La Mujer: A Virtual Celebration of Womxn

"La Mujer" is our annual celebration of womxn in the arts, presented by the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center. In its 10th year, this festival was originally inspired by Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, who is considered the first feminist of the Americas. This year we are highlighting the accomplishments of mujeres, of womxn, in Austin who inspire us. This multi-disciplinary digital festival will span several days, including a film screening by Cine De Las Americaspanel discussions hosted by Chingona Fest Texas & Latino Studies at UT, a virtual exhibit curated by The Projecto’s Coka Treviño -- PLUS a stellar lineup of musicians, poets, painters, sculptors, visual artists. Join us to honor and elevate Latinx womxn. The event is FREE to watch on the MACC's social media channels.

Saturday, April 24th

7:00 PM CST

Gina Chavez


Gina Chavez is a wife, philanthropist and an award-winning independent musician. She is a 2020 Latin Grammy nominee for Best Pop/Rock Album, 12-time Austin Music Award winner, including 2019 Best Female Vocals and 2015 Austin Musician of the Year. Her NPR Tiny Desk concert has more than 1.2 million views and her hour-long PBS special is available nationwide.

Gina’s music is deeply personal. Her passionate collection of bilingual songs takes audiences on a journey to discover her Latin roots through music as she shares her story of life in Texas as a married, queer Catholic.

Gina tours internationally as a cultural ambassador with the U.S. State Department and runs Niñas Arriba, a college fund she co-founded with her wife for young women in gang-dominated El Salvador. She is featured alongside Oprah, Beyonce, Mahalia Jackson, Dolly Parton and many more in Southern Living's new book celebrating "100 extraordinary women who have left their indelible mark on the South and beyond."

Her first all-Spanish language album, La Que Manda, was just nominated for a Latin Grammy. Now available everywhere.

Mariachi Las Coronelas

Like nothing you've ever seen. It is an eleven-member, beautiful, all-female ensemble that performs a high-energy entertaining show from beginning to end. A mix of songs in English and Spanish that cater to every single person in the audience. From love songs, to dance songs to the Devil went down to georgia , Las Coronelas are changing the way people percieve Mariachi Genre. Created and directed by Vanessa del Fierro, beauty, talent, high-energy and plenty of audience interaction are qualities that Las Coronelas bring. Don't let the dresses and high heels fool you, when these ladies put on a show, they truly make it a magical event and will leave the audience asking for more. Guaranteed to be something you've never seen and will definitely be an experience you will never forget!

Irene Diaz

Throughout her life, Irene Diaz has always been about The Search. For identity. For expression. For music and her place in it, and for a creative community and direction that best serves her mission.

All of that can be found in Diaz’s songs and on Lovers & Friends, the California singer-songwriter’s debut full-length album which was recorded in both Mexico City and Los Angeles. With its captivating melodies and richly nuanced ambience, it introduces Diaz as an artist who’s taken many paths to get to this point, and is excited to find even more creative roads to travel as she moves forward.

Lovers & Friends is, in effect, a new beginning for Diaz and a fresh estination for what’s been along musical path. What began in 2013 with the I Love You Madly EP—and praise from NPR’s Felix Contreas raving “her sheer power belies her compact stature, and her musical impact is simply immense.” At the same time, Diaz is already eyeballing her next creative Way station. “This has been a big project that In ever imagined taking so long,” she says. Lovers & Friends is expected in 2021.

Lesly Reynaga

Lesly Reynaga has made a striking first impression on America’s musical landscape, making waves with music described by the Austin American-Statesman as “catchy dance beats that carry powerful lyricism.”

“Dual Passport,” her most recent release, shows Reynaga’s promise. It has earned her accolades from admirers ranging from Austin Mayor Steve Adler to Stax Records/Motown legend Al Bell who describes her as “the world’s next female singing and guitar-playing rare superstar.” Reynaga pays homage to her roots on “Dual Passport” with a bilingual sound. The Austin Chronicle states that her compositions “traverse genre, culture, and language with transcendental grace like her predecessors Selena and Shakira did before her.” Austin Mayor Steve Adler proclaimed "Lesly Reynaga Day" on March 1, 2018.

Cecilia & The Broken Hearts

Cecilia + the Broken Hearts are an Afro-Chicano Futurism band formed in Austin, TX.

They have been featured on NPR's Alt-Latino and in 2016 performed at the Cactus Cafe as part of the NPR Tiny Desk Contest Tour. And mentioned in the 2018 NPR Tiny Desk All Songs Considered blog and NPR Alt Latino show.

