Gustavo Arellano, award-winning journalist, cultural critic, and syndicated columnist of ¡Ask a Mexican! and author of a new book of the same name, will present a fundraiser book-reading this Saturday, January 26, from 2-4 p.m., at the Carpinteria Woman’s Club (1059 Vallecito Road, Carpinteria). The event is the first fundraiser for The Writing Project, a new Carpinteria Valley Arts Council-sponsored initiative, aimed at empowering at-risk youth through writing and literature. The Writing Project was started in fall 2007 by journalists and editors Maureen Foley and Amy Orozco, who were inspired to bring the power of language to young Carpinterians after learning that the Carpinteria high school does not have its own newspaper. With funds from this event, they will teach workshops and produce an independent youth newspaper later this year. Tickets are $5 (by donation) and are limited. To pre-order, call 259-5099, and for more information about Gustavo Arellano and the event, visit


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