Newbery award winner and New York Times bestselling author

Posts tagged ‘ART 180’

Contra Tiempo in RVA: Where Salsa and Hip Hop Meet Activism

contra-tiempoIt’s a great week for fans of Latin music and dance. Buy your tickets right now for ContraTiempo who will be performing Tuesday, Nov. 19, 7:30 PM at CenterStage. Their name literally translates to a “rough patch” in a situation, but this Los Angeles-based Urban Latin dance theater company offers nothing but joy. The music is irresistible and the dancing is first-rate. On Tuesday, they’ll perform Full, Still Hungry, a contemporary piece that examines food and consumption. It’s art, it’s activism, and it’s fun.images

imagesI got a taste of their work this past Saturday at ART 180, where they did a free community workshop. Sponsored by the Modlin Center at  the University of Richmond, the company has been in town for about a week, working – as is their mission – in schools and communities to use dance as a tool in transformation.  Within an hour, we were stepping, dancing salsa, and moving in a “rueda” (wheel) that featured cues like “talk on the telephone” and “catchers mitt”  to make us pose and move as if we knew what we were doing. I danced with men, with women, with kids in third grade, with teens, most of whom I’d never met. The crowd was wonderful, and the dancers broke down their step routines so that we were all in synch and making music and movement together.

To me, dance is another way of telling story, and story is a way of coming together. contratiempoCheck them out. See you there!

Tickets $22; U of R students, free.

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Happy Book Birthday: The Movie!

Well, it’s finally here. Pub day for YAQUI. Here’s a little movie to say thank you to all who helped make this book and send it out into the world. Thanks, Penelope Carrington for the amazing photography. (Click full screen to see all slide captions.)

Cariños de,
Meg

Books, Bullying, and Building Compassion: A Book Event in RVA

Mark your calendars: Saturday, March 16, 2013, 2 PM – 4:30 pm. Book launch party for Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, ART 180, 114 West Marshall Street, Richmond, VA 23220

Me in the eighth grade.

Me in the eighth grade.

One day back in middle school, a girl I didn’t know came up to me and said, “Jackie Delgado is going to kick your ass.” If that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s more or less the title of my new YA novel.

I didn’t know it then, but that moment was an awful turning point for me. If you’ve ever been targeted, you know that a low grade dread sets in and crowds out everything else, like your grades, your family, your self esteem. What followed for me were two long years of dodging a school bully and her obnoxious friends who would push me and threaten me, scream out my name and cackle in the halls. I suddenly felt scared to exist at my school, and no adult seemed capable of helping. I learned to avoid classes, to lie to my mother, to hang out with downright dangerous people so that I might become so tough that no one could ever hurt me. I wasn’t alone, of course, but you couldn’t have told me that.

The good news is that, like most of us, I survived. The bad news is that girls like Jackie still exist today, and they’re made all the fiercer with their cameras and YouTube sites and Facebook pages. I saw it as a teacher. I saw it as a mom. I see it still on the news when things spiral out of control tragically and a teen takes his or her life in despair. So, as I wrote this novel, I thought not only of my own small experience but also about what goes on right now for  perfectly wonderful people who are harassed at school every day.

Yaqui_frontcoverfullThe book launch (press release here) is a celebration of strength and a conversation. I’m thrilled that it will be held at Atlas, ART 180′s new teen art center in Richmond’s Arts District. (Long ago, I was on their board, and they continue to amaze me with the work they do to give teens some voice and power in our city.)

images I’ll do a reading and a short Q & A. Then we’ll have a performance of Pushed: explorations into bullying, an original play by the Conciliation Project. (The actors are alums of ART 180.) After that, we’ll pull teens and non profit experts from the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities and the Richmond Peace Education Center for an honest Q & A about what resources are out there to help build  your strength if and when you face down ugliness.

I’m already planning refreshments and the playlist. I’m digging up book titles that might help. Please spread the word, come with a friend and help me send the book out into the world. RSVP to Meg6000@aol.com. Press release to print and share: here.

For sample chapters here

For more book events for Meg this spring, here.

Don't forget to RSVP!(Mike at ART 180)

Don’t forget to RSVP!
(Mike at ART 180)