Be The Street
During Spring 2019, I had the opportunity to engage in devising community theater with Our Lady of Guadalupe Center (OLGC). This was graduate level course in the Theater Department at The Ohio State University. Our Facilitator’s were Moriah Flagler, Ana Puga, and Paloma Martinez-Cruz. While I continued my dive into theory around community engagement, I was also able to continue to query the complex realities of excavating community narratives. The community at Our Lady of Guadalupe Center was beyond welcoming and willing from day one to participate, which at heart is where the beauty of this project lays.
Mission: OSU’s Be the Street (BTS) is a community-engaged performance project dedicated to creating collaborative spaces with and for community within the Hilltop neighborhood through storytelling.
During this course, in-charge of branding the logo and promo materials for the performance event. While also facilitating weekly devising meetings with the Our Lady of Guadalupe Center with Sebastian Munoz and Bryan Ortiz.
Developing a brand is a transferable skill I have picked up from being in the visual arts field and being my own marketing team as an arts entrepreneur. Using InDesign and Photoshop, I was given a springboard of an idea to run with from the lead directors of Be the Street. I find it easier to design for a company or program when I have somehow been embedded in the work. The logos and brands had to go through several approval requests, while also meeting OSU branding standards. I enjoyed the process and glad I was able to be apart.
On the devising performance with the community end. Our time over the 15 weeks was to create a 20-minute performance piece based on roots, home, and identity. This piece would be performed at the end of the semester at Steamwork Factory. We worked with Albany Park Theater to develop different strategies on how we as facilitators can give space for our community participants to be in control of how the performance shapes itself. At the end of our time together we created a piece made from music, songs, and installation called “Vengo de…”. During this time we watched our participants engage with different art-forms and reconnect with their creative voices.
These co-creative spaces of art-making are the ones I am drawn to be apart of. Having OSU Be the Street provided a bridge into a community that is often times forgotten in Columbus, OH. This project also created visibility for the Latino community here while further drawing together those who were already apart of the Hilltop. It welcomed our group of Graduate students who came from theater, dance, and art to celebrate community and be empowered by an evening of art-making.
More info about Be the Street click here.
Taco Reparations Brigade
Taco Reparations Brigade (TRB) founding members are Paloma Martinez-Cruz, Ruben Castille-Herrera (RIP 2019), Laura Rodriguez, and Bryan Ortiz. Photos: Michael Babcock
TRB sets out to confront the food appropriations in the streets of Columbus, OH with performance as protest. Usually spotted around local Mexican or Latin food restaurants. This group is a radical pop-up performance group spreading awareness on culinary brownface. TRB performs as a Lucha Libre in the streets of Columbus with heart stopping action. There entertaining match between Misty Taco Bells and Organica draws crowd interactions and conversation about TRB’s cause. Donations taken go to various Latino organizations around town.
More information read Paloma Martinez-Cruz’s new book. Click here.
Want to get involved find us on Facebook. Click here.
LIVABLE FUTURE’S “LECTURE ON CLIMATE”
“Every month in 2019 we are hosting a Climate Gathering for small groups interested in turning toward climate change and moving through it together in a transmedia performance ritual of sound, light, water, and intermedia immersion. We are finding that holding space for feeling into thought makes intentional action more possible. We are in Germany now but will do more gatherings in Columbus starting in August. Join us: livablefuturesnow.org” - Norah Zuniga Shaw
My involvement with Lecture on Climate started two years ago. My role started as dancer in the work and evolved to lighting design and collaborator. Lecture on Climate is a co-creative environment allowing those involved to take deep dives into the artistic, theoretical, and factual implications of climate change. During our rehearsals and residencies we have held space for special guests like: Tonya Lockyer, Michelle Ellsworth, Pamala Z, Andre Zachary, and Susan Kozel to be apart of the collaboration process. Through these rich explorations we have discovered width and depth of different variables essential to the work. Alongside these special guests are the core members, Norah Zuniga Shaw, Oded Huberman, Marc and Ann Ainger, Dorian Ham, Lexi Stilianos, Laura Patterson, Tara Burns, and me. The audience is very much a collaborator of this work because they are personally invited to fill out a survey before attending. The reason for this is Norah is able to source the audience for texts to connect on a deeper level of performance. Like sewing in the audiences thoughts about climate to prime the environment of the performance for action verse passivity. Having an inside scope of how the audience participates is further research for me when building co-creative immersive environments.
As a dancer, Lecture on Climate challenges me to investigate deep dives into spaces where time no longer exists. The work starts with a simple score - improvise with a partner but stay completely in sync with each other. While this task seems easy it is very complex to be identical to someone in the realm of improvisation. My partner has shifted over the course of the two years but each time there is an expenditure of the possibilities of movement operations. My work with movement has seeped into states of deep meditation, internal/external critique, and hyper awareness of space and time over the course of this project.
Sharing Lecture on Climate this rich dialogue of trans media performance with more communities is an action deeply needed in our present moment.
Photos by: Studio Kin