Queens & Muses 
Carnaval for the San Francisco Bay Area
There is no other festival more concerned about the dreams and myths of the past than Carnaval. In that motherland of Caribbean Carnival, there is a saying, "Carnival is Woman." For most Carnivals, and especially throughout Latin American, the most coveted position is that of the Queen of Carnaval. Becoming the Queen of the Drums for one of the 12 special samba schools of Rio de Janeiro can launch your career in media or extend it an extra decade or more.
For the last seven years, Roberto Hernandez has run the San Francisco Carnaval, prior to 2002, Patricia Aguaya had the reins for 7 years. Come this 2009, Rita Barela and her team of talented women have entered the field. With the election of the Hawaiian Barack Obama as President; and the ascendancy of the most powerful triumvirate  the world has ever known in the Washington DC Majesty of Pelosi, Boxer and Feinstein we felt compelled to survey other Queens who have spun the global culture from the West Coast, San Francisco and connect them to various myths from the tradition of the triple goddess. 
www.carnaval.com/venezuela/queens/  www.carnaval.com/brazil/queens/
||Carnaval SF || 19th century || 20th century || California/SF Queens || Washington DC
San Francisco California is known the world over for many things besides the Golden Gate Bridge, fog and Fisherman's wharf. This has been the case since at least the gold rush of 1849. shoring up San Francisco's quirky but iconic reputation.

Mount Sutro Tower

The Power of 3 at the tall center of the San Francico Bay Area
Sutro Tower by jon starbuck
Featuring the Roman goddess of wisdom and war Minerva, (Greek Pallas Athena) like the state of California that became a state without first having been a territory. The seal was officially adopted the seal on October 2, 1849.
Minerva caught and tamed Pegasus, and presented him to the 9 Muses
pyramid.gif (44343 bytes)
  Triple Goddess is the archetype of our hour in the land of living myths know as California. Celebrating the rhythms of the universe and the cycles of the earth in:  
  Arts in All the Schools
The debates can wait we need to be sure no child is left behind is not empty rhetoric. Here's 1 who matter and three who might.
  Muses of the Loyal Opposition
Restoring respect and civility is past due. We can all appreciate the good party that Carnaval offers as its salutes the annual cycle of life death and rebirth. Here are three proud Republican contenders who remind us it takes many ingredients to have a successful dish.
Babes from LA LA LAND  
  Their stay was never that long and they gravitated back to Southern California from whence they had come but their legacy in SF and beyond will last forever, which is a mighty long time and something San Francisco aspires too a lot.
Queens of our 1st Century  
Queens of the 20th Century in the San Francisco Bay Area  
During the sixties the SF Bay Area was seen globally as a cultural nexus and spiritual center. It was the music that brought the attention to the message. All three of these leading women were outspoken and sure of themselves.  
Provocateurs and pioneers who expanded everyone's understanding of our relationship with love and sex   
All our three bridges are proud of their connections to San Francisco and more importantly offer a path to shared stories for the 21st century. Whoopie is an articulate voice for a liberal multicultural agenda. Paglia argues that Western rationalism’s insistence on ignoring “Dionysus” (religion, spirituality, nature) has left a huge void in our culture and psyche. Paris shows how living well at a cultural nexus is the best of all worlds.  
Nancy- Diane-Barbara
In Washington DC the world has never known a more powerful Triumvirate of Women
Barbara Boxer
File:Barbara Boxer 2005.jpgmost powerful woman in the Senate, never defeated in a political race

 Barbara Boxer google image search


Barbara Boxer has been in  Congress since 1983. Boxer is the Democratic Chief Deputy Whip, serving right under Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), making her the highest ranking woman member of the Senate. Boxer's committee assignments include chairing the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics, and Committees on the Environment, Global Warming, and Asian Relations.

Nancy Pelosi  
"Is it in feminism's best interests for a woman leader to be so overshadowed by a man? Shouldn't the first woman president get elected and govern on her own? What that might look like was suggested last week in Nancy Pelosi's controversial Mideast junket.

"Despite legitimate concerns about whether a speaker of the House should be creating ambiguity about American foreign policy, I thought Pelosi looked fabulous -- crisp, stylish, graceful and warm yet authoritative. It was a step beyond Condoleezza Rice's commanding but steely Amazonian aplomb. And it was a world away from Hillary's stiff, guarded, sanctimonious unease, which her toothy smiles and barking laugh never quite conceal.

Pelosi is as hard as nails and is no man's puppet. Whatever her affronts to diplomatic protocol (Democrats wouldn't want a Republican speaker doing that to a Democratic president), she gave the best seat-of-the-pants performance yet of what a woman president might look like.

