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Arne Nixon Center for the Study of Children's Literature

Meet Maya Christina Gonzalez
Nixon Center's New Artist in Residence

Maya Christina Gonzalez

September 25, 2017   ~   Meet the Arne Nixon Center's new artist in residence, Maya Christina Gonzalez. A catered reception to welcome Gonzalez to campus will be held on Monday, September 25th in the University Dining Hall from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. Co-hosting the event are the
Cross Cultural and Gender Center
and Center for Creativity and the Arts. The public is invited to the free event and Gonzalez' books will be available for sale and autographing.

Maya Christina Gonzalez was awarded the Artist in Residence Fellowship from the Arne Nixon Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Fresno State. Gonzalez, the second recipient of the award, will be on campus September 25th to September 29th. She will engage in student learning by embedding in a variety of classes, including those in the graphic arts, women's studies, and early childhood education departments.

Gonzalez identifies as a queer illustrator, author, progressive educator and publisher. The largely self-taught artist has illustrated over 20 books including: My Diary From Here to There/Mi diario de aquí hasta allá, written by Amada Irma Pérez, Fiesta Femenina: Celebrating Women in Mexican Folklore, written by Mary Joan Gerson and Prietita and the Ghost Woman, written by Gloria Anzaldúa.

Call Me Tree Bookcover

Her colorful and recognizable work has earned numerous awards. Among the many honors, she has received a Pura Belpré honor award, a Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children's Book Award and an Américas Book Award. Gonzalez is both the author and illustrator of a number of books, including: Mis colores, mi mundo/My Colors, My World; I Know the River Loves Me and Call Me Tree/Llámame Árbol.

Since 1996, Maya has been providing presentations to children and educators about the importance of creativity as a tool for personal empowerment. Her work with children in public schools helped her develop several lines of curriculum that offer a holistic approach to learning and open doors to new ways of thinking and relating in the world.

In order to more extensively examine issues of gender and identity, Gonzalez founded a publishing company, Reflection Press, in 2009. Her educational website, "School of the Free Mind" offers six full online courses with complete video and workbook instruction for those interested in creating powerful books for children, attaining self-realization and living creatively.

Parking for the reception is restricted. Please obtain a parking permit by entering the code 218802 into parking permit dispensers found at entryways on campus.

For event information, including disability accommodations or access, contact Jami Sanford in the Arne Nixon Center at 559.278.8116 or email