About Us

Our beginnings


Viva Padilla, a South Central publisher, editor, and writer, opened re/arte centro literario in the summer of 2021 originally at a location down the street from its current location. In 2022, after some challenges were overcome and with the financial help of the community, Padilla was able to reopen the bookstore and cultural center at a bigger, more accomodating location on Chicago & Cesar E. Chavez Ave. Now, almost two years later, the center has not only expanded its space but also its programming. re/arte is proud to serve the community with the following services & cultural events:

  • book launches
  • poetry readings
  • open mics
  • film screenings
  • storytime for kids
  • food & clothing giveaways
  • zine festivals
  • small play productions
  • readings groups
  • writers workshops
  • internships for youth
  • art exhibits
  • getting published with the in-house literary magazine sin cesar

Nuestra misión

re/arte centro literario is dedicated to bringing literature, cultural gatherings, and contemporary art to our Black & Brown communities that reflects our values and celebrates our collective imaginations. We specialize in curating books on Social Criticism, Chicanx/Latinx studies, and Latin American literature. We are also home to independent literary press antipresstigio which publishes sin cesar (formerly Dryland), a literary journal established in 2015 from South Central LA, and Hombre Lobo, an intergenerational series of oral histories and lived experiences of the "supernatural" and "paranormal." re/arte regularly hosts gatherings including film nights, reading groups, and art exhibits by/for the community.

About the owner

Image of Viva Padilla

Viva Padilla, a first-generation Chicana daughter of immigrants from Colima, Mexico, is a bilingual poet, translator, writer, editor, and publisher, art curator, and bookstore owner. Born and raised in South Central Los Angeles, she is the Founder/Editor-in-Chief of the journal sin cesar (formerly Dryland), she also publishes and edits Hombre Lobo, an intergenerational book series which mines little explored literary turf as a bi-annual archive or repository of the best paranormal/supernatural /horror stories written in the time-worn Xicanx tradition of dark cautionary folk tales. Re/Arte Centro Literario, the bookshop, performance venue and art gallery she opened in Boyle Heights has been the subject of articles in the Los Angeles Times, on KCET/PBS-TV, as well as the online platforms L.A. Taco, and Cultural Daily. Padilla's poetry has been published in Brooklyn & Boyle, Pank Magazine, Cultural Daily, and Sand, Berlin's vaunted literary magazine, The Acentos Review and in Coiled Serpent: Poets Rising From the Cultural.Quakes and Shifts of Los Angeles. (Tia Chucha Press, 2016) As a speaker, panelist and poet, she has presented at the illustrious Casa de las Américas Festival in Cuba (2019, 2023), the Vincent Price Art Museum (2023), the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (2022), the LA Theater Center (2022). and AWP (Seattle, 2023)). She currently serves as a rights and royalties liaison at Tia Chucha Press and makes her home on L.A.'s Eastside. Padilla is the recent recipient of a significant grant which will enable her to make climate-change and environmental justice issues the focus of an upcoming sin cesar issue (Fall 2023).