Artists celebrate empowerment

By Dorany Pineda

Espacio 1839 hosted Eres Poderosa, a night exhibiting art and performances by local female creatives on Friday in Boyle Heights.

In honor of Women’s History Month, Espacio 1839 brought together female poets, musicians and artists from throughout Los Angeles who use art to empower and inspire their communities.

Former East Los Angeles College student, hip-hop artist and founder of the Ovarian Psycos Bicycle Brigade, Xela de la X, who goes by stage name Cihuatl Ce, was one of the performers that night.

Ce’s music is raw, unapologetic, angry and self-described as “feminist revolutionary indigenous hip hop.”

The music focused on themes about social and environmental issues, feminism and political corruption, to name a few.  When asked what makes her poderosa, the Spanish word for powerful, she said, “having my sisters and knowing that I’m not here alone.”

Chicana poet, playwright and activist Gloria Enedina Alvarez, whose poetry has been taught at ELAC by Chicano Studies Professor Ruben Mendoza, also performed.

Mendoza started off the night with a spoken word performance about what being a woman means to her.

“Woman who does not back down/I am the woman of the divine/that examines and searches/I am saint woman,” she recited alongside accompanist violin player Learsi Marie Marting.

Other performances of the evening included East Side Cafe Jaraneras, an all-female musical group that brought together musicians from the San Fernando Valley, Santa Ana, El Sereno and others from East Los Angeles.

Art work from Crystal Galindo, Andi Xoch, Eddika, Alfie Numeric, Roxy Arana Art and Adriana Carranza covered the walls with painted uteri and vibrant portraits of women from all cultural backgrounds.

Eres Poderosa was organized by Myra Vasquez, who wanted to feature, exhibit and honor women’s work in hopes that it would empower women.

“Being a community member, a mother, a friend and a runner are what empower me,” Vasquez said.

For more information about Espacio 1839, visit

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