Tuesday, November 11, 2014

"Authors as Booksellers" Day, 2014

What if you walked into La Casa Azul Bookstore and saw your favorite author at the register, recommending his or her favorite books?
That is what you will see on November 29 when four local authors join us on Small Business Saturday!

The event is part of a national campaign to promote shopping INDIE this holiday season -- supporting local bookstores in communities nationwide.

Join Iris Morales, Jake Perez, Vicky Grise, and Michelle Herrera-Mulligan – and find out what their favorite reading selections are this holiday season!

1:00pm - 2:30pm:
Jake Perez is the creator of the Sweet Coco Series, which includes Chocolate Maker's Apprentice and Dessert with Dad, children's books in celebration of parenthood and family. When he isn't writing children's books, Jake works as a TV journalist.
Jake is also co-founder of Wink, a series of wordplay workshops that transforms Atlanta's inner-city kids and teens into published authors. For more information, check out Wren's Nest, Wink's literacy partner.

3:00 - 4:30pm:
Iris Morales was the first woman to join the Young Lords party, after having established a tenant movement in East Harlem in the early 1970s. She brought forth an agenda to advocate women's rights, better housing, and improved schooling in the Latino community. She created La Luchadora, a newsletter and organization that highlighted women's issues.Iris is the founder of Red Sugar Cane Press, an independent press dedicated to presenting emerging and well-known artists and activists from the Caribbean, Latino/a and African diasporas whose works break new ground, broaden our knowledge of history and culture, entertain and inspire.

3:30 – 5:00pm:
Michelle Herrera Mulligan has worked as an author and journalist in New York City for thirteen years. She edited and contributed a novella to Juicy Mangos (Atria Books, 2007), the first-ever literary collection of Latina erotica in English, which Pultizer-Prize-winning author Oscar Hijuelos called "not only a tantalizing read, but a deeply rewarding one as well." In 2004, she co-edited Border-Line Personalities (HarperCollins, 2004), a collection of essays on culture clash and the contemporary American Latina experence. She received an Outstanding Contributions to Hispanic Studies Award in 2006.

4:30 – 6:00pm:
Vicki Grise's work has been produced, commissioned and developed at the Alliance Theatre, Bihl Haus Arts, Company of Angels, Cornerstone Theatre, Highways Performance Space, New York Theatre Workshop, Playwrights' Center, Pregones Theatre, REDCAT, Victory Gardens, and Yale Repertory Theatre. Her play blu was a recipient of the Yale Drama Series Award. As an activist, she has facilitated organizing efforts among women, immigrant, Chicano, working class and queer youth. Virginia has taught writing for performance at the university level, as a public school teacher, in community centers and in the juvenile correction system.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

WANTED: Bookstore Ambassadors

La Casa Azul Bookstore is seeking volunteers to assist with our Fall events: El Festival de la Palabra, Dia de los Muertos, Author Day... just to name a few!

Volunteers will be given the opportunity to work with a lively, creative team and meet a wide variety of visiting authors and guests. 

Rita Moreno vists La Casa Azul Bookstore!
Volunteers will have the unique opportunity to have direct contact with the general public while affecting change, excitement, and lasting memories in their community! Qualifications include strong communication skills, an outgoing personality, and an infectious passion for the written word. 

Volunteer schedule:

  • 4-8 hours a week (between 10am – 9pm)
  • 3 - 6 month commitment preferred
  • Our need for bookstore volunteers is based on the on-site/off-site event schedule.

If you are interested in being a volunteer - assisting with events or other activities, please submit the following information:

  • Answer to question: Why are you interested in volunteering at La Casa Azul Bookstore? Include any special skills that might be helpful (event planning experience, photographer, storyteller). Response should only be 1 page in length. 
  • Schedule information (days/hours available from Tuesday – Sunday between the hours of 10am – 9pm)

Though we are never at a loss for something to read, we can't wait to read your application!

ALL materials must be received by: Sunday, October 19 at 10:00pm, via email. 
Email: lucha.libros[at]gmail.com
Subject line: Bookstore ambassador (+ your name)


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Hidden gems: The Hula-Hoopin’ Queen by Thelma Godin, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Feliz Tuesday everyone! 
What better way to enjoy the fall weather than by grabbing a good book and reading? 
This week we will be reading The Hula-Hoopin’ Queen written by Thelma Godin and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton.

