News Column

The Women Behind Siempre Mujer Music Festival: HispanicBusiness Exclusive

June 15, 2012

Rebecca Villaneda--HispanicBusiness

Siempre Mujer Editor in Chief Maria Cristina Marrero (left) and Enedina Vega, VP/publisher, Meredith Hispanic Ventures .
Siempre Mujer Editor in Chief Maria Cristina Marrero (left) and Enedina Vega, VP/publisher, Meredith Hispanic Ventures .

Estan listos? The first annual Siempre Mujer Musical Festival is tomorrow, June 16, at the Family Circle Cup Stadium in Charleston, S.C.

Music lovers get ready to hear and see the talented Los Tigres del Norte, Dj Luigi, Chino y Nacho and Gilberto Santa Rosa.

Launched in September 2005, Siempre Mujer is the first-ever Spanish-language lifestyle publication for Hispanic women living in the United States.

HispanicBusiness was excited for the chance to speak to two influential females behind the Siempre Mujer Musical Festival and revista.

We caught up with Siempre Mujer Editor in Chief Maria Cristina Marrero and Enedina Vega, VP/publisher, Meredith Hispanic Ventures.

Related Story:Siempre Mujer Magazine Launches Hispanic Music Festival in Charleston

Read HispanicBusiness' exclusive interview with these powerful Latinas, first with Marrero:

HispanicBusiness: How long have you been editor of Siempre Mujer?

MCM: I have been working for Meredith (publisher of Siempre Mujer) for about five years now, first as executive editor for our sister magazine, Ser Padres, then as executive editor of Siempre Mujer and three and a half years ago, I was promoted to editor in chief of Siempre.

HispanicBusiness: What are you most excited about for this festival?

MCM: This festival is the perfect excuse for me to be closer to my readers. It's my opportunity to dance, talk, celebrate and share with them while giving back all the love and support they've given me throughout these years at Siempre. My readers are the most loyal readers ever! The idea is to bring their favorite magazine to life for a day.

HispanicBusiness: This is a big move for a magazine ... How are you hoping this will affect the publication?

MCM: Big is an understatement! This is huge! We just feel there's no better time than the present, for us as a magazine, to give back to our readers. Our sponsors' support and readers' feedback confirm what we thought: the Latino community needs, craves, events like these. And we are proud to be able to fulfill their needs. They expect a lot from us and we are here to exceed those expectations. We are here for them. Plus, we are not the hottest magazine 2012 for nothing, right? (Siempre Mujer won the Ad Week's Hot List Award in the women's magazines category, being the only Spanish title nominated that year.)

HispanicBusiness: How was the process of choosing musical acts?

MCM: It was not easy, but fun and interesting. It was a great learning experience for us, because we started the process by better understanding and getting to know the audience in South Carolina and the tri-state area (NC, GA, SC). The community is so diverse it became obvious we needed to find talent that will match their tastes. Hence, our mixed line-up: Chino y Nacho for the South American crowd; Gilberto Santa Rosa for the Caribbean people and Los Tigres del Norte for our Mexican friends. I love the fact that this represents who Hispanics in the US really are: we're hybrids. We're a mix. We're a big 'asopao' (stew) with tons of delicious flavors that make us such a diverse minority (not so minor anymore).

HispanicBusiness: What kinds of daytime events will be happening and how did your team come up with them?

MCM: From empowerment, finance, immigration, cooking, dancing, career seminars, to Zumba, soccer and tennis classes for kids, beauty by the horoscope makeovers, fashion shows, among many other activities. The idea is to have the whole family reunited, especially since its happening Saturday, June 16, the day before Father's Day. My team and I simply sat down with the magazine and made sure we brought every single section of it to life through seminars. My editors will be presenting each one of them, along with some special guests we have invited to participate with us and share their expertise as well. For more information and the entire daytime activities line-up, you can visit

HispanicBusiness: Of the daytime events, what are you hoping people will get from them?

MCM: We just want our readers to leave inspired. Ready to face their worlds with a positive attitude, happy and with tons of new information they didn't have before, so they can have a plan and, most importantly, execute it. And, of course, I want them to leave with sore feet from all the dancing!

