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Tomás Rivera Conference to Feature Screenwriter

Tomás Rivera Conference to Feature Screenwriter

Ligiah Villalobos’ film “Under the Same Moon” will screen at annual event celebrating Chicano literature and arts.

(December 23, 2008)

Ligiah Villalobos<br />
(Photo by Jilly Wendell)Enlarge

Ligiah Villalobos
(Photo by Jilly Wendell)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Screenwriter Ligiah Villalobos, who wrote “Under the Same Moon” (“La Misma Luna”), will be the keynote speaker at the 22nd annual Tomás Rivera Conference on Friday, April 24, at the University of California, Riverside.

Among the highlights of the annual event are an art installation of a life-size car made of burlap, “My ’61 Ford,” by Adán Avalos, an exhibition of previously unreleased photos of Rivera and other Hispanic writers by Michael Sedano, screenwriting workshops by Villalobos, and the screening of Villalobos’ “Under the Same Moon.”

All events will be held on the UCR campus, and are free and open to the public. Parking costs $6.

The 2009 conference has as its theme “From the Fields to the Stars” and commemorates the 25th anniversary of the death of Tomás Rivera, a Chicano poet, educator and UCR’s chancellor from 1979 to 1984. He was the first Hispanic and first minority chancellor in the UC system. He died in 1984 after a heart attack.

“So many things have come together for this most heartfelt conference in honor of the 25th anniversary of Rivera’s passing – the availability and genius of Ligiah Villalobos, the daring of Adán Avalos, the new script by Carlos Cortés, the generous photography collection donated by Michael Sedano and the hard-working Tomás Rivera Conference Committee, the engine of this program. And, of course, Mrs. Concha Rivera’s vision,” said Juan Felipe Herrera, Tomás Rivera Chair in creative writing and conference organizer. “Each hour of the conference day will be a star for all to see.”

Conference events start at 8 a.m. when Adán Avalos will begin the installation of his life-size burlap car in the lawn area outside the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Building, where most conference activities will take place. Avalos, the son of farm workers, recently was the resident artist at the Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, Calif.

At noon, the Flor y Canto (Flower and Song) Chicano Literature Festival archives will be inaugurated in Special Collections and Archives on the fourth floor of the Tomás Rivera Library. Rivera attended the first Flor y Canto National Chicano Literature Festival held at University of Southern California in November 1973. An original photo collection will be displayed featuring images of Rivera and other early Chicano writers at that groundbreaking festival. Michael Sedano, the donor and photographer, will be present.

Villalobos will conduct three screenwriting workshops from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Interdisciplinary Building screening room. The sessions will focus on the structure of the half-hour comedy, the one-hour drama and the full-length screenplay. A question-and-answer period will follow. Villalobos has been the head writer of the Nickelodean series “Go, Diego! Go!” and previously directed all television production and development in South America for The Walt Disney Co.

A 5 p.m. reception outside Interdisciplinary 1020 will include music by local guitarist Hector Ceballos. Activities will move inside at 6:15 p.m. with Carlos Cortés, UCR professor emeritus of history, performing an original dramatic solo in homage to Rivera, followed by a screening of “Under the Same Moon.” A question-and-answer period with Villalobos will follow.

The conference is coordinated by UCR Tomás Rivera Endowment/Department of Creative Writing and co-sponsored by UCR Chicano Student Programs, the Tomás Rivera Library, CHASS First, Department of Theatre, Palm Desert Graduate Center, Riverside City College-Academic Support Program and the Inlandia Institute of Riverside.
Adán AvalosEnlarge

Adán Avalos

Michael SedanoEnlarge

Michael Sedano

An art installation of a life-size car made of burlap, “My ’61 Ford,” by Adán AvalosEnlarge

An art installation of a life-size car made of burlap, “My ’61 Ford,” by Adán Avalos

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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