University of Southern California hosts Festival de Flor y Canto

In 1973, the University of Southern California hosted the first Festival de Flor y Canto, also known as the Festival of Flower and Song. The event featured dozens of Mexican American poets and writers. Discussion ranged from personal stories about families and friends to larger issues people often faced during the Chicano Movement.

Listen: Tyson Gaskill, the director of programming at USC libraries, discusses the history of the three-day event.

This week, dozens of people filled the Doheny Library’s Friends Lecture Hall. Amarilis Martinez, a resident of Milwaukee, WI, said she flew to California to help celebrate Mexico’s independence. But she also participated in the event to honor each participant’s creative writing.

Listen: Martinez explains her love for poetry and why she thinks this three-day event is beneficial to the community and school.

Listen and watch: Martinez reads a poem she dedicated to her family.

Listen: Daniel Acosta, a former teacher, talks about his past career and why he wrote the short story he presented at the event.

Listen and watch: Acosta reads the first part of his short story.

Listen: Acosta shares the rest of his story here.

El Centro Chicano, a division established at USC in 1972, helped organize the event. The department’s purpose is to encourage Chicano and Latino students to celebrate their culture and history.


  1. michael sedano says:

    The artists were Chicanas Chicanos.

    Although the term “Mexican American” or “Mexican-American” encompasses elements of one’s heritage, numerous poets and writers have different roots, including Colombia, Nicaragua, El Salvador, the United States, Mexico, Guatemala.

    Thank you for the article and media clips.

    A side note: Michael Sedano joined the first group of students taking Annenberg courses during the school’s inaugural year at USC.

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