Cultivating Diversity in
Santa Ana through Literature & the Arts
LibroMobile is a literary project in collaboration with Red Salmon Arts initiated by local author Sarah Rafael García and established in Santa Ana, California—it integrates literature, visual exhibits and year-round creative workshops and live readings.
The LibroMobile is not only mobile but also builds community and promotes literacy. It resides on Calle Cuatro (off 4th & Spurgeon, back alley area) and travels throughout Santa Ana visiting a variety of communities, including Grand Central Art Center, Alta Baja Market and special events through Southern California. The design of the LibroMobile is nostalgic of the iconic paletero carts or fruit vendors that are part of downtown Santa Ana. To hear or see a paletero or frutero cart builds cultural interests (from locals and visitors) to know that something authentic and familiar is being offered, and LibroMobile has achieved the same connections through relevant literature.
Video Credit: Carla Zarate
Photo Credit: Juliana Rico
As of June 1st, 2021, we re-opened our tiny bookstore! LibroMobile is working on various initiatives to build audience engagement, including recruitment of more cooperative members and innovative programs geared to bring new audiences, such as virtual podcasts, monthly events, and 3D capture tours of BIPOC art spaces, a second space to serve as the Crear Studio gallery, and a recent partnership with the Orange County Public Libraries to initiate the county-wide poet laureates programs for youth and adults. Visit our Arts & Culture section to learn more!
Improving our website and facilities, modernizing the bookstore, community partnerships and gallery space, and increasing accessibility helps LibroMobile Arts Co-op (LMAC) further its mission of increasing its relevance in the region. Combined, the Mission Statement and Financial Mission Statement (found in About US, Our Story) provide a comprehensive understanding of the interrelation and interdependence between the business and nonprofit practices. We also expanded to online publication reviews via LM Voices, Arts & Culture features, and a monthly newsletter. Subscribe here!
The LibroMobile bookstore offers affordable books by writers of color, bilingual and Spanish books for children, youth, and adults, as well as books that speak to culture and social justice issues relevant to the local community. Stocked items, which started with about 60 titles, now include over 3000 books ranging from handmade zines to popular titles, to small press bilingual publications, a community board to post local resources and a Little Free Library—this serves as a book exchange. When someone wants to borrow a book instead of purchasing their own copy, they will provide another book for someone else to read for free.
Plus—our founder also established Barrio Writers in 2009. Since then, she expanded her creative writing workshops to the local community through LibroMobile’s Do-It-Yourself MFA program (established in March 2016, now known as LMAC). It is an online one-on-one mentorship with Sarah Rafael García. Currently, two community-based emerging writers are working on individual manuscripts for publication, we will add more mentees every Spring. Since 2016, we have published 6 collaborative zines and 8 individual chapbooks as well as expanding the printed "Scholar Holler Archives" into a podcast. We will continue to release a new zine publication every year at the OC Zine Fest!
In collaboration with our LMAC, Crear Studio began in Fall 2017 as an interdisciplinary arts and mentorship project, which offers a multi-layered learning environment supported by established resources and creates access to interdisciplinary arts education and mentorship for professional careers in the arts to underserved residents in Santa Ana and beyond. Our joint vision is to support creative ideas, connections, knowledge, language and relevant role-models through artistic development—a Do-It-Yourself/Do-It-Together MFA through a grassroots collective of local artists.
As a self-sustaining community model, LibroMobile uses profits to contract youth and emerging artists and provide stipends to guest writers and local artists, always prioritizing local and Black, Indigenous, people of color.