A new festival took over Hops and Grain Brewing back in early April that aims to bring new meaning to the Mexican slang word “Chingona”. Denise Hernandez and her fiancee Krista Cottingim cofounded Hustle for the Cause to highlight and promote LBGTQ women of color, “It’s hard to find social innovation spaces and support for LGBTQ women of color. In fact, less than 10% of all venture capital deals go to women, people of color, and LGBTQ founders. There’s a diversity issue in the social innovation community, and we’re here to change that. Our vision is to create social impact products and experiences that empower underrepresented individuals. We’re passionate about social change, so we hustle for the cause,” Denise says.
I caught up with Denise to find out more about the event and what we can expect for next year.
How did Chingona Fest come about?
My fiance and I started Hustle for the Cause to provide social impact experiences that were inspiring and entertaining. After the presidential election, we knew we needed to create spaces that empowered women of color and Chingona Fest discussions commenced from that point forward. Chingona Fest ATX was inspired by similar events in San Antonio, where women were organizing to recognize local Latinas. However, there has never been a Chingona Festival of this level in Texas. We are the first organization to turn the concept of Chingona Fest into a social impact music festival. The majority of the proceeds from Chingona Fest are donated to Latinitas and Con Mi MADRE, two non-profits that are dedicated to the educational advancement of young Latinas.
The event sold out this year, what did attendees experience at the fest?
The fest featured music, Chingona art, Chingona Apparel, products that represent Latinx culture, and CHINGONA BEER! Hustle for the Cause intentionally created a space that was reflective of Latinx values. Every single musician is led by a woman of color, the majority of the vendors are women of color, and we premiered CHINGONAS, a documentary that highlights women of color in Austin.
Another screening is planned for May 10th.
How did the partnership with Hops and Grain come about?
Hustle for the Cause reached out to community leader, Jose Velasquez, to help build up the festival. Mr. Velasquez was quintessential in building the partnership with Hops and Grain Brewing. I presented the idea of Chingona Fest ATX to him, and Mr. Velasquez came up with the idea of Chingona beer. He pitched the idea to Hops and Grain, and they we’re all about the cause.
Tell me more about the collaboration brew?
The Can design for Chingona Beer was designed by a dear friend of mine, Claudia Gizell Aparicio Gamundi. She is a local Latina graphic designer and she donated her services to the beer. It is intentionally a light lager with a smooth taste. This is definitely a beer you can drink during the summer while grilling in the backyard. A portion of every Chingona Beer Sell is donated to Con Mi MADRE and Latinitas as well. Every aspect of Chingona Fest, including the beer, is designed to have a social impact.
Will this be an annual event?
ABSOLUTELY! We plan on doing this year after year!
What’s up next for Hustle for a Cause?
Hustle for the Cause is currently working on multiple screenings of the documentary CHINGONAS. We partnered with FemBeat to create Chingonas and we’ll be announcing a more events soon!