Creciendo Juntos

Creciendo Juntos


Program Description:

CHISPA is a series of artist talks and workshops centered around the idea that creative freedom and cultural expression is at the core of social movements and change. Our program is designed for and by Latinx youth and youth of color in Charlottesville.

Our Goal

The goal of this program is to provide a space for Charlottesville’s Latinx youth/youth of color to engage with young, talented and distinguished artists of color that are using their creativity and talent to make positive social change in their communities all over the country.

Our Vision

Through this engagement, and with our support, our Latinx youth and youth of color will be inspired to:

  • ​Build a strong community and network of support amongst other young Latinx youth and youth of color.
  • Support one another in initiating their own creative projects for their community.
  • Create safe spaces for themselves and their community to freely express themselves as young people of color.

​​In building a community of support with one another, our youth will gain the confidence they need to become resilient leaders and creative problem solvers in their community.



MALA LECHE is a quarterly radical art zine featuring art & writing by women, non-binary, and genderqueer artists
from Central VA. The publication is produced by Bad Milk Press (formerly known as F.U.C.C.) in partnership with The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative (The Bridge PAI). In this time of physical separation, this zine creates an opportunity to collaborate and present our work outside of the gallery space in an impactful way. We believe that authentic creation is a radical act, even more so when it is shared. We envision MALA LECHE as a testament to our inevitable future, one without fascism, capitalism, and white supremacy.

Print issues of MALA LECHE are free and available at local businesses and art centers in the Charlottesville area, with growing distribution across the Central VA area. Online versions of the issues will be available on our website (

For this collaborative special issue of MALA LECHE, we invite a wide range of submissions of prose, poetry, short stories, and visual art (especially drawings and prints) from immigrant and first-generation Latinx women, non-binary, or genderqueer artists and writers from the Central Virginia area, and invite creatives to explore varied representations of this theme.

All submissions are due by email to by Sunday, November 20, 2022.

This collaborative issue will be printed in black-and-white, so please keep that in mind when submitting work.

We welcome all work that is considered too politically radical for the commercial press. We welcome work that
doesn’t appear radical at first, but readies and tills the soil for future seeds. We welcome work that reflects your

For safety or privacy purposes, you may submit your work anonymously or with a nom-de-plume, if you wish.


The weight of the immigrant experience is immense, shaped by the struggles of migration: displacement, assimilation, and the necessity for survival. The awareness of it sits on our shoulders every day through the interactions we have with the world around us. This awareness is a container of emotions. Sometimes joy-filled, other times wrought with fear and uncertainty, but almost always, characterized by strength and resilience with the constant understanding of the sacrifices of the generations before us. Our experiences may unite us, but also remind us how we are all different. In sharing our perspective of these experiences, we assert authenticity and power over the narratives told about us, and leave something for future generations to hold onto. 

How have you been shaped by your experiences as a Latinx immigrant?

What facets of your immigrant experience enrich the way you interact with the world? In exploring this prompt, consider thinking about how aspects of your immigrant experiences may play a role or “take stage” within your life (i.e. in your families, among your peers, while navigating the education system or your career, athletics, etc.).

The theme was conceived by 4 Latinx high-school students from this year’s CHISPA BBY internship program through Creciendo Juntos. The goal of this program is to provide a space for Charlottesville’s Latinx youth/youth of color to engage with young, talented and distinguished artists of color that are using their creativity and talent to make positive social change in their communities all over the country. Through this opportunity with MALA LECHE, the students will learn more about editorial production and serve as guest editors in the selection and curation process for the special-edition zine. Learn more about Creciendo Juntos and the wonderful work they are doing in the Central Virginia community to provide a platform for the voices, needs, and wants of the Latinx community through education and leadership development.


Submissions for MALA LECHE x CHISPA BBY are due by email on Sunday, December 4, 2022 at midnight. Please note that this call is for creative submissions by immigrant and first-generation Latinx women, non-binary, and genderqueer artists and writers.

To offset the production costs of MALA LECHE and to support paying our artists, we’re asking applicants to submit a small $5 donation for their submission. This covers a maximum of (3) submissions per person.

For a complete submission, artists/writers are required to submit the following materials:

● $5 donation (payable online HERE to Bad Milk Press & The Bridge PAI**OPTIONAL**

● Send a maximum of (3) visual art/writing submissions to

Upon production of the issue, selected contributors will be paid a stipend of $100 for their work and given 5 copies
of the issue to share with friends. Submissions that are not selected will be considered for future issues.

Guidelines for submission by MALA LECHE:

visual art submissions
We accept all visual art submissions; however, the most successful for zine printing are drawings, illustrations, paintings, prints, or graphic design. Please submit high-quality images of your work. All submitted visual art will be resized for the zine.
– Feel free to submit work that is in color, but keep in mind that color images may be edited to be black-and-white!
– Optional: Submit a brief short statement about what this work means to you or how it fits with MALA LECHE.

writing submissions
We accept poems, short stories, satire, how-to’s, art criticism & reviews, as well as essays about: magic, anti-fascist resistance, the lives of little known radicals, a local policy issue you really care about, gardening, really whatever! Share your reality as is, or share a vision of what the future could be or hold.
– Be conscientious about the length of your written pieces (think zine!).

After a crazy year in 2020, Creciendo Juntos was finally able to have our Writer’s Heaven Open Mic w/ José Olivarez.

Our team organized an open mic event in collaboration with the José Olivarez, who’s poem “Mexican Heaven” inspired our title, and the artists that submitted for our first Zine. Each artists read their work or demonstrated their pieces and go into a brief explanation behind their submission.

Each work that was published in the CHISPA zine and presented in this video are credited to the artists themselves (in no particular order): Andrea Espinosa, My’kal and Jeanremi, Arianna Mosqueda, Elizabeth Valtierra, and Dalia López-Ruiz.

Our first ever CHISPA zine publication is now available to order!

We’re feeling very proud about presenting to you our first ever CHISPA Zine publication, Writer’s Heaven, inspired by our first visiting artist, poet and author, José Olivarez!

Thanks to the work of our past CHISPA program participant, Andrea Espinosa, and our intern, Elizabeth Valtierra, we were able to design and print this beautiful and powerful zine for our community! The pages are filled with poems, and art created by youth of color, as well as a special message from José OIivarez!

Order a copy of Writer’s Heaven today! All the proceeds will be put towards our CHISPA program, including future zine publications. Support our efforts towards cultivating change that is rooted in creativity and joy for our young leaders!

We understand that times are tough, and so, although we are suggesting a minimum donation of $15 per copy, we will appreciate whatever you can contribute!