Sí Se Puede

It’s been such a challenging time in our comunidad, and we’re in awe of all the resilience we’ve seen through these times. So, we’d like to cheer on those who have been inspiring us lately. Did you or someone you know receive an honor we should know about? Let us know by emailing us at news@austinvida.com for publication consideration.

Sí Se Puede

✨ Plans for the long-awaited expansion of the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center took a momentous step forward on Dec. 10 during the center’s groundbreaking ceremony for the second phase of construction. Phase two is expected to be completed in early 2025. In the meantime, the center will be closed. However, the MACC is working with partners across the city to find alternate locations to host their programming. Learn more about the expansion here.

✨ Back during South by Southwest this March, Austin Vida recommended the documentary “What We Leave Behind” by local director Iliana Sosa. We named it “one of the soul-nourishing documentaries” you need to watch. We’re so happy for Sosa and her team because you can now find the film streaming on Netflix.

✨ Felicidades to all of the recipients and nominees of the HABLA con Orgullo Awards including:

Latina Community Leader of the Year:

Monica Maldonado, MAS Cultura

Latino Community Leader of the Year:

Dr. Victor Saenz, Education, Leadership & Policy,

University of Texas/Project MALES

Learn about all of the winners and their incredible work here.

✨ Cheers to Austinite Nathan “Sloke One” Nordstrom, whose pioneering graffiti artwork in our comunidad and beyond is featured in the documentary “Duality.” Check it out on Amazon prime video, Vudu, Apple TV, and Google Play.

✨ Did you see the Kelly Clarkson Show episode featuring the Texas artists honoring Uvalde victims? This summer, Austin Vida shared a story about ways to help Uvalde shooting victims. One of those ways was to contribute to a mural project initiated by Uvalde art professor Abel Ortiz and supported by Austin-based nonprofit MAS Cultura and others. A roster of artists across Texas participated and created beautiful memorials in honor of the victims. Felicidades to MAS Cultura founder Monica Maldonado and all who made this happen.

Check it out!

✨ Have you heard multidisciplinary artist Leti Garza’ s song “Borderland” yet? The Austin-area artist recently won a Silver Medal Award for it at the Global Music Awards, an international music competition celebrating independent musicians. Kudos to Leti who continues to blaze trails for Latina musicians!

✨ Muchas felicidades to Flora Ortega, an alumna of both St. Edward’s University and UT-Austin. Ortega, now an L.A.-based production designer, recently designed her debut feature film “God’s Country,” a Neo-Western thriller starring Thandiwe Newton of “Westworld.” Ortega is also an alumna of the College Assistance Migrant Program at St. Edward’s University, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Watch the movie trailer and find showtimes near you here.

✨ Muchas felicidades to Latin Grammy-nominated artist and native Austinite Gina Chavez for this powerful TED talk plus performance. Chavez shares her inspirational story around the 2:58 mark and goes on to give an uplifting rendition of her anthem “La Que Manda.” Check it out!

✨ Kudos to El Naranjo owner Iliana de la Vega for being a finalist for best chef in Texas by the James Beard Foundation and Mando Rayo for his nomination in the Commercial/Sponsored Visual Media category by the foundation for the ” Made Right Here Road Trip ” series on YouTube.

✨ Felicidades to the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center’s ATX Caminos teen leadership program for celebrating its 5th anniversary. Swing by the center’s Community Gallery to check out art from the program’s five-year trajectory. The program is also currently hiring teens ages 15-18. Apply here.

✨ Felicidades to The New Philanthropists, an organization working to create more racially diverse and inclusive nonprofit boards. On March 29, Austin Mayor Pro Tem Natasha Harper Madison declared it The New Philanthropists Day.

✨ Congrats to all of the winners of the Austin Under 40 Awards including Sharon Vigil of Communities in Schools Central Texas who was nominated in the Youth and Education category and Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez of NextGen America who was nominated in the Non-Profit category. Full list of winners here.

✨ Kudos to all of the nominees of Austin nonprofit startup accelerator DivInc’s annual Champions of Change award. Winners will be announced March 3 and the event benefits DivInc’s programming to support underrepresented startup innovators. Some nominees include: Mando Rayo, founder of The New Philanthropists, Monica Maldonado, founder of MAS Cultura and Denise Hernandez, deputy director of diversity, equity and inclusion at the Travis County Attorney’s Office.

Good news for all of us! The Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection has acquired a donation of materials related to the comic series “El Peso Hero” by Héctor Rodríguez, an educator and comic book creator. He’s the founder of the Texas Latino Comic Con. We can’t wait for this all to be available publicly.

  • Felicidades to East Austin native Stephanie Gatica ! She was selected to appear in the Kendra Scott holiday campaign, which includes a national commercial. In addition to her work at Kendra Scott, she’s also an Amazon employee, full-time student at Huston–Tillotson University and was recently named a student ambassador. Gatica also inspires us by being an advocate for those, like her, living with the skin condition vitiligo. WATCH: Kendra Scott commercial here. Gatica appears in 0:16. Cheers to this mujer poderosa!
  • ✨ Kudos to all Latinx candidates stepping up to lead and who are boosting representation in all local races. Felicidades to longtime community leader and local marketing and communications executive Stephanie Bazan for announcing her candidacy for Austin City Council District 5. Bazan, a member of the Limon family, grew up in South Austin and formerly served as the director of communications and programs for the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Bazan is an alumna of the LBJ Women’s Campaign School at the University of Texas School of Public Affairs.
  • Felicidades to all the winners and nominees of the HABLA Con Orgullo Awards, which celebrate leadership and community impact. Among the recipients of the awards presented by the Hispanic Advocates Business Leaders of Austin were Latina Legend Gloria Mata-Pennington and Latino Legend Saúl González. See the complete list of winners featured in La Voz.
  • Congrats to community leader and preservationist Gloria Mata Pennington who was recently awarded the latest Katherine Drake Hart History Preservation Award. She was a longtime employee of the City of Austin’s Parks and Recreation Department who authored “A Living Legacy: Honoring Our Past, Celebrating Our Present and Creating Our Future: Austin Parks and Recreation Department 1928-2003.” Find the book at the Austin History Center and check out the award announcement and video clip from the ceremony here. Gracias Gloria for always lifting up our comunidad!

  • Felicidades to The Texicana Mamas, made up of veteran musicians Tish Hinojosa, Patricia Vonne and Stephanie Urbina Jones, for their debut at the Grand Ole Opry inNashville for Hispanic Heritage Month. Kudos for blazing paths for Latinas on that celebrated stage. As if that wasn’t enough, the trio also performed at the renowned listening room The Bluebird Cafe to a sold-out audience. Let’s break those glass ceilings mujeres!
  • Congrats to Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez, Ph.D. for being named the new director of the Center for Mexican American Studies at the University of Texas. Maggie fans know that this trailblazing journalist, educator and founder of the Voces Oral History Project has been lifting our comunidad throughout her career. She’s also most deserving of her recently-announced award – the 2021 Stetson Kennedy Vox Populi Award from the Oral History Association.

Sign up now to get instant access to Austin Vida’s latest Cultura Guide, featuring local cultural happenings focused on Austin gente. Email info@austinvida.com if you have any issues.  

Sign up for your free Cultura Guide

Celebrate nuestra Latinidad

This site uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy.

Scroll to Top