FESTIBA, Festival of International Books & Arts, opens Tuesday

UTRGV’s annual Festival of International Books & Arts (FESTIBA), an educational, entertaining event that promotes literacy and appreciation of reading for all ages, will be from Feb. 27 through March 5, on both the Edinburg and Brownsville campuses.

FESTIBA this year celebrates the UTRGV School of Medicine with the theme, “The Healing Arts: Arte y Salud – Una Buena Alianza.”

For a complete list of events for FESTIBA, visit http://www.utrgv.edu/festiba/

FESTIBA highlights include:

U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, presenting a keynote address and poetry reading on “Literature and Social Justice,” from noon to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, March 2, in the Performing Arts Center on the Edinburg Campus. His presentation will be live-streamed on the Brownsville Campus at the PlainsCapital Bank El Gran Salón.

CBS News correspondent Mireya Villarreal, a graduate of UT Pan American and Valley native now based in Los Angeles, sharing her inspiring story with more than 800 GEAR UP students at 9 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday, March 1-2, in the Library Media Theater on the Edinburg Campus.

Wendy C. Ortiz, author of Excavation: A Memoir, Hollywood Notebook, and the dreamoir Bruja, presenting from 3:15-4:30 p.m. Thursday, March 2, in BLHSB 1.312 on the Brownsville Campus. Her work has been profiled or featured in the Los Angeles Times, The Rumpus, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and the National Book Critics Circle Small Press Spotlight blog. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Hazlitt, Joyland, StoryQuarterly, and a year-long series appeared at McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. Ortiz lives in Los Angeles.

The Middle School and High School Mariachi Competition will take place from at 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, March 3, in the Performing Arts Complex, with more than 600 students from all over the state competing. Winners will have the opportunity to sing with famous Mexican singer Aida Cuevas, “La Reina de la Canción Ranchera,” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 4 at the Performing Arts Complex on the Edinburg Campus. Tickets are available for this concert at http://patron.utrgv.edu/


An annual favorite, The Texas Book Festival will bring books to life for young readers at FESTIBA 2017 through Reading Rock Stars, a literacy program in which authors from across the country are invited to present their works to students in economically disadvantaged public schools.

At the end of the book presentations, each child receives an autographed copy of the book, and a set of books is given to the school library. Schools for 2017 include Morningside Elementary (Brownsville); Emiliano Zapata Elementary (Mission); J.W. Caceres Elementary (Donna); Lyndon B. Johnson Elementary (Edinburg); and Carl Waitz Elementary (Alton).

Classroom visits will take place on Thursday March 2, at Morningside Elementary in Brownsville, and at Carl Waitz Elementary in Alton; and on Friday, March 3, at Emiliano Zapata Elementary in Mission, J.W. Caceres Elementary in Donna, and Lyndon B. Johnson Elementary in Edinburg. For a schedule, email Letty.Fernandez@utrgv.edu


This event invites more than 200 educators and librarians to visit UTRGV and attend a FESTIBA Roundtable and educational sessions on early childhood literacy. Activities are from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, March 3, in the Ballroom on the Edinburg Campus. Keynote speaker Macarena Hernandez, an academic and journalist, has been a writer for the San Antonio Express-News and The Dallas Morning News, and covered Latino issues such as immigration and education. She currently is the Fred Harman Distinguished Professor of Journalism at Baylor University.


A fun community event will take place from 6-10 p.m. Friday, March 3, on the grounds of Edinburg City Hall. The afternoon and evening features a list of family friendly events including author presentations, book signings, musical performances, children’s activity tents, book displays, book distributions, local and international artists, and a variety of art and food vendors.


In collaboration with the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art, the City of Brownsville, The Coalition of New Chicanx Artists (CONCA), and the UTRGV Mexican American Studies program, the Sin Fronteras Independent Book Festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 4, on Adams Street in downtown Brownsville. It is a celebration of books and those who create them, sell them and read them.