Category: Events

TV anchor Soledad O’Brien bringing ‘I am Latino in America’ tour to UTRGV’s HESTEC

SoledadOBrien_HS2EDINBURG, TEXAS – SEPT. 14, 2015 – Award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien is bringing the “I am Latino in America” tour to The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley on Oct. 5, 2015.

The national tour of conversations will amplify the Latino voice on critical community issues. The tour is also being hosted in conjunction with UTRGV’s nationally recognized HESTEC (Hispanic Engineering, Science and Technology) Week, now in its 14th year, and promotes STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers and pathways for students in the Rio Grande Valley.

The “I Am Latino in America” Tour kicks off Sept. 28 at Florida International University, with plans to roll out in five more cities including Edinburg, and Los Angeles, CA. Additional tours are planned for the spring and summer 2016, with more than 15 cities expected to host the live event.

“The opportunity to host a respected and well-known journalist like Soledad O’Brien and the ‘Latino in America’ tour at UTRGV highlights the significance of our university within the Latino community and in higher education,” said Veronica Gonzales, UTRGV vice president of Governmental and Community Relations. “After opening our doors as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas, the timeliness of hosting such an event is monumental.

“The issues that will be debated are pertinent to the Latino community-at-large, especially in the South Texas region. UTRGV is expanding educational opportunity in the Valley and educating our future leaders. ‘Latino in America’ will not only bring a spotlight to UTRGV, but to the pressing issues faced by Latinos in the U.S.

“We look forward to welcoming Mrs. O’Brien and the entire ‘Latino in America’ production to our Edinburg campus, and thank Ingenuity for its partnership in facilitating the inclusion of UTRGV as part of this tour,” Gonzales said.

O’Brien is a former CNN and NBC anchor and the CEO of multimedia production and distribution company Starfish Media Group. She previously hosted two “Black in America” tours that highlighted issues like police brutality and civil rights. The “I Am Latino in America” tour will address voting, the economy and education issues.

Influential celebrities, national and local advocates, business leaders, students and academics will join O’Brien along the tour.

“Latinos are 54 million strong, make up a quarter of the children in this country, and include 25 million voters with $1.5 trillion in buying power,” O’Brien said. “Our tour will empower the U.S. Hispanic community’s collective voice in a crucial election year.”

More than 4,000 college students, as well as local and national Latino leaders, are expected to attend the first three events hosted by the following colleges and universities.

· Sept. 28: Miami, FL – Florida International University

· Oct. 5: Edinburg, Texas – University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
· Oct. 15: Los Angeles, CA – Occidental College

Making the tour possible are presenting sponsor Northwestern Mutual and sponsors Macy’s and Southwest Airlines. “Northwestern Mutual representatives and advisors are proud to serve as trusted partners helping Latino families and business owners achieve financial security,” said Conrad York, Vice President-Marketing and a member of the company’s diversity and inclusion committee. “Through our commitment to improving the lives of children, families, and the communities where they live, we are pleased to sponsor this conversation important to the Latino community.”

The tour is co-produced by INGEÑUITY, a content and experiential event firm that creates, designs and produces groundbreaking signature platforms connecting brands to people experiences. “I Am Latino in America” is the inaugural tour from INGEÑUITY’s Success Stories Live! Tours Division. “We are excited to develop such an important event with an exceptional talent as Soledad O’Brien,” said David Chavez, CEO, INGEÑUITY. “We’re designing the full experience for attendees from red carpets and musical performances to special guests!”

Soledad O’Brien has covered race, ethnicity and compelling social issues her entire career, creating a franchise of Latino in America and Black in America documentaries, books and speaking tours that provoke conversation. She is the author of “Latino in America, a Memoir” (2009) and “The Next Big Story” (2010), the story of how her Black Cuban mother and Australian immigrant father came together to give their children a world of opportunities during the civil rights era.

For Tour information, visit www.iamlatinoinamerica.com.

To host a Tour stop, media inquiry and sponsor partner opportunities, contact Sarah Chavez at INGEÑUITY at (913) 397-8850 or schavez@WeAreIngenuity.com.

Mercedes musician to take center stage at stock show


Budweiser Beer Garden stage
to host music entertainment

By Raul Garcia Jr.

The Budweiser Beer Garden at the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show will once again be the venue for Mercedes rock musician, Kid Zapper and featured artist.

See them again this year on Thursday night March 19 and Saturday night March 21 from 7 pm to midnight.

“I will have door prizes, t-shirts, caps and guitars,” Kid Zapper said. “I will be giving out up to five guitars this year.”

The Kid Zapper will share the stage with Donna natives Jesse Yanez y Los Chavos, Julian Yanez known by his stage name “Wero Palmas,” Sweetwater from Mercedes and Arsenal from Harlingen.

The Mercedes musician, Armando Saldana, known by his stage name Kid Zapper is recognized throughout the Rio Grande Valley and parts of Texas. He got his stage name from his late father Armando Saldana Sr. who was a trumpet musician in the 50’ and throughout his life. By some the trumpet was the equivalent of the electric guitar in his day. Saldana said he named the Kid Zapper while in the military stationed in the state of Washington’s Kitsap County where he was born and given a toy guitar as an infant who was destined for music stardom.

This Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show marks the fifth year in a row the Kid Zapper and his band the Rockin’ Zappers will be playing at the annual festival.

Kid Zapper is known for coming off stage and letting the crowd slide with his Bud Light guitar. Throughout the night people will be able to hear some of rock-n-roll’s favorite songs, blues music and original hits.

Open your favorite beverage in the Budweiser Beer Garden and hear some rock-n-roll, the sound of the accordion and Norteno corridos.

The Donna native, Julian Yanez plays Norteno corridos with the Kid Zapper adding some rock-n-roll to the track. Their most recent recording is “Tequila Patron en el Valle.”