Their musical focus is based on traditional Latin rhythms that are layered underneath melodic three part harmonies, and complemented by driving guitars, accordion, flute and synth.

From Rumba to Cumbia to Conjunto to Americana, Cecilia + the Broken Hearts is working to push the boundaries of music and create a perfect amalgamation.

Members include Mincho Jacob (bass), Melanie Morgan (accordian, flute, vocals), Estrella De Leon (vocals), Fabian Rincon (drums), Joe Rocha (guitar, synth), Jay Bernal (vocals), Mateo Clarke (vocals, violin), Annie Vandervoort (vocals, guitar, keyboard).

Saturday, April 24th

6:00 PM CST

Democratizing the Archive!

→Presented in collaboration with CMAS 50th Anniversary

This panel will look at the importance of documenting and archiving the Latinx community in Austin and beyond. Moderated by Maria Cotera. Panelists include long time activist, Martha Cotera (LLILAS Benson Mexican American Papers) and Alan Garcia from @ATXBarrioArchive

Panelists: Martha Cotera & Alan Garcia

Moderator: Maria Cotera

Saturday, April 24th

5:00 PM CST

Soy Fuerte: Panel discussion about intergenerational social movements in the Latinx community

→Presented by Chingona Fest Texas

Paneslits: Martha Cotera & Tori Baltierra

Moderator: Denise Hernandez

Saturday, April 24th

4:00 PM CST

La Chicana Then & Now: 50 Years of Teaching at UT Austin

→Presented in collaboration with CMAS 50th Anniversary

A conversation with current and former educators of MAS 311: La Chicana to discuss the history and evolution of Chicana and its consumption by each new generation of students

Panelists: Evey Chapa, Pat Garcia, and Lilia Rosas

Moderator: Maria Cotera

Hosted by Cindy Brio of ¡ESCÁNDALO! Improve

Friday, April 23rd

7:00 PM CST

Yana Wana’s Legend of the Bluebonnet

Presented by Indigenous Cultures Institute and Teatro Vivo

Yana Wana’s Legend of the Bluebonnet by Maria Rocha and Roxanne Schroeder-Arce with music by Héctor Martínez-Morales. Directed by Rudy Ramirez

Thirteen-year old María is having trouble in school, so her Mom sends her to stay with her Coahuiltecan grandmother in Laredo. There, María is told the ancient story of young Yana Wana, who followed a revered deer to find water and save her people. Yana Wana’s story exposes and amazing and unknown ancestral connection to the bluebonnet that gives María a renewed sense of self and family pride. A beautiful and original play that illustrates the power of heritage and the value of one’s own story – especially one as ancient as the petroglyphs of Texas.

Thursday, April 22nd

7:00 PM CST

Juana: First (I) Dream

Presented by by A’lante Flamenco

As six voices fill the air with transcendent music, a lone female dancer beats staccato rhythms with her feet. Brilliant, determined, defiant—this is Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, 17th century Mexican nun, scholar, writer and advocate for women’s education.

A’lante Flamenco brings Juana and her world to life through fiery Flamenco guitar, vocals, and dance, with the voices of the Texas Early Music Project adding Baroque choral works from Juana’s era. Juana: First (I) Dream is inspired by Sor Juana’s lifelong fight for knowledge, independence, and scholarship. Be prepared for a totally unique and immersive experience! January 5-7 & 12-14, 2018. Tickets at thelongcenter.org.

This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department.

Wednesday, April 21st

7:00 PM CST

Special Screening of "Las Marthas"

Presented in collaboration with Cine Las Americas' "Hecho en Tejas" series. (Live Q&A following the screening)

One of the largest celebrations of George Washington’s birthday in the world takes place in the border town of Laredo, Texas. This 116-year-old tradition has evolved into an entire month of inventive reenactments and bicultural celebrations, many of them involving their Mexican sister city, Nuevo Laredo. The most preeminent event of them all, however, is the invitation-only Colonial Ball hosted by the elite Society of Martha Washington.

Society daughters, most of them Mexican American, are invited to debut in elaborate Colonial gowns representing iconic figures from America’s revolutionary history, to reenact a ball thrown by America’s first First Lady. Las Marthas follows two of the young debutantes — one a prominent member of Laredo society and the other a newcomer from Mexico — as they prepare for this rite of passage.

Laurita is the thirteenth young woman in her family to debut. Her legacy dates back to the original Spanish land grantees in Laredo. As she reminds us, South Texas used to be part of Mexico: “We didn't cross the border. The border crossed us.” But Laurita constantly wavers between embracing and questioning the ritual.

