Becoming Our Spaces

              

The stories we tell -- and the stories we don’t tell -- shape our understanding of ourselves and the world we live in. This is why I’m a storyteller and storyweaver. I make live art and theater from scratch combining fact and fiction, and often incorporating real people's stories. I collaborate and direct community-based story projects, often with people that do not ordinarily identify as artists. I see an artist in everyone.

My values are shared power, joy, and radical imagination. I am working toward a future where 1) creativity, community building, and care are part of our social fabric; 2) our public spaces and physical infrastructure build belonging; and 3) the criminal-punishment system is destabilized through an ethic of love and the rigor of transformative justice.

As an artist I explore these fundamental questions, with gratitude to Arlene Goldbard: Who are we? What do we stand for? How do we want to be remembered? I’m driven by a curiosity for the way we perform our identities out in the world, and how we perform in our civic discourse. I develop participatory, site-specific work utilizing sensory-based techniques. I investigate and intervene in public space. 

As an arts-based facilitator and longtime educator I work with people from all backgrounds and sectors to explore identity, place, and belonging. We explore the ethics storytelling, narrative power, and everyday practices of transformative justice. My facilitation style is seriously playful and healining-centered. 

As an engagement strategist I use creative play and art to inform policy development and to make planning efforts, and other “fuzzy” topics more accessible and equitable. I enjoy the challenge of creating democratic space to host complex conversations, enabling group deliberation and encouraging intergenerational communication.

Current work:

For Fall 2021, I’m an Adjunct Instructor with the Center for Communicating Science and School of Performing Arts at Virginia Tech. Through a course called I-ACT, I introduce students of all majors to creative techniques of deep listening, interpersonal dialogue, devised performance, call-and-response, and oral history to engage the perspectives of their peers.

As a collaborating artist with The Clinic Performance, I design and facilitate arts-based workshops and immersive performances in hospitals and other social-service settings. Our work is grounded in research on burnout and secondary traumatic stress. As a teaching artist with Ping Chong + Company, I develop verbatim theater projects, adapting memoir (real people’s stories) into collectively weaved performances rooted in cross-cultural connection.


Photo Credits: (1) Self, (2) Marlène Ramírez-Cancio, (3) Whitney Browne Photography, (4) Self, (5) Marlène Ramírez-Cancio (6) Whitney Browne Photography, (7) Marlène Ramírez-Cancio, (8) María José, (9) Lee Wexler, (10) Diksha Pilania