Camille Paglia in her Feb-2007 column @ Salon.com

Nancy Pelosi
Dianne Feinstein  



graduated from the Convent of the Sacred Heart High School 1951; graduated, Stanford University 1955. San Francisco Board of Supervisors 1970-1978, serving as president 1970-1971, 1974-1975, 1978; Democratic Mayor of San Francisco, California, 1978-1988. U.S. Senator (D-CA), 1993-Current.


As president of the Board of Supervisors upon the assassination  of Mayor Moscone, Feinstein succeeded to the mayoralty on December 4, 1978.

In the run up to the 1984 Democratic National Convention, there was considerable media and public speculation that Democratic presidential nominee Walter Mondale might pick Feinstein as his running mate. However, he chose Geraldine Ferraro instead. Also in 1984, Feinstein proposed banning handguns in San Francisco.

Barbara Boxer was elected at the same time for the Senate seat to be vacated by Alan Cranston but because Feinstein was elected to the unexpired term of Pete Wilson who defeated her for governor, she became California's senior senator, Feinstein was re-elected in 1994, 2000, and 2006.

Feinstein  was the first female President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors,  the first woman to serve on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the first woman to chair the Senate Rules Committee and Senate Intelligence Committee.

May 2009: Republican volume on demonizing the speaker reach a ironic crescendo over  Pelosi's failure to protest what she alternately calls "enhanced interrogation methods" and "torture" as Senator Feinstein defends her San Francisco neighbor of many years.
Journalist: Do you believe the CIA routinely misleads members of Congress about sensitive issues?

FEINSTEIN: Well, I will answer that.

But let me say something, first of all, about the speaker. I have never known her not to tell the truth. And I have known Nancy Pelosi for at least the past 30 or 40, 50 years. So, this is a longstanding knowledge. And I have never seen her not tell the truth. So, I think that's worth saying....

And, so, this shibboleth, which is largely used by Republicans, to say, oh, the Democrats want terrorists in your -- in your neighborhood, in your community, that is a lot of baloney. That is not true. And that's the message that is being pushed, because it frightens people.


Diane Feinstein



Feinstein saw President Bill Clinton sign  her National Wilderness Preservation System in California which was the largest wilderness bill in California's history. Her other major legislative success was the since expired  was the attachment of the assault weapons ban to the 1994 crime bill.

Senators Feinstein and Barbara Boxer were the champions of the  5 year effort to pass the Northern California Coastal Wild Heritage Wilderness Act,signed in to law on October 17, 2006 and protecting 275,830 acres (1,116 km2) of federal land as wilderness and 21 miles (34 km) of stream as a wild and scenic river, including such popular areas as the King Range and Cache Creek. Previosly she  and Senator Alan Cranston worked for over 10 years to pass the California Desert Protection Act in 1994. which protected 7,661,089 acres (31,003 km2) of California's desert lands as wilderness and national parks.

 Days after Obama amassed enough delegates to win the Democratic Party nomination, Feinstein lent her Washington, DC home to both Clinton and Obama to have a private one on one meeting.

"Our work is not yet finished, but future generations will mark this morning as the turning point for real and necessary change in our Nation. They will look back and remember that this was the moment when the dream that once echoed across history, from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, finally reached the walls of the White House.

"In that spirit, we, today, not only inaugurate a new Administration; we pledge ourselves to the hope, the vision, the unity, and the renewed call to greatness inspired by the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama.
---Diane Feinstein master of ceremonies, introducing each participant at the 2009 presidential inauguration.

Respected Moderate Voice


"Winning may not be everything, but losing has little to recommend it."





Cultural Arts Traditions
Our arms start from the back because they were once wings.
We learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same. One becomes in some area an athlete of God.
Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance. Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.
In 1980. a well-meaning fundraiser came to see me and said, "Miss Graham, the most powerful thing you have going for you to raise money is your respectability." I wanted to spit. Respectable! Show me any artist who wants to be respectable.
I am absorbed in the magic of movement and light. Movement never lies. It is the magic of what I call the outer space of the imagination. There is a great deal of outer space, distant from our daily lives, where I feel our imagination wanders sometimes. It will find a planet or it will not find a planet, and that is what a dancer does.
The great spokesperson for finding your art through dance Martha Graham  (1894-1991) did not explore the cultural legacy that dance carries with it from the generations who have danced the same patterns but she does affirm the place of dance as bringing us as close to celebrating life in the present as anyone before or since. 

"We look at the dance to impart the sensation of living in an affirmation of life, to energize the spectator into keener awareness of the vigor, the mystery, the humor, the variety, and the wonder of life. This is the function of the American dance."