 Kameeka has the hula-hoopin’ itch and wants to finally beat Jamara and claim the title of Hula Hoopin’ Queen of 139th Street. Just as she is about to head out she is reminded by her mother of Miz Adeline’s birthday. Miz Adeline is like a grandmother to Kameeka. Should Kameeka get everything ready for Miz Adeline’s birthday party or go challenge Jamara for the hula hoopin’ crown?

There are several reasons I love this book. Like many other Lee & Low titles that focus on diversity , it features a strong female that is African American. Kameeka not only has spirit but is also relatable to any child that has ever had to choose between doing something for others or doing what they want to do. Thelma Godin also is able to show through Kameeka’s story how similar we can really be between generations as we find that Miz Adeline herself has the hula hoopin’ itch. Add the way Vanessa Brantley-Newton is able to capture the essence of Harlem in her vivid illustrations and you get a great book that is sure to give all who read it the urge to grab a hula hoop and join in the fun.

Love this book as much as we do?
On Thursday, October 16th from 4:00pm-6:00pm we will be having our annual Educator Open House. Jill Eisenburg, a Literacy Specialist from Lee & Low Books Inc. speak about how to integrate more diverse books into the classroom. 
Join us! Register for the free event via email: schools.lacasaazul@gmail.com 

- Galia, School Programs Coordinator


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Hidden gems: The Quiet Place by Sarah Stewart, illustrated by David Small

Feliz Tuesday everyone! 

What better way to bring in another week than by reading a great children’s picture book!

This week we will be reading The Quiet Place by Sarah Stewart, illustrated by David Small.

In The Quiet Place we are introduced to Isabel, a shy Mexican girl that now lives in the United States. Told in a series of letters written to her auntie Lupita, we accompany Isabel as she learns to adjust to a new place with new people and lots of new things to discover. Being a young girl that can be at times overwhelmed with all these changes, Isabel finds refuge in carton boxes she transforms into her own space, her very own quiet place.

What I love about this book is the simplicity of text and that the narrative is written through letters adding a certain charm to the story. This format makes me feel as if I were auntie Lupita and really connects me to Isabel. I also love that the carton boxes show Isabel’s transition throughout the story and how in the end she unveils her grand masterpiece. One added treat not to be missed in this book is the fact that the story does not start on page 1 of the book but rather on the inside covers of the book. While this book takes place in 1957 I find it is still a moving experience for any child that has recently migrated or moved.

Think this is a great book? Make sure to keep an eye for it and other great finds in our children’s section.

- Galia, Schools Program Coordinator

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Intern Position available: Gallery Curator Assistant

La Casa Azul Bookstore is currently accepting applications for the position of Gallery Curator Assistant to support in exhibit installations and programming, as well as the development of gallery artist network.

Responsibilities include: 

  • Build a network/ database of artists for potential art shows. 
  • Draft blog and press releases related to exhibits featured in gallery. 
  • Assist in installation/de-installation of art. 
  • Assist in planning and execution community programming related to exhibitions. 

Please note that this is a non-paid internship of 6 - 8 hours a week, from October 2014 – March 2015. You will have an opportunity to work directly with artists and will be encouraged to participate in decision making process and pursue your ideas/projects related to the mission of the gallery at La Casa Azul Bookstore. 

Desired qualities/skills for ALL interns:

  • Dynamic, self-motivated, outgoing, highly organized individual with good research skills, including exceptional written and verbal communication skills, and capacity for working with diverse populations.
  • Ease with technology is a must, including knowledge of MS Excel, Word, and social media (Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter).
  • Bilingual (English & Spanish proficiency).
  • Must bring your own laptop to work

Please submit:

  • Creative cover letter 
  • Answer questions:
  • 1)Why do you want an internship at La Casa Azul Bookstore
  • 2) How are the arts important to community 
  • 3) What is your connection to art community? (these are short replies and should not exceed one-page. Answers can be included in cover letter if you choose.)
  • Resume with two references 
  • Image of piece of art that inspires you and why.
  • Schedule Information (between the hours of 12:00pm – 8:00pm, Tuesday – Saturday)

Creative applications welcomed. Please submit to Elizabeth Rossi at gallery.lacasaazul@gmail.com with subject line: GALLERY ASSISTANT POSITION. 

DEADLINE: Sunday, October 5, 2014, 8:00pm.