UTPA Report: FESTIBA 2014

Monday, March 17, 2014 - 12:40pm

UTPA is hosting its annual Festival of International Books and Arts next week and this year the university is looking to bridge the arts and sciences.

Reporter Jennifer Berghom (pronounced BERG HOME) has more on that.

The University of Texas-Pan American is hoping to bring together the arts and sciences at this year's Festival of International Books and Arts, which will be on campus March 20-23.

Now in its ninth year, UTPA's festival, also known as FESTIBA, has promoted the importance of the arts in the community and has given thousands of books to children to encourage them to read.

Naxiely Lopez, media coordinator, UTPA Department of Community Engagement, "This whole thing came about because we wanted to promote literacy within our community we know that there are a lot of literacy challenges that our community is facing and FESTIBA is looking for ways to bridge that gap."

With this year's theme, Creating Innovation in Education, FESTIBA hopes to show how important creative thinking in the arts and humanities are in inspiring new developments in science and technology.

Naxiely Lopez, "What we want to do is create well-rounded students, not just focus on one side, but integrate both because when you do that great things happen, so we want to focus on that this year."

UTPA will team up with the Texas Book Festival to send children's book authors to local elementary schools, where they will read their work to students and give them copies of their books. Middle and high school students will come to campus to hear artists, authors and musicians talk about how science, technology, engineering and math work together with the arts and humanities.

Naxiely Lopez, "Well you know the university is a beacon of education and it's really important for us to partner with our community because we want to make an impact not just in education but all around and that's why we have programs like FESTIBA to create that awareness and to engage our community."

And starting Friday night, the whole community will have the opportunity to celebrate the arts at El Jardín Del Arte community festival at the City of Edinburg hall grounds.

Naxiely Lopez, "We're going to have all sorts of book signings, children's activities, plays, dances, food vendors, a big festival and, of course, Saturday evening we're going to have our Mariachi Concert. So that's Mariachi Sol de México de José Hernández alongside UTPA's award-winning Mariachi Aztlán and, of course, the winners of our mariachi competition and those are going to be middle school and high school mariachi teams."

The community events are free and open to the public. You can find schedules and more information about FESTIBA at its website www.utpa.com/festiba.

I'm Jennifer Berghom reporting for UTPA and News Center 23.

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