Robert Martinez is an ILI Fellow Alum from 2018/19. We caught up with him to hear about what he's doing now.
As the new year proceeds, and as I look towards a year of arts, culture, and all that those things encompass, I move forward knowing there is still much more to do. Combining social justice and creativity has been a testament to my relentless fire to form relationships and co conspire as a change agent.
Drawing the Ensō by Shin Yu Pai, ILI Fellow Alum
I chose the title Ensō for my forthcoming book because it expresses both the practice of trying to make a thing perfect, and by implication the possibility of imperfection. Symbolic of the Japanese word for “circle” and evocative of Zen Buddhist practice, I wanted a name and a shape that could hold the various parts of my work as an artist.
In a partnership connected to the great cultural diversity of the Twin