Theme celebrates ‘Transcending Borders: Building Bridges through the Arts’

UTRGV’s annual Festival of International Books & Arts (FESTIBA) – an educational and entertaining event that promotes literacy and appreciation of reading for all ages – opened Monday, Feb. 26, and continues through March 3, with events on the Brownsville and Edinburg campuses.

This year’s theme, “Transcending Borders: Building Bridges through the Arts,” is designed to help visitors discover how the arts can be a humanizing force with the potential to build bridges around the world and between cultures and communities.

Following are some of the highlights for FESTIBA 2018:

Artrageous, The Interactive Art and Music Experience, is a one of kind interactive performance that incorporate many different art forms on the stage. “Artrageous” blends popular music, dance, onstage performance, art, theater, and a rollicking spirit that will delight the audience.

There will be performances at the Performing Arts Center on the UTRGV Edinburg campus and at the TSC Arts Center in Brownsville.

Award winning authors Angela Cervantes and Alejandro Zambra will speak to more than 800 GEAR UP students on Wednesday, Feb. 28, and Thursday, March 1, in Edinburg and Brownsville.

Cervantes, whose debut book, Gaby, Lost and Found, was named Best Youth Chapter book by the International Latino Book Awards and a Bank Street College of Education’s Best Books of 2014, also authored the junior novelization for Disney/Pixar's animated-film, Coco, which is up for an Academy Award for Best Animated film. Her presentation at FESTIBA will focus on latest novel, Me, Frida and the Secret of the Peacock Ring.

Zambra is an award winning author of this year’s NEA Big Read book selection, Ways of Going Home. UTRGV is a recipient of a grant to host the NEA Big Read keynote event during FESTIBA that will feature Zambra. Additionally, there will be Big Read special events throughout the month of March and into mid-April.

The Texas Book Festival will bring books to life for young readers during FESTIBA 2018 through Reading Rock Stars, an engaging literacy program in which authors from across the country are invited to present their works to students in economically-disadvantaged public schools.

Librarians and Educators Day invites more than 200 educators and librarians to visit UTRGV and attend a FESTIBA Roundtable and educational sessions on early childhood literacy, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, March 2, in the Ballroom on the Edinburg Campus.

More than 600 students from all over the state will face off during the Middle School and High School Mariachi Competition on Saturday, March 3, in the Performing Arts Complex on the Edinburg Campus, with a Grand Concert at 7 p.m. featuring winners of the competition, Mariachi Sol de México de José Hernández and UTRGV Mariachi Aztlán.