CONTACT: Steven Homestead
MEDIA ALERT: Saturday, March 4, 2023
Boca De Oro Festival Finds Magic in Santa Ana & Orange County’s Students & Creatives
Santa Ana, California — the Boca de Oro Festival of Literary, Visual, Performing Arts & Culture returns for its seventh year with an array of live performances, inspiring poetry readings, and engaging presentations. On Saturday, March 4, 2023, Boca de Oro will enliven Downtown Santa Ana with the theme of “Magic in the Ordinary,” inviting the community to find magic in the actions, moments, and people in our everyday lives. Orange County is invited to discover how we can transform things for the better by seeing through the lens of what is possible, to find the magic of what is and can be, and to create what we need to be for ourselves and others. Over the years, Boca de Oro has brought together hundreds of authors, poets, and presenters to share with the community, as well as performances by over 5,000 performing artists and students from the Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD).
This year’s keynote speaker is local Santa Ana teacher and author Ernesto Cisneros, whose newest book Falling Short, is a junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection. Known for his depth of characters, warmth, and true-to-life readability, Cisneros will address the magic we can find in the friends, family, and community around us. His book, Efrén Divided is the winner of the prestigious Pura Belpré Medal (2020), among others. Artists Alicia Rojas and Roger Eyes R., co-founders of the Santa Ana Community Artist(a) Coalition, will share about the magic that murals bring to a community in a presentation at the Frida Cinema. Acclaimed master-storyteller Victoria Burnett will return this year to engage and inspire audiences of all ages as she connects us through the magic of story.
Part of the magic of this year’s Festival is the collaboration between community artists and SAUSD students. As literary artists take the stage, so too will students from district schools. Brenda Vaca, a Xicana poet, author, and publisher, and Donato Martinez, a professor of English composition, Literature, and Creative Writing at Santa Ana College will be weaving poetry amongst student performances on the outdoor stages in Birch Park and Plaza Calle Cuatro, plus sharing sessions that speak to the magic of identities and experiences.
Festival co-founder Robyn MacNair, Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator for SAUSD, shares: “We are really excited to showcase the amazing breadth and depth of creativity from our students. At this year’s festival, students and families alike can find the magic in their collective voices as we celebrate through art, song, dance, poetry, speech & debate, film, art-making, and music.” Artist, composer, and poet Steven Homestead (in his fifth year helping to organize the Festival) shares about this unique aspect, “With a history of amazing performances from students, this year we’ve planned poetry readings that will weave in with student ensembles. Not only will students share the magic of what they can do, they’ll experience the creativity of local authors and poets. So, there’s magic in how the festival can illuminate pathways to creative careers for our young people.” This alignment continues the vision of festival co-founder Madeleine Spencer, who envisioned the festival as a way to bring cultural literacy to communities in Santa Ana and throughout Orange County.
For more information on Boca de Oro please explore the website or check out the Instagram: @bocadeorofest.
About Boca de Oro Festival
Boca De Oro, “Mouth of Gold,” is a Festival of Visual, Performing, and Literary Arts & Culture that curates and champions diverse and evocative writers, poets, storytellers, artists, musicians, and performing artists who present their work the first Saturday of March in Downtown Santa Ana.
What started as an expansion of the Downtown Santa Ana Art Walk, Boca de Oro was a gift from Community Engagement through the Santa Ana Business Council supported by the vision of Madeleine Spencer in partnership with Robyn McNair and SAUSD. This year, it continues, thanks to the support and dedication of a team from SAUSD and the many creative individuals from the community sharing their voices.