Located in the heart of El Barrio, La Casa Azul Bookstore is much more than the average retail store, it is the literature hub in the neighborhood serving as the third place, a meeting space in the community. Events at La Casa Azul Bookstore range from book clubs, author signings, gallery shows, film screenings, writer’s conferences and workshops.
About Aurora Anaya Cerda:
In the height of the economic meltdown of 2008, Aurora Anaya-Cerda founded La Casa Azul Bookstore, an online resource promoting children’s literature, educational programing and literature by Latino writers. In the Fall of 2011, Aurora ran the ’40K in 40 days’ campaign and successfully crowdfunded for La Casa Azul Bookstore. With the financial backing of 500 funders – La Casa Azul Bookstore opened in El Barrio on June 1, 2012.
Ms. Anaya-Cerda has worked as a dynamic and passionate supporter of cultural events in the East Harlem community for more than 8 years. Ms. Anaya-Cerda was also the Family Programs and Cultural Celebrations Manager at El Museo del Barrio, where she organized major cultural events in East Harlem, including the annual Three Kings Day Parade and the Dia de los Muertos celebration. She is also the founder of the East Harlem Children’s Book Festival – a one day family event that features authors, storytellers and music for young children and their families.
Before moving to New York, Aurora Anaya-Cerda was a middle school English teacher, promoting art and literacy in her native East Los Angeles neighborhood. A UCLA graduate, Ms. Anaya-Cerda has a double Bachelor’s degree in History and Chicana/o Studies with a specialization in Education.
The White House recognized Aurora as a Champion of Change based on her experience as an entrepreneur who is pioneering the use of crowdfunding. The Champions of Change program highlights the stories and examples of citizens across the country who are “Winning the Future” with projects and initiatives that move their communities forward.
She has been awarded the Juanita Centeno Leadership Award, the UCLA Women for Change Leadership Award, and the Casa Atabex Ache Women Warrior Award for outstanding dedication and service to her community. Aurora is a scholarship recipient of the New Start Fund, awarded to women entrepreneurs in New York City, and a member of the Young Hispanic Leaders Program, the National Young Latino Leaders in the Arts Task Force and Las Comadres para Las Americas.
La Casa Azul Bookstore has been featured in the the New York Daily News, The New York Times, NBC, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, Publishers Weekly, El Diario la Prensa, Pie Derecho, American Latino TV, Fox News Latino, New York 1, Publishers Weekly, Cosmo for Latinas, Colorlines Magazine, CUNY TV and Univision.