Yes, the last year has been chock full of projects, mostly inside my Low-Residency MFA program at Hollins University, but not all.
Chicken Bank Collective was awarded a grant from Fonca through the Mexican Government for three Residencies in Mexico in 2018: La Canasta Básica! Denisse, Gabby and Paola organized all and it was thrilling to arrive to teach, perform, learn, paint, help and whatever they needed.
The first one was in beloved Cholula, beginning with Performatica and continuing on, screened our films, focusing on the voice, community and sound: Voces que ven. Sound baths, working with elementary kids, and movement voice workshops filled this residency.
Then we found ourselves in Chiltoyac, Veracruz learning how to make traditional pottery and candy from the women run town center and documenting a traditional dance that the community is trying to save. All this while working with the elders and children to design and paint three murals based on the elements that were the most important to them. We ended in Xalapa teaching and screening our films in this residency: Hechas de Historias.
To finish with the whole project we went to San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas for: Cómo subir una montaña, where we started off as part of the Zapatista’s first film festival. Then we lead community slow walks, workshops, taught high school, screened our films and made an exhibition to close our time.
In the midst of this, I spent the summer studying in Roanoke, VA, and Frankfurt. After returning, I jumped on board into Jennifer Hoyt Tidwell’s next Odd-Sister’s Salon, this time in the historical Woolen Mills, slated to be revamped/developed. The owner graciously let us inhabit the sprawling structure (while it was under construction) for a week, so we rolled up our sleeves, got very little sleep and created Ghosts in Reverse, as a final goodbye to the very last open industrial space available for artists in Cville. Over 20 local artists were presented throughout the space, with a taco truck and spirits for sale. Bittersweet fun for all!
Writing a yearly blog is overwhelming, so I will try to narrow it down. Painted a lot for arts for arts sake. Had class in NYC in winter and survived, thank to friends and affordable performances. Wrote a research paper. Went to El Paso and taught with Cinthia and Julie from CBC a choerolab in the World Dance Americas Alliance convention at UTEP. Had a very risky solo created with/for me by Lauren Beale and Brooke McNamara in a residence at FloorSpace in Boulder, CO. Lost two incredible people back to back: Josh Haddix and Gabe Allen. Created on land installations at CABIN with Liz Simmons and filmed with Gabby over 22 dancers inside the land sets or in Charlottesville through another week residency at Hunting Ridge. This is all part of the film: the owl of Minerva arrives only at dusk which will be featured in the live performance of: all things discarded:an indwelling. Yes, that’s my thesis. Yes, it will be toured to Charlottesville and Winston. Yes, I am tired.
To sum up: still making the thesis performance and paper, still making an one hour artist talk and finishing up other assorted school work because I leave for the last summer of school soon. Oh, and where I live, CABIN, has been under construction this whole time (don’t ask) and now it is closer than ever, with indoor plumbing and a beautiful floor.
I will update y’all about school, the film, the tour and events at CABIN when I am done with school. Wish me luck! If you want to support me going to grad school, check out my gofundme campaign. Hope everyone has a glorious end of spring into summer!