My exposure to traditions of street theater, performance art and sacred/folkloric dance, black placemaking, and arts and civic engagement inspire my interest in what I call “interventions.”
Interventions disrupt borders … creatively.
We encounter our fellow human beings in public spaces: streets, parks, plazas (less so, admittedly, during COVID-19). We also meet each other online, a space where we can share materials from the past and the present and from near and far away. My projects — or interventions — pair the power of digital technology and multimedia with the power of critical awareness and mindfulness in the material (offline) world.
The creative storytelling “interventions” I organize — and those of others that I highlight — engage the power of the trickster that lives at every crossroads.
In the crossroads of online and material public space, we discover that the stranger has more in common with us than we realized, and that our stories, brought together, form a larger truth.
My projects bring scientific data, archival documents, maps, multimedia and performative traditions together. I create these interventions in order to cultivate critical awareness about the connections that we may not realize exist.
We learn more about the here and now when we understand its links to the there and then.
Want to Support These Projects?
If you are interested in sponsoring or supporting these projects, please let me know. I am not a nonprofit. But I can also arrange for support to go to other individuals who will be involved, so you know exactly how your funds will be spent: full transparency. I also make sure you are fully credited for your support.
Black Little Havana
This project builds on my AfroOchoDance effort and highlights 21 people of African descent who are connected to Little Havana, and especially its heritage district on Calle Ocho. It recognizes people who contributed to the neighborhood as civic leaders, artists, business owners, builders, performers; it also honors the contributions of those already recognized in the neighborhood’s monuments, murals and street names.
The project will include an interactive map showing sites related to these figures as well as documents and multimedia related to them. It will link to video interviews and include an opportunity for people to share testimonials about these figures via social media. Lastly, it will include a dance component, with invitation for people from around the world to contribute video testimonials, using art, dance, music or theater — to these individuals, which will be accessible via the site.
Remembering Little Havana: Digital Memoir and Archive
Remembering Little Havana is my ode to Little Havana, the neighborhood I have made my home for nearly two decades. I am creating an online archive that documents Little Havana during a time of rapid change — from 2006 to the present, with photos, videos, posters and archival material geo-tagged to maps and timelines.
The project will also confront a “single story” of Little Havana and the anti-black and anti-brown racial messages that are part of some of its official narratives. After I publish a book based on my dissertation, I will also make available a project on the history of Little Havana’s heritage district, and the racial politics behind its development.
A History of Rumba in Miami
Over the years, I have compiled a huge archive of materials documenting rumba in Miami. I am working on a digital archive to share these materials in a creative way.