FESTIBA Community Day to showcase UTPA's arts and humanities
Contact: Melissa Vasquez, Senior Editor 956/381-2741
Posted: 02/22/2007
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Come "Celebrate and Experience Arts and Ideas" at The University of Texas-Pan American during its first Festival of International Books and Arts (FESTIBA) Community Day March 3.

FESTIBA Community Day, a free event open to South Texas residents, will celebrate the arts and humanities side of the University through musical and dance concerts, plays, workshops, exhibits, readings from authors, campus tours, and much more.

"It is an opportunity for the community to come to our campus and see what we have to offer," Dr. Dahlia Guerra, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities and FESTIBA organizer, said. "This is also a wonderful opportunity to showcase our faculty in many different ways from their research to their publications, their talents and ideas. We want to engage the community and give them the opportunity to take part in hands-on activities from writing to art."

Guerra said the main goal of FESTIBA, a three-day event, which runs March 1-3, is to encourage literacy and broaden the cultural awareness of South Texas through numerous mediums - books, poetry, drama, dance, music, art, and much more - while also recognizing the talented arts and humanities faculty and students at UTPA.

All departments within the College of Arts and Humanities - art, communication, English, history and philosophy, modern languages and literature, and music - will collaborate on the event to give valuable insight into the artistic, creative and educational environment of the University.Other FESTIBA partners include the UTPA Colleges of Education and Social and Behavioral Sciences and the Division of External Affairs.

FESTIBA Community Day will offer fun, food, music and hands-on activities for the entire family. A highlight of FESTIBA Community Day will be the Texas Book Festival Author! Author! Program, which features three authors of children and adolescent literature - Lila Guzman, David Rice and Rene Saldaña, a former UTPA assistant professor in English. The authors will read from 9 a.m.-noon at the UTPA Quad, and 1-3 p.m. at the Student Union Theater. During the Texas Book Festival the program brings children and adolescent book authors to read and hold discussions at low-income schools in Austin. As part of FESTIBA, the authors will be visiting and reading to children in schools across the Rio Grande Valley March 1-2. In addition, a book fair will be held throughout the day at the Student Union with book signings by local authors.

The public is also invited to participate in several workshops that will be offered in writing, theatre makeup, and drawing. In addition, the public will be able to observe historical re-enactments by UTPA students and faculty as well as art exhibits.

For music lovers, FESTIBA Community Day will offer performances from high school mariachi groups across the Valley in the Mariachi Masterclass competition and a concert with Grammy Award-winning José Hernandez of Mariachi Sol de Mexico and the award-winning UTPA Mariachi and Mariachi Femenil at 6 p.m. in the Fine Arts Auditorium. Tickets can be purchased for the performance at the door. In addition, a showcase of mariachi groups and the UTPA Salsa Band will perform in the UTPA Quad from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Also performing will be the UTPA Dance Ensemble, Cuadro Flamenco, and the Ballet Folklorico Dance Companies during a concert at the Fine Arts Auditorium at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the door for the show.

For theatre goers, the University Theatre will host a performance of "Once Upon a Mattress" at the Albert L. Jeffers Theatre at 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the Theatre Box Office.

For further information on FESTIBA or to become a sponsor, call the College of Arts and Humanities at 956/381-2175. For a complete schedule of the three-day event, visit