The most influential dancer of the 20th century began her dance career in the state named after the goddess Califia in the City named after one of the more mysterious trinity saints from the Christian tradition ---Santa Barbara. Like many before and after she would seek affirmation from an audience for her art in New York City. Her first pieces from her own school that she opened at age 33 dealt with social problems (Immigrant, Vision of Apocalypse, Lamentation, Revolt and her first first non-solo ballet in 1929 was called Heretic.

Miss Graham's dances spoke eloquently against the crushing of the human spirit, and one of her frequent themes was the condemnation of intolerance, especially toward nonconformists.

"You are unique, and if that is not fulfilled, then something has been lost.

Audiences throughout the world were often disturbed by Miss Graham's strong female characters, and a frank portrayal of women's sexuality which gave vent to their lust and hate, baring the passions that few humans liked to recognize in themselves but that Miss Graham exposed with the unflinching scrutiny of a Jungian analyst.  When asked how she, among all choreographers of either sex, so well understood and appreciated the male sex, Graham replied,

 "Well, dear, I like men."

According to Agnes de Mille: "I was bewildered and worried that my entire scale of values was untrustworthy. ... I confessed that I had a burning desire to be excellent, but no faith that I could be. Martha said to me, very quietly,"

'"There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. ... No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others"'
from The Life and Work of Martha Graham [2]

In general, Miss Graham saw art as a reflection of its time inseparable from life.

"My dancing," she said, "is not an attempt to interpret life in the literary sense. It is an affirmation of life through movement."

Shortly before her death on April 1,1991she made a statement regarding her belief concerning life after death. At the time she was working on a new ballet for the Olympic Games of Barcelona, called The Eye of the Goddess.

"I'm asked so often at ninety-six whether I believe in life after death. I do believe in the sanctity of life, the continuity of life and of energy. I know the anonymity of death has no appeal for me. It is the now that I must face and want to face.

NY Times obituary by Anna Kisselgoff, April 2, 1991

  • Time Magazine: 100 Most Important People of the Century
  • Blanche Brown 

    Blanche Brown has taught and studied traditional Haitian Dance for the past 30 years. Blanche was the Artistic Director of Group Petit La Croix. For 15 years, they toured throughout the Western U.S performing the traditional dance and music of Haiti. After serving as Board President of the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival and as a member of the San Francisco Arts Commission, Blanche is returning to teaching because she has missed it so much.


    Maria Souza, Aquarela's director, first experienced Carnaval in her home town in Minas Gerais, Brazil, when she was 8 years old. That was a great experience, all family; cousins, brothers, mom, and she was dressed in a blue costume with glitter and sequins on the skirt.

    Carnaval SF Queens Silvana ['96] & Maria ['95]Aquarela do a squeeze play on the Mayor of the City and County of San Francisco Willie Brown. Da mayor's one and only wife Blanche Brown is one of the great mother's of Carnaval SF. This master teacher has been bringing her Haitain dance students to the streets as long as anyone in the parade.


    Silvana Sousa
    Silvana is a native of Goiânia, Brazil and has been with the group since its inception. After Aquarela's Maria Souza who officated as Queen of 1995, Silvana was elected Carnaval Queen of San Francisco in 1996. Today, Silvana is chief choreographer of Aquarela. Silvana is a registered nurse. She lives and works in Berkeley.

     The music was called "Marcha". It had lots of instruments like flute, saxaphone, and trombone. Nowadays her favorite part of Carnaval isn't just the parade. It's getting ready. Thinking about the costume design, concentrating, getting excited. Rehearsals. Waiting for the parade to start. Then, dancing for the whole thing! Even with the inevitable problems, it's as though nothing happened; only fun. So enjoyable, but over too soon.
    She feels that her

    Come parade with the Award winning Aquarela Samba School and
    Carnaval Queens
    Micaela (2004),
     Iya (2003),
    Silvana (1996) & Maria (1995) &
    King Carlos (2000)
    Mirana (2007)

     contingent is very professional, but at the same time, it's like an extended family. The daughters and sons of the contingent have become participants, and bring that youthful excitement every year. Her focus is to do her thing, make her people happy, and make their dreams come true. She shows San Francisco what the true Rio de Janeiro has about Carnaval. It's an authentic experience including the float, the music, and dance routine. Maria herself is not only is one of the Carnaval Queens, but she has the most Queens and Kings of Carnaval in her contingent. It is the Royal Family. www.aquarela.com 

    Maria Souza


    Marina was elected Queen of Carnaval San Francisco 2007 on her 3rd attempt. She has been dancing as part of the performance company with Aquarela since 1998. The two leaders of Aquarela and former Queens themselves are credited by Aquarela as being the biggest influence on her dance careet. An English teacher by day she sees Carnaval as a healthy outlet for adolescent energy and would like to find a way to get move of them involved.
    2007 Queen Marina ||sf07/queen/video/