Arts & Social Change
Next May 18 I will be part of a pretty cool panel at Hostos Community college organized by the Bronx Council on the Arts. Get your free tickets here.
Join us as we partner with PEN America's NYC Literary Action Coalition for a moderated panel discussion with Bronx-based artists sharing how they have leveraged their own creative voices to address structural inequities and inspire social change. Award-winning literary artist Alejandro Heredia will engage internationally renowned movement artist Ana "Rokafella" Garcia, and internationally exhibited visual artist Laura Alvarez in a broad discussion about the intersection of arts and social justice.
Alejandro Heredia is a queer Afro Dominican writer and community organizer from The Bronx. He has received fellowships from Lambda Literary, VONA, the Dreamyard Rad(ical) Poetry Consortium, and the Dominican Studies Institute. In 2019, he was selected by Myriam Gurba as the winner of the Gold Line Press Fiction Chapbook Contest. His book of short stories, You’re the Only Friend I Need (2021), explores themes of queer transnationalism, friendship, and (un)belonging in the African Diaspora. Alejandro’s work has been featured in Teen Vogue, Lambda Literary Review, Tasteful Rude Magazine, and elsewhere.
Ana "Rokafella" Garcia is a NYC native who has represented women in Hip-hop dance professionally over the past three decades. She co-founded Full Circle Prod Inc – NYC's only non-profit Break Dance Theater company with her husband, veteran Bboy Kwikstep, generating theater pieces, original poetry, and local dance related events. She performs music based on her experiences growing up in Hip-hop's birthplace and has had her poetry published in a Bronx Poets anthology. In addition to directing the documentary about Bgirls (women who Breakdance) "All the Ladies Say," she is hired internationally to judge Break dance competitions based on her mastery of the classic Hip-hop dance style. Presently an adjunct professor at The New School and a Hip hop dance instructor at Peridance Studios in NYC and NJPAC, she motivates aspiring dancers to understand and to learn the business side of being an independent artist.
Laura Alvarez is an illustrator, author, designer, visual artist, muralist, community activist and educator. In NYC, she juggles her city job, her artist career, and her commitment to her Bronx community. Laura is the Co-Founder, Vice-President and COO of BxArts Factory, a non-profit organization whose mission is to make art accessible to everyone in the Bronx. She is also part of the Board of Directors of Artbridge, a non-profit that empowers local artists to transform prominent urban spaces into gallery-quality exhibitions, focusing on New York City’s 300+ miles of construction fencing and scaffolding. She has received several awards and grants that she has used to promote the arts among Bronx youths and to create work that starts a conversation about ecology, womanhood, racism, tradition, inequality, and immigration.
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Graphic Designer, Illustrator, Educator, Community Activist... ARTIST!
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