Join the Festival of Words and receive free books for your children

After two years of not celebrating the Annual Festival Celebrando las Palabras (Celebrating Words) due to the covid-19 pandemic, the traditional event returns to the heart of the San Fernando Valley, in the city of Pacoima, an opportunity for children receive free educational books and take a bath of creativity.

The 17th Annual Celebrating Words Festival marks an important milestone for us at Tia Chucha’s. Between 2018 and 2022, we have given away more than 3,650 books,” said Karina Ceja, coordinator of the festival.

“This effort demonstrates Tía Chucha’s continued commitment to making literature available to everyone in our communities.”

She added that the books they have chosen are vehicles to spread and develop awareness, self-awareness and connection through culturally relevant titles, focused on social justice and inclusion.

Yesenia Campos, participant of the Celebrating Words Festival. (Courtesy)

Tita Chucha’s is a nonprofit bookstore and cultural center located in Sylmar. It was founded in 2003 by author and Los Angeles Poet Laureate Luis J. Rodriguez.

The mission of the Tía Chucha Cultural Center is to transform the community in the Northeast San Fernando Valley, through ancestral knowledge, the arts, literacy, and creative engagement.

The festival will take place on May 21 from 2-7 p.m. at the Vaughn G3 Academy High School campus located at 11200 Herrick Ave. Pacoima, CA 91331.

Started in 2006, “Celebrating Words: Written, Performed, and Sung” is Tía Chucha’s Centro’s annual outdoor community festival held each summer in Sylmar.

It is the only literacy and performing arts festival in Los Angeles City Council District 7, featuring musicians, bands, spoken word artists, theater artists and dance groups, as well as a variety of local vendors, including the bookstore by Tia Chucha.

On May 21, the Festival Celebrating Words will be held. (Courtesy)

Ceja added that the festival provides an accessible and dynamic space that fosters creativity and supports intellectual growth and healing through the arts and literacy.

“Access to free books in the area is non-existent and the goal is to be the leading event to offer quality and culturally relevant books in the hands of the community”.

He added that the Festival Celebrating Words is intentionally designed to be a literacy resource that supports the community in becoming active readers and personal library owners.

In this edition of the festival, 1,000 books will be given away for all ages, in English, Spanish and bilingual. Books will be delivered in order of arrival”.

He added that there will also be free art illustrations, and the second edition of the coloring book with local artists.

“This event is family friendly and for all ages. All schedule and parking details will be available on the website.”

Visit the Book Giveaway Catalog here, to access all of our book giveaway selections.

Memories of the 14 Celebrating Words Festival. (Courtesy)

There will also be creative participation booths with outdoor public art workshops for all ages.

Some of the workshops are:

  • Healing Through Writing by co-authors Jesús “JFLOW” Flores and Ángel “SGN” Romero
  • Light Up Clothespin Craft for DIY Girls
  • Storytelling woven through quilt making by Monica Juarez
  • Community Mural by Desiboo Creations
  • Print those things! Celebrating words in ink and block printing with Little Cards with Love
  • Polaroid lift with Erick Iniguez
  • Paper card workshop and found object earrings with D Castro
  • Plant care workshop with Mr. List

There will be a craft market and vendors selling food and handmade art.

Various coloring book artists, writers, poster artists, musicians, and poets will attend.

It will feature a resource fair with the participation of organizations such as Project Rebound, Dream Center, Plaza Comunitaria Sinaloa, Pacoima Beautiful, Pacoima Neighborhood Council, Helping Hands Resource Center, Climate Resolve Latino Outdoors, and VACAcicleta.

Children receive free books during the Celebrating Words Festival. (Courtesy)

The sponsors of Festival Celebrating Words They are the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, the Los Angeles Educational Association, First 5 LA, Valley Presbyterian Hospital, Pacoima Neighborhood Council, the Vaughn Next Century Learning Center, and WE RISE, an initiative of the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health. Los Angeles County that fosters wellness and healing through art, connection, community engagement, and creative expression. For more information, visit

The festival also offers volunteer opportunities for all ages. If you are interested send an email to [email protected]