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For Immediate Release

Media contact:Mamacoatl, 415-632-0330,

Stella Adelman, 415-828-56489,

Press photos available upon request


Dance Mission Theater and MamaCoatl present



A healing arts music, dance and poetry festival honoring San Francisco’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls


Saturday, November 30th

Healing Session, 6pm; Performance, 7pm


Tickets: $15 *


Dance Mission Theater, 3316 24th St, SF CA 94110;


SAN FRANCISCO, CA – On Saturday, November 30th, Bay Area residents will observe the United Nations’ annual International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls with music, healing ceremonies, dance, art, poetry and information. The commemoration includes a community gathering and healing arts festival taking place in the heart of San Francisco’s Mission District at Dance Mission Theater, 3316 24th St., beginning at 7 pm. A $15 entrance fee is requested to cover costs, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.


Under the title “Guardianas de la Vida” (Guardians of Life), the evening asks us to take a moment to pause and question why it is that in the year 2013 we are still dealing with issues surrounding femicide, an epidemic that crosses borders. Always falling on the long Thanksgiving weekend, this event gives the community an alternative way to spend the holiday, calling on both audience and performers to pause and reflect on how the United States’ own history is entangled with violence.


For over 7 years this woman centered holiday has been proving that a new culture is emerging from the depth of El Barrio. This year’s Guardianas de la Vida features the amazing LaTania Flamenco, dancing to an original piece by Maestro Hector Armiento on piano, plus a beautiful cast of dancers, singers, musicians, poets and healers to make this night unforgettable!


Featuring Stella Adelman, Arenas Dance Co, Anne Bluethenthal, Paloma McFly, Alexandra Rieloff, Poets Nina Serrano and the No Tutu Crew, Native American Speaker Kim Shuck, Author & Social Theorist Judy Grahn the phenomenal Sang Matiz and MamaCoatl.


Healing Session begins at 6pm, Show begins at 7pm. Food and drink will also be available.


“The City of San Francisco has issued annual proclamations for the last seven years, to remind all that much work needs to be done at all levels when it comes to addressing violence.”  said MamaCoatl (pronounced mama-coe-ah-tull), who – with co-sponsorship from Sophia University, Palo Alto (formerly  Institute of Transpersonal Psychology) – spearheaded the day’s observance. “It is important that we continue to dismantle the apparatus of violence, understanding it as global problem,” she added. “Violence against women and children, particularly in communities of color, must be treated as a human rights violation, a hate crime. At no time of the year is this intervention more appropriate than the last week of November, when the American identity is reinforced by the unconscious glorification of genocide inherent in the Thanksgiving holiday.”


About the UN Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women:

On December 17, 1999, the United Nations’ General Assembly designated November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and invited governments, international organizations and nongovernmental organizations to launch activities to raise public awareness of the problem on that day.


Women’s activists have marked November 25 as a day against violence since 1981, in remembrance of the brutal assassination of the three Mirabal sisters, political activists, in the Dominican Republic on November 25, 1960, on orders from Dominican ruler Rafael Trujillo. More information can be found at


About Sophia University:

Founded in 1975 as Institute of Transpersonal Psychology or ITP, Sophia University is a leader in transpersonal research and education of clinicians, spiritual guides, wellness caregivers, and consultants who apply transpersonal principles and values in a variety of settings. With its holistic approach to education and psychotherapy, Sophia attracts students from all over the world to both residential and distance-learning programs. In addition to its Women’s Spirituality and other graduate programs, Sophia University operates the Community Center for Health & Wellness, a professional counseling center and training facility offering quality services at an affordable sliding scale fee to the surrounding community. More information can be found at


About MamaCoatl, event curator:

MamaCoatl is a barrio poet, songstress, performance activist, and spiritual healer who comes from the Yaqui people of the Sonora desert. Based in the Mission district, her work explores sound, ritual and cultural activism as power sources for public health. MamaCoatl received an M.A. in Women Spirituality from New College of California and MFA in Creative Inquiry.

In 2006 MamaCoatl brought International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls to San Francisco after performances in Mexico and Peru. The event has become an annual celebration of healing and nonviolence including sixteen days of action, “artivism,” healing and education in the Mission district’s community.


