SANTA MONICA—The Santa Monica Public Library will host three notable Latino artists for a live performance through its Big Read program on April 26.
“An Afternoon with Reubén Martinez and Friends” will begin at 3:00 p.m. at the Library’s MLK Jr. Auditorium in an event that will bring together Martinez with Raquel Guitiérrez and Rafe Esparza to perform “variedades,” or a variety show with a focus on themes of migration. Amongst some of the topics the performance will tackle include the ongoing negotiation with identity and what is gained and lost in migration, as the trio will relate their family stories of migration to the audience. Following the event, Martinez will be on hand for a book sale and signing of his works “Desert American” and “Crossing Over.”
Martinez is an Emmy award-winning journalist who also writes and performs music. He currently holds the Fletcher Jones Chair in Literature and Writing atLoyola Marymount University, and he previously co-wrote and hosted the documentary “When Worlds Collide” for PBS. Guitiérrez is a writer, live performer, playwright and cultural organizer who graduated with a Master’s degree in Performance Studies from New York University in 2004. She recently released a collection of poems in a “chapbook” called “Breaking Up with Los Angeles.” Esparza is a multidisciplinary artist who works with installations, sculptures, drawing and paintings. He has performed several times in public spaces all over Los Angeles.
The Big Read is a community reading initiative comprised of free events and book discussions held all throughout Santa Monica. It was funded through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as grants from a variety of other sources.
The Public Library is located at 601 Santa Monica Boulevard. For more information about the Library or the event, residents can visit www.smpl.org or dial 310-458-8600.