What would Frida do?
When determining the best course of action on whether to hold the annual FridaFest amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the answer became clear when considering how she lived.
“She would tell people, ‘Nobody tells me what to do,’” Magdiel Castle, the event’s coordinator, said about the famed artist of the early 1900s. “So now, we thought, ‘The pandemic is not going to tell FridaFest what to do.’”
The event celebrates Frida Kahlo’s legacy of being a daring feminist with local art galleries, folklorico performances and women empowerment panels, which will now be broadcasted through Zoom and Facebook at 3 p.m. each day from Tuesday to Friday.
Kahlo was born in 1907 and lived through the polio pandemic and Spanish Flu of 1918. As a child, she contracted polio, which left her with a limp — just one episode in a series of medical issues Kahlo endured throughout her lifetime, which ultimately inspired her artwork.
The four-day event will kick off with a walkthrough of an art exhibit curated by Eva Williamson, who will also be speaking about her artwork.
Then on Wednesday, pre-recorded dance performances by Conceptos & Danzarte and a monologue by Wendy Lara are scheduled to show.
Wednesday is also the deadline to participate in the Frida Look-Alike contest, which filled the city of Edinburg’s auditorium last year, where Kahlo’s grandniece, Christina Kahlo, once spoke.
Women of all ages are encouraged to dress up like Kahlo and submit a one-minute video answering two questions: What has Frida taught you and how do you exemplify Frida?
For more information on how to send contest submissions, visit facebook.com/EdinburgArts.
“Not only was Frida an artist, but she was an empowered woman,” Castle said. “The event focuses on showing her indomitable spirit.”
Then on Thursday, a women’s empowerment panel is slated for 3 p.m.. Its aim is to encourage local women of all ages to be as fierce as Kahlo.
Some of the panelist include Gabirela Gutierrez, a personal trainer certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine, Kimberly Mendoza, the director of the city of Edinburg’s planning and zoning department, Julieta Corpus, a local writer and poet, and Judge Renee Betancourt, the youngest district court judge in the state.
The event will then close off with the announcement of the look-alike contest winners and mariachi performances by Edinburg North’s Mariachi Oro and UTRGV’s Mariachi Azalea.
“FridaFest is important to the Rio Grande Valley because it allows the young women and girls of the Valley to know that they have every chance in the world as possible,” Castle said. “That they live in a world where equality should be a norm; where equality and inclusion is the standard — that is why FridaFest.”
The event will be broadcasted live through Facebook.com/Edinburgarts and will be posted on Youtube.com/edinburgarts afterwards.