Be The Street

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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.

Brief

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

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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.