EDINBURG – Established in 2006 the Festival of International Books and Arts (FESTIBA) aimed to promote the importance of literacy, culture and the arts to students, parents and community members.

This year the theme will be the Healing Arts: Arte y Salud, Una Buena Alianza.

The announcement of the theme was also a perfect opportunity to introduce Dr. Steven Lieberman, Interim Dean for the UTRGV Medical School.

“What we've discovered over the last number of years is that appreciation beyond science is critically important for the development of physicians,” Lieberman said. “Particularly for students and residents as they're going through this formative stage of developing their professional identity.”

The value of the arts helps the student keep a grounding in what it means to be human and to put the concept of suffering and wellness in perspective.

For 2017 FESTIBA will run from Feb. 27 through March 5 with events on the Brownsville and Edinburg Campuses.

Among the highlights of the event will be U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera presenting a keynote address on the them of “Literature and Social Justice” Thursday March 2.

Edinburg native and CBS News correspondent Mireya Villarreal will share her story with more than 400 GEAR UP Students Friday March 3. Her reporting has been featured on CBS News broadcasts and platforms including CBS This Morning and the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley.

More than 600 students with compete at the Middle School and High School Mariachi Competition. Winners will have the opportunity to sing with La Reina de la Cancion Rancera and Latin Grammy Award Winner Aida Cuevas.

Friday March 3 will also be FESTIBA at Jardin Del Arte at Edinburg City Hall from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The event will feature a wine garden, creative tent, Top Reader Awards, Wake-Up Latino/ a Poetry Reading, Lucia Macias Theatre Company and music by Epi & Friends and Draft.

In keeping with the mission to promote literacy FESTIBA will feature the Reading Rock Stars Program. Seven authors will go to five public schools in Edinburg, Mission, Donna, Alton and Brownsville. Every child at the each event will receive an autographed book from the respective author.

Throughout the week over 15,000 books will be distributed to the hands of children.

“It is unbelievable that some of the children will be receiving their first book,” Assistant Vice President of Public Art Dr. Dahlia Guerra said.

For more information visit www.utrgv.edu/festiba.