Kid Zapper’s latest hit song is “Nuestro Amor.” It is making a big impact in the Tejano scene and is played by Jesse Yanez of Donna.

“We’re going to have a lot of fun,” Kid Zapper said. “I always have something up my sieve to help make the shows more exciting.”

Kid Zapper was given several Budweiser guitars over the last ten years. People join in the music entertainment by using a beer bottle and rubbing it against the Kid Zappers guitar neck making the live song their own. He is sponsored by L & F Distributors in McAllen. In 2005 he was spotted sliding a Bud Light bottle on his electric guitar. It creates a twangy sound and is entertaining to the audience. Soon after the local Budweiser executives gave him a Bud Light guitar that has become his signature in local rock-n-roll lore.

Kid Zapper is known for influencing Elida Reyna and Sylvia Garcia of Eskala with the hit song “Dime” that he wrote in the early 90’s.

Kid Zapper founder of the Rockin’ Zappers and he is presently recording an album with music videos for each song.

Mercedes Stock show tickets on sale March 14

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Advance Season Tickets for the 2015 Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show March 13th thru the 22nd in Mercedes are now on sale at locations throughout the Rio Grande Valley. Season Tickets will be available for sale thru March 11th.

Advance Season tickets are now on sale at the following locations: Cavender’s Western Wear locations, The Boot Jack, Martin Farm and Ranch, Bullrider Western Wear, Circle G Enterprises, Borderland Hardware, Earl’s Agri-Business, Boots ‘n Jeans and Lionel’s Western Wear as well as the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show Box Office and on-line at www.rgvls.com.

Advance Season Tickets which sell for just $35.00 for adults and $20.00 for children under 12 years of age grants the holder main gate admission during all 10 days of the Event though there is a $5.00 daily charge per vehicle for parking.

“There is more to experience than ever before at the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show and Rodeo so it just makes good sense to save by buying in advance and take advantage of the savings on admission tickets and be able to attend and enjoy the Livestock Show every day plus we are presenting over one hundred thousand dollars in free entertainment daily”, says Livestock Show General Manager Sam Magee.

In addition to Country superstar Gary Allan performing on opening night March 13th there’s daily free entertainment lineup includes, The Freddie Prez Show, The Agriacadabra Agricultural Magic show, Master hypnotist Tina Marie, Noah’s Way Exotic Petting Zoo, the Fables of the West Little Horses, The ever popular Swifty Swine Pig Races, the thrilling Lone Star Action Sports BMX Stunt Team, Robinson’s Chainsaw Artists, everybody’s favorite the Kids Pedal Power Tractor Show, Juggler Extraordinaire Wade Hendry, the incredible realistic Walking with Dinosaurs, Rusty Gears the robot, entertaining Timberworks Lumberjack Show, the Southwest Dairy Farmers Mobile Dairy Classroom plus local bands will be performing multiple shows each day on the Beer Garden Stage.

“Vaquero: Genesis of the Texas Cowboy” Photo exhibit and lectures

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“He piled his chaps on his saddle and we sat down. For how long, I wanted to know, had he been a vaquero. For a time of twenty years, he told me, from the age of six years.

Your father also? I asked.
Si. Un vaquero.
And your grandfather?
Un vaquero.
There was a silence. Vaqueros siempre.
Vaqueros always, he said finally. Desde el comienzo. Since the beginning.”

— Bill Wittliff, Mexico, 1972.

In the early 1970s, noted Texas historian Joe Frantz offered Bill Wittliff a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity—to visit a ranch in northern Mexico where the vaqueros still worked cattle in traditional ways. Wittliff photographed the vaqueros as they went about daily chores that had changed little since the first Mexican cowherders learned to work cattle from a horse’s back. Wittliff captured a way of life that now exists only in memory and in the photographs included in this exhibition.

Vaquero: Genesis of the Texas Cowboy features photographs with bilingual narrative text that reveal the muscle, sweat, and drama that went into roping a calf in thick brush or breaking a wild horse in the saddle. This exhibition is available in wall-hanging and abridged freestanding versions.

Vaquero is an exhibition created by the Wittliff Collections at the Alkek Library, Texas State University, presented in partnership with Humanities Texas, the state affiliate for the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Vaquero is made possible in part by a We the People grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

What: “Vaquero: Genesis of the Texas Cowboy”
Photo exhibit and lectures

When: Sunday, March 1 – Thursday, April 30

Where: UTB Library, West University Boulevard

Background: The University Library presents the photography exhibit Vaquero: Genesis of the Texas Cowboy by writer, photographer and filmmaker Bill Wittliff. In the early 1970s, Wittliff photographed vaqueros on a ranch in northern Mexico as they went about their daily chores, working cattle in traditional ways.

Bilingual text accompanies the exhibit photographs.

Vaquero is an exhibition created by the Wittliff Collections at the Alkek Library, Texas State University, presented in partnership with Humanities Texas, the state affiliate for the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Three lectures by UTB professors, will complement Vaquero:

Lecture 1: Wednesday, March 4, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
“Women of the Vaquero Tradition” by Dr. Diana V. Dominguez
University Library Reading Room 2.202

Lecture 2: Wednesday, March 25, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
“Origins of Tejanos and Vaqueros” by Dr. Tony Zavaleta
Salon Cassia 2.402, Main Building

Lecture 3: Wednesday, April 15, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
“The Vaquero and the South Texas Rancho” by Dr. Manuel Medrano
Salon Cassia 2.402, Main Building.

The exhibit and lectures are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served at the lectures.

Library hours:
Monday – Thursday: 7:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Friday: 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday: 12 – 9 p.m.

For more information, contact Milagro Hernandez at 956- 882-8221 or milagro.hernandez@utb.edu.