About the artists:

Marja West: Marja (mar’ya) West is a non-guru lineage Spiritual Teacher, semi-wrathful Dakini-Shamaness, Shadow Magnet, Way-SHOW-er, and Divine Love Agent Provocateur for the Waking Gods & Goddesses global movement. She mentors today’s men and women—the Heart-Based New Humanity—with practical tools to embodying their realisation of the truth of who and what they are—Infinite Loving Awareness and Consciousness having a human experience. She is the founder of Absolute Balanced Mastery and a radio show host on the HumanSpirit Radio Network, dedicated to the awakening of humanity and illuminating the truth of the perceptionmanaged consensus reality, perpetuated by the powers-that-wanna-be, so we can all take back our sovereignty.

Judy Grahn: Judy Grahn is internationally known as a poet and cultural theorist. She has been writing and performing woman-centered poetry for forty-five years. Her thirteenth book, A Simple Revolution: the Making of an Activist Poet, just one an American Book Award from Before Columbus Foundation. She frequently collaborates with other artists.


Susana Arenas Pedroso: Susana Arenas Pedroso began her artistry in dance at age 12 when she took the opportunity to study at the Casa de la Cultura in Matanzas, Cuba. She began dancing professionally with Terra Virgen in 1991, She continues on to dance with Alafia Ire, Oche Olorum and in 1994 she joined world renowned  Raices Profundas as a soloist. After settling in the Bay Area in 1999, she merged her two former companies (Olorun and Sandunga Cubana) into Arenas Dance Company (2004), a folkloric and popular dance company with a commitment to sharing Cuban culture in an accessible form for a wide audience.


Anne Bluethenthal: Anne Bluethenthal’s choreography is respected for its formal sophistication, its eloquence, and its ability to effortlessly bridge the worlds of formal concert dance, political art, and ritual. Artistic Director of ABD Productions, she is dedicated to creating movement language that challenges conventional notions of dance and to presenting choreographies that take on difficult issues with eloquence and passion. Bluethenthal is on the faculties of the MFA Creative Inquiry Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies, and the MA Women’s Spirituality Program at Sofia University. She maintains a 30-year private teaching practice in the FM Alexander Technique. “… Her work is brainy, her own, and full of soul …”(Rita Felciano)


Paloma McFly: Paloma McFly is an international multidisciplinary artist raised on stages across the continent from San Francisco to Cusco, Peru.  Her work is deeply moving, lyrical and her evolution as an artist astounding. At 15 years old she has already performed with prestigious Bay Area professional companies such as The Medea Project with Rhodessa Jones, ABD & Dancers and the annual Guardianas de la Vida Healing Arts Festival for the elimination of violence  in San Francisco.  Paloma began her dance education as a toddler with the Mission Distric’s own Dance Brigade troupe and  performed with the Grrrl Brigade for over  7 years.  She has studied ballet, contemporary, belly dance, samba and hip hop, as well as Taiko drumming. She did musical theater with The Marsh and is now training at ODC where she is delving deeper into her ballet and contemporary technique. 

 Meche Oppelt Perez: Meche Oppelt Perez is a senior at Ruth Asawa School of the Arts in San Francisco in the classical voice department. She loves to perform, whether it be singing, flying as an aerialist, tiwrling with her hoop, stilt walking or acting. She feels very fortunate to have grown up in the Mission where she has been able to explore and develop her artistic talents.

La Tania: La Tania was born in Arles, France. She is an internationally acclaimed dancer, choreographer and master teacher. She grew up in Andalucía, southern Spain, in the heart of flamenco culture where she began to learn flamenco dance at a very young age. By the age of 17 she was performing professionally and made Madrid her base where she performed for many years as a featured dancer in Tablaos such as Corral de la Morería, Zambra, and toured internationally with many companies including Mario Maya and Paco Peńa. In 1993 La Tania moved to the US and since then has toured with her own company Internationally earning many awards such as the Guggenheim Fellowship, the California Arts Council Fellowship, the National Endowments for the Arts Fellowship, the James Irvine Fellowship in Dance and the Isadora Duncan Dance Award twice for Artistic Excellence in the category of Individual Performance. Currently she is the director and founder of the Bay Area-based La Tania Baile Flamenco Company and school.


