MEDIA CONTACT: Madeleine Spencer

 MEDIA ALERT FOR March 5, 2022




The 2022 festival theme, “Together We Rise,” honors the spirit of healing, recovery, rebirth, and reconnection through the arts.


Santa Ana, California — the Boca de Oro Festival of Literary, Visual, Performing Arts & Culture returns for its sixth year with an exciting array of live performances, interactive workshops, engaging panel discussions, author talks, readings, and more. On Saturday, March 5, 2022, Boca de Oro will enliven the Historic Downtown District of Santa Ana with the theme of “Together We Rise,” honoring the spirit of healing, recovery, rebirth, and reconnection through the arts amidst the pandemic. As a symbolic invitation to the community, the official illustration by Santa Ana’s own Romina Ramirez features a phoenix rising from the collective work of community creators. It is a powerful and poignant reminder of the healing power of art and community.


Over the years, Boca de Oro has brought together hundreds of authors and poets to share their creativity with the community, as well as performances by over 5,000 visual and performing artists. “In 2022 authors, poets, and artists will once again turn downtown into a vibrant hub of creativity, inspiring us with new life and love in the arts,” said Madeleine Spencer, literary festival co-founder. “What sets Boca de Oro apart is that while celebrating local, regional, and national voices, the festival is organized by the community for the community—it is a public expression of creativity that brings us together and continues to breathe life into our city,” Spencer says. “The pandemic has taught us about how much we desire the interactivity of social life, and there is no better way to do this than celebrating the arts as a community.”


Among the many authors and performers is keynote speaker and local Santa Ana Latina author Marytza Rubio, whose Maria Maria & Other Stories is a book described by author Amber Sparks as a “startling, brilliant collection.” Another special guest is acclaimed African American artist Lezley Saar, a mixed-media artist and painter. Her artwork deals with themes of identity, race, gender, beauty, normalcy, and sanity. She has exhibited around the world and is included in many museum collections such as CAAM and MOCA. Downtown Santa Ana welcomes for the first time acclaimed regional Latino author Victor Villaseñor, the author of the national bestsellers Rain of Gold, Thirteen Senses, and Burro Genius, as well as other critically acclaimed books, such as Crazy Loco Love, Wild Steps of Heaven and Macho!.  He is also the author of five ancestral-themed bilingual children’s books, and has written several screenplays, including the award-winning Ballad of Gregorio Cortez. Local Latina journalist Julie Leopo will host a Q&A session with Jim Suero, son of the late Latino photographer Orlando Suero who chronicled the lives of stars from 1962 to the mid-1980s during the golden age of Hollywood. The festival is also honored to welcome a first-generation Asian American  author Namrata Poddar, who will debut her novel Border Less, featured in The Millions “Most Anticipated” books for 2022. Additionally, this year, the Mexican Consulate brings a special guest, flamencera Andrea Salcedo, the first female flamenco guitarist from Jalisco, Mexico and a performer who is considered an international reference by the newspaper El País. The festival is also excited to welcome local author Greta Boris, the USA Today Bestselling author of the 7 Deadly Sins, which is a series of psychological suspense novels from Fawkes Press. Greta sets each of her engaging thrillers in the cities and communities of Orange County.


This year, there will be many opportunities to interact and engage with the arts. Festival organizer Steven Homestead invited this year’s presenters, “to imagine with us how poets, musicians, authors, dancers, artists, and community members alike can all come together to create a collective phoenix rising from the ashes.” Festival co-founder Robyn MacNair, Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator for the Santa Ana Unified School District, shares “This year’s focus is bringing people together to heal through the arts. Students and families can raise their collective voices in art, song, and dance, making and bringing the community together out of the isolation they have been experiencing these past couple of years.” With an expected attendance of 7,000, many of whom are families with children, Boca de Oro also expands its programming with a K-5 Arts Festival at Birch Park, produced by Oasis Center International and other amazing community partners.


For more information on Boca de Oro please visit:, Facebook at, or Instagram @bocadeoro.




Boca De Oro Festival of Visual, Performing and Literary Arts & Culture, “mouth of gold” curates diverse and evocative writers, poets, storytellers, and artists who present their work through literary readings, workshops, panel discussions, performances, poetry slams, spoken word styles, and both visual art and performance experiences.


An expansion of the Downtown Santa Ana Art Walk led by Downtown Inc., Boca de Oro is a gift from Community Engagement with Santa Ana’s small businesses through the Santa Ana Business Council in partnership with Santa Ana Unified School District.