Since 2019 when the Fiesta de Frida was brought to Catalyst Ranch, we’ve been wowed by the positivity and community created by this cohort year after year. Let’s hear from Women’s Justice League Cofounders Araceli Guasso and Steph Pelzer about why Fiesta de Frida is so powerful for attendees and what we can expect on October 8!
Fiesta Creator/Director Araceli Guasso and Fiesta Associate Director Steph Pelzer (seated, l-r) with Fiesta de Frida 2019 volunteers.
The Fiesta de Frida is now in its fifth year. We’ve been lucky to have you here multiple times, and the event is always full of art, color, and community. What can people expect that’s new this year?
Every year, 100% of our proceeds are used toward our advocacy against Domestic Violence. While in previous years Fiesta de Frida was scheduled in July to celebrate the birthday of Frida Kahlo, this year we decided to shift gears and hold our event in October, to further honor Domestic Violence Awareness Month and align our mission.
Returning this year for our guests is an interactive mixed-media art workshop to recreate Kahlo’s “Unos Cuantos Piquetitos,” a piece that focused on a very public domestic violence case in Kahlo’s time.
We are also honored to have Las Cartas de Frida joining us for dance, music and moving testimony read through letters, written by Kahlo and other survivors.
What portion of this year’s event are you looking forward to the most?
We are looking forward to meeting our guests and seeing their creativity shine! Every year we are overwhelmed with the support and enthusiasm of our artful guests. We give them the tools and some tips, but they always produce the most amazing pieces of art.
This is a flagship event for the Women’s Justice League. Can you tell me more about how Fiesta de Frida supports your important mission?
Frida Kahlo’s work has been important in our mission to fight domestic violence. Through the years, we’ve learned how art can be a powerful tool to healing trauma. Expressing emotions through these avenues allows survivors to have a healthy outlet while dealing with deep dark times. Kahlo was one of the most provocative artists of her time and her following has only grown over the decades. Her work represents strength and courage for our guests. Over the years, it’s been an honor to create art out of the ugly and show others how to let their creativity lead the way to their healing.
What is in the works for the Women’s Justice League? And how can folks support the organization in the days and years ahead?
Every year, we partner with Empowering Women NFP for a silent march against domestic violence in Millenium Park to bring awareness and advocacy to such an iconic place in our city. This year it will be held on October 30th and is open to anyone who would like to join us. We will also be hosting a raffle at Guild Row’s second Dia de los Muertos November 6th. Please see our social media @womensjusticeleague on instagram for more information.
Big thanks to Araceli and Steph for their work creating such an impactful opportunity for community-building and healing each year.