The annual Sor Juana Festival, honoring Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, one of Mexico's greatest writers, will be presented by the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum Oct. 2-Nov. 21. The Festival also commends Chicago Mexican women leaders and, as a testimony to the enduring spirit of women worldwide, honors a non-Mexican woman whose life reflects the spirit of Sor Juana. This year's honoree is Amina Dickerson from Kraft Foods.
The 11TH Sor Juana Festival includes six events at the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum (MFACM), two gala concerts by the renowned Ballet Folklórico de Veracruz at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, and an appearance by the pianist Anna Cervantes at the Chicago Cultural Center. MFACM performing events include a three-week run of Karen Zacarias' play The Sins of Sor Juana performed by Chicago's Teatro Vista, the Concert Suite from Frida, a 'mini-opera' presented by the Fulcrum Point New Music Project, and readings by authors Lucha Corpi ('Brown Angel' mystery novels) and Nina Marie Martinez (Caramba).
Known as La Décima Musa (the Tenth Muse) and often referred to as the First Feminist of the Americas, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1651-1695) was a playwright, philosopher, mathematician, scientist, and poet. During Mexico's colonial period, women's roles in society were restricted, and most educational opportunities were inaccessible to women (except through the church). Sor Juana entered a convent and became a nun. This enabled her to pursue her passions for scholarship and writing. Sor Juana's brilliance and intellect may have led to her own demise when she entered a religious debate in the male-dominated society of her time. After being forced to recant her ideas and relinquish her huge library, she purposely went to care for fellow nuns during an epidemic, fell ill, and died.
This year's Sor Juana Festival pays tribute to Mexican women through events in literature, theater, music, and art.
Call (312) 738-1503, 1852 W. 19th Street.