Rosario, on the other hand, is the first in her family to debut. Raised in Mexico, yet educated in the U.S., Rosario is one of only two “guests” invited to present at this year’s Ball. She represents Nuevo Laredo, Mexico — the other half of “the Two Laredos.” With conflict and crime dominating discourse about the border, Rosario’s inclusion reflects the Society’s desire to stitch together the communities. Yet despite Rosario’s previous success as a beauty queen, she remains a Society outsider.

A year in the making, each girl’s dress can weigh up to one hundred pounds and cost up to $30,000 — nearly the median family income of Laredo. Many of these spectacular creations are made by highly coveted dressmaker Linda Leyendecker Gutierrez, an oil heiress who designs her dresses with “heavenly inspiration from God.”

Las Marthas unravels the origins of the celebration and explores why a town like Laredo, with such deep Mexican roots, feels such affinity for America’s Founding Father, and how against all odds the Washington’s Birthday Celebration has managed to persevere and even flourish, thanks to the Mexican American girls who continue to wear the gilded burden of tradition.

Cristina Ibarras, Director/Producer

Cristina Ibarra is an award-winning Chicana filmmaker from the U.S.-Mexico border between El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico. Her critically-acclaimed documentaryThe Last Conquistador had a national broadcast on PBS’s P.O.V. Her short narrative film, Dirty Laundry: A Homemade Telenovela, won multiple awards at festivals and was broadcast nationwide on the PBS series ColorVision. Ibarra wrote and directed the narrative mini-film Wheels of Change for the New York International Latino Film Festival to play before every feature film screening. Latino Public Broadcasting funded her comedic interstitial Grandma’s Hip Hop. She is a founding member of Fulana, a Latina interdisciplinary collective, where she created award-winning satirical shorts. Ibarra is the recipient of numerous fellowships from, among others, the Rockefeller Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts, CPB/PBS Producer’s Academy, NALIP’s Latino Producers Academy, and Creative Capital. She is also the writer/director of a feature film in-development, Love & Monster Trucks.

Erin Ploss-Campoamor, Producer

Erin Ploss-Campoamor is an award-winning filmmaker, with experience in both documentary and narrative, the director of several shorts and the producer of a feature film, Dark Mirror (IFC Films). She wrote and directed the semi-autobiographical short film La Americanita (The American Girl), which won two Best Short Film awards, as well as the short film April in the Morning. Erin is the producer and co-writer of Love & Monster Trucks, a feature length narrative film, in development, for which she was recently a semifinalist for the Sundance Institute's Creative Producing Fellowship and the Sundance Writer’s Institute. Ploss-Campoamor was born in Canada to American parents and raised all over North America in an extended multicultural family, speaking English, Spanish, and French.


MULTI is a virtual exhibit curated by The Projecto's Coka Treviño which will be featured in The ESB MACC's annual La Mujer celebration!

MULTI, curated by Coka Treviño, tries to express a few of the many dream-states that our life as Mexican and Mexican American women have internalized in and outside of contemporary colonialism, and how we're collectively trying to unlearn and find our own, authentic voices.

Poet and writer Ariana Brown; Photographer and Designer Patricia Carrington; Performer and Video artist Fina Ferrara; Contemporary artist and visual activist Irene Antonia Diane Reece; and experimental video and sound artist Natalia Rocafuerte provide us with different views of Mexicanidad and the Latinx experience.

Multidisciplinary, Multifaceted, Multicultural; Resilient Artists that have grown, reached, and accomplished trusting their own strengths, and resources. Womxn that have dared to dream a different life.

View the digital exhibition below, featuring Ariana Brown, Patricia Carrington, Fina Ferrara, Irene Antonia Diane Reece, and Natalia Rocafuerte.

The La Mujer 2021 signature graphics were created by Bianca Olivares Reyes and Florentino Diaz

Education Resources by the MACC!

Join the ESB-MACC Education Department for fun educational videos related to this year's La Mujer event. Learn about Emma S. Barrientos, Sor Juana, Sandra Cisneros, and more!

For a sneak peak on these lessons that will be livestreamed on Saturday, April 24 from 4-7pm, check the video links below!

Sor Juana and History of the La Mujer Festival at the MACC:

Literary Writing Activity, The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

Who was Emma S. Barrientos and why is the MACC named after her?

Mujeres Poderosas

We Asked, And You Responded!

Tell the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center about a powerful mujer/ woman / womxn that inspires you. If you have any questions about your submission, email maccevents@austintexas.gov.

Illustration by Bianca Olivares Reyes

Stay tuned for more details!