although the change could be seen coming long ago, many writers and publishers are struggling psychologically to adapt. Questions like whether it is still possible to earn a living as a writer, whether self-publishing is a viable route for writers…

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How To Prepare for Earth Month

Gwendolyn Alley aka Art Predator:

Some readings from the past few days relevant to the environmental and social justice issues we’ve been studying in class to prepare us for Earth Day.

Originally posted on art predator:

While “Every Day is Earth Day” and with April 22 internationally recognized as Earth Day, it makes sense that the whole month of April be designated as Earth Month.

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Did you know that 1 in 8 deaths or the deaths of about 7 million people a year are linked to air pollution? 

It’s true, according to a report released Tuesday by the World Health Organization and reported in the LA Times. While the article quotes  Michael Kleinman, a professor of toxicology at UC Irvine as saying that “People don’t die of air pollution alone; they die of other things the pollution tends to exacerbate.” This is an environmental issue as well as a social justice issue; most of these deaths are in Asia and other poor and developing countries that rely on fires to cook their food combined with industrial and vehicle pollution sources.

With that in mind, here are…

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Ventura College Publication for Student Writing Seeks Submissions by 3/28

VC Voices

Close up of hand writingNeeds student writing!

Get published for cash prizes!
Get extra credit by submitting your work and including a copy of it and a screen shot that shows you did it!

Submissions due Friday March 28!

What is eligible: any essay, short story, or poem written by a student for an English class at Ventura College within the last year.

How to submit:

  • Complete a online submission form here.

Contact the editors for more details: VCVoices@vcccd.edu

Happy Birthday, Cesar Chavez! Check out this new film, day of service, and Dolores Huerta speaking at VC!

huertaVC2014Get ready to learn about Cesar Chavez through film and events! Be inspired to participate in service in his honor–if not on his birthday March 31, then how about for Earth Day April 22?

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First, on Weds. March 26 from 6-9pm in Ventura College’s Guthrie Hall (4667 Telegraph Road), Dolores Huerta will be on campus to celebrate diversity in culture. If my students attend and write about it, they can earn extra credit.

A labor leader and civil rights activist, Huerta co-founded with Cesar Chavez  the National Farm-Workers Association which later became the United Farm Workers (UFW). 

Recognized internationally for her contribution to social justice, Huerta has received many awards for organizing and advocating for farm workers, immigrant rights and womens’ rights. She has been honored as the Eugene V. Debs Foundation Outstanding American; received the Eleanor Roosevelt Presidential Award for Human Rights; and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

In 1965 Dolores directed the famous National Boycott of Grapes, taking the plight of the farmworker to the consumer. The boycott resulted in the entire California table grape industry signing three year collective agreements with the United Farm Workers(UFW). Dolores is president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, which promotes leadership, and creates leadership opportunities for community organizing, leadership development, health, and education.

Friday, March 28, 2014  a film directed by Diego Luna and starring Michael Peña as Cesar Chavez will be in the theaters (see trailer). The film also features America Ferrera, Rosario Dawson, John Malkovich, Gabriel Mann, and Mark Moses.

All this leads to Cesar Chavez Day, March 31, a day that many are urging be made a Day of National Service.

Chavez was a champion for workers’ rights and an American hero. Honor his legacy by serving on Cesar Chavez Day, March 31 and seek to take this a step further to a full Day of Service. Urge the President to declare March 31 as the Cesar Chavez National Day of Service. (Sign the Petition: http://bit.ly/1cqR49S)

And remember that in less than a month, we’ll have Alice Bag at VC for Earth Day!

Learn more about Cesar Chavez Day here.

Time to get HAPPY! First day of Spring/Fall, International Day of Happiness, and poetry!

Gwendolyn Alley aka Art Predator:

How can we achieve happiness? Chris Carlsson argues it is by being “nowtopians” in his book “Nowtopia.” Read how and why at this link: http://p2pfoundation.net/Nowtopia and check out the radio interview with him too.

Originally posted on art predator:

day of happiness Today is the first day or spring –or fall depending on where you are on the globe!

No matter where you are, today is the International Day of Happiness!

If you’re feeling down, and need to get happy, you can get your happy on here and dance along with people from around the world.

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