HispanicBusiness: What is unique to the Hispanic community that your publication felt this music festival would be a hit?

MCM: Our passion. Period. Our approach to life and difficulties. The way we recover and overcome any obstacles in order to keep our goals untouched. Latinos are fighters. I like to call us the happy fighters, because no matter how hard the situation might be, we find time to celebrate life. Siempre Mujer Music Festival is just another excuse for us to celebrate, share and get inspired.

HispanicBusiness:Is there anything else you would like to add? MCM: I want to send special thanks to the SC community for their support and passion and help in putting this event together. They are as excited as we are to be there. I love Charleston! And all my Latinos in the area. ¡Gracias totales!

And now, our time with Enedina Vega:

HispanicBusiness: How did this music festival concept transpire?

EV: The general manager of the venue was witnessing firsthand the growth in the Hispanic market in this region and wanted to do something to engage the growing Hispanic population. Why Charleston? Growth, South Carolina may not have the largest Hispanic population, but it has the largest growth, 148 percent! It's an opportunity to expand beyond traditional markets to emerging markets. It's also an opportunity to validate Latinos in new markets.

HispanicBusiness: How many people are you expecting day/night?

EV: The venue holds up to 10,000 people on the grounds during the day and 7,500 in the stadium at night for the concert.

HispanicBusiness: The Siempre Mujer Music Festival is presented by Ford and sponsored by Garnier Fructis, the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, CNN en Espanol, ELLA TV and Ser Padres magazine—how did all these organizations come together?

EV: The Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau is interested in bringing people to their city, so it was a natural to work with them on an event of this nature that would attract people not only from Charleston, but the surrounding areas as well. We have long standing relationships with both Ford and L'Oreal USA Garnier. They are two companies that are very committed to engaging with the Hispanic market so we knew that this would be an opportunity for them to reach out to new consumers. Ser Padres is our sister publication, also a Meredith property within the Hispanic Ventures division. Since we know that the daytime events will be attended by families bringing Ser Padres in allowed us to have a branded area devoted specifically to kids. As for our media partners, we have an existing relationship with CNNE through a joint program called 'Poder es Querer,' which empowers women. We share similar missions in terms of empowering and informing Latinas so this is a natural extension of that relationship. They provide us with additional coverage and we provide them with content. Ella TV is a growing cable network with lifestyle programming needs that can utilize our content and provide us with additional reach and exposure as well.

HispanicBusiness:Are you hoping this will be an annual event and if so, will it be in various locales? EV: Yes, our intent is to make this an annual event. We will evaluate this year's event and determine how we move forward from here.

HispanicBusiness: What is unique to the Hispanic community that your publication felt this music festival would be a hit?

EV: Music, food and sports are things that unite people. All of these things and more will be part of this event. From our ongoing dialogue with our readers, as well as in our research, we understand Latinos are seeking information. Siempre Mujer magazine provides information on health and fitness, finance, personal relationships, in addition to fashion and beauty. Bringing all this under one event allows us to bring Siempre Mujer magazine to life and to reach out in person to our readers. Our community wants to celebrate, share and be inspired. That's why we selected those very words for our tag line for this event. We are also bringing a diverse representation of musical acts for the evening concert, recognizing that there are many genres of Latin music, just as there are many nationalities represented among Latinos. This festival event is unique to the region and the community is genuinely excited that we doing this. The feedback has been incredible!

HispanicBusiness: Is there anything else you would like to add?

EV: Siempre Mujer's cause is domestic violence awareness. About a year ago, Siempre Mujer Editor in Chief María Cristina Marrero joined the board of Casa de Esperanza, the National Latin@ Institute on Domestic Violence whose mission is to mobilize Latinas and Latin@ communities to end domestic violence. Siempre Mujer Music Festival is a great opportunity to give Casa a platform to connect to our readers and deliver such an important message to empower women and men. We are proud to be able to have Casa as our Charity Sponsor. Their staff, along with Siempre Mujer's staff will participate in an important 'Know Your Rights: What Every Latino Needs to Know About Immigration' moderated in conjunction with CNN en Español. Casa will also have a booth space where they will hand out brochures about the organization.

Source: (c) 2012. All rights reserved.

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