Kim Shuck: Kim Shuck is a writer, textile artist and curator working mostly in the San Francisco Bay Area. Shuck has two solo books Smuggling Cherokee a collection of poetry and Rabbit Stories a narrative in vignettes. Her poems and stories have been included in over 50 anthologies and literary magazines. In her free time she herds cats and cajoles her children.


Alexandra Tejeda Rieloff: Alexandra Tejeda Rieloff was born in Brooklyn, NY, where she spent less than a year before going to Spain with her mother and sister; from this moment on, her family would travel extensively including many trips to Chile, her parents’ native country, where she would spend a great part of her childhood.  Ms. Tejeda Rieloff has been acting, dancing and composing songs, merging drama and dance since she was seven years old. She has toured with nationally with Cirque Ingenieux, playing Queen of the Underworld as well as with Repertorio Espanol performing the classic works of Federico Gracia Lorca. She has acted in more than 15 independent films and received excellent reviews for her portrayal of Paulina Salas in ‘Death And The Maiden’ at the Danbury Repertory Theater. Other credits include Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, opening for the Monterey Jazz Festival, New Years Eve at the Rainbow Room as well as Windows on the World and Bette Midler’s private Birthday Party. Recently she choreographed a theater/dance piece entitled Everlasting Solace Never Ending Murder, which was presented at the Cunningham in New York City. Ms. Tejeda Rieloff has also received the exciting news that the film, ‘The Closet’ a film she shot in New York City, before moving to Los Angeles, has been accepted into the 14th Annual Bogota film Festival and the Evil City Film Festival. Her film ‘Twin Lens’ was screened at the SF Castro theatre on November 2nd, 2013. 






What:  Guardianas de la Vida,  A healing arts music, dance and poetry festival honoring the International Day for the Elimination of  Violence Against Women and Girls


When:  Saturday, November 30 at 7pm (Healing Sessions begin at 6pm)


Where: Dance Mission Theater, 3316 24th St, SF CA 94110


Tickets: $15 available online at; no one turned away for lack of funds at the door


Information:;; 415-826-4441



  Violence Ag…



Violence Against Women

The ACLU strives for a world in which women and girls live free from violence by challenging discrimination against survivors of violence in housing, employment, and education, and by holding governments accountable for responding to and taking proactive measures to stop the cycle of violence.

Domestic violence, sexual assault, and other forms of gender-based violence deprive women and girls of their fundamental ability to live with dignity. Women and girls experience domestic violence and sexual assault at alarming rates. Governments, institutions, laws, and policies contribute to the systematic devaluation of the lives and safety of women and girls by failing to respond to gender-based violence and discriminating against those subject to such violence. 


Accountability by the government, employers, landlords and others, as well as recognition that discrimination against survivors is a form of sex discrimination, are essential to enable women and girls to live lives free from violence.

 As a little girl from Kansas once said, “there’s no place like home,” and she was right. All of us may have a different notion of what “home” is, but ultimately we can agree home should be a place where we can feel comfortable and safe. Unfortunately for too many people who have experienced domestic violence, home isn’t safe. It is also regrettable that in many cases law enforcement officials, and in some cases our own government, have failed in their duty to protect the most vulnerable among us.

Arizona Law Says Choose Between Donations and Providing Care to Women (2011 blog): Just months after Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl made false and misleading statementsabout Planned Parenthood’s prenatal services, Arizona is once again attacking groups that provide abortion information or services. The latest scheme: A law to rewrite the tax code to exclude any nonprofit organization that provides abortion referrals or counseling from receiving donations through the state’s Working Poor Tax Credit Program. This law is so broad that it could prevent groups from even discussing abortion or other reproductive health services with women in crisis. In August 2011, we filed a lawsuit challenging that law.

Ending Domestic Violence Requires Holding Police Accountable (2011 blog): Are restraining orders just pieces of paper, or must the police take action when they are violated? This is the question raised by Valdez v. City of New York, a case challenging the failure of New York City police to enforce a domestic violence order of protection.

Valdez v. City of New York – Brief of Amici Curiae New York City Bar Association, American Civil Liberties Union et al. (2011 PDF)

Make My Case Count! (2011 blog)

Jessica Gonzales v. USA – IACHR Final Report (2011 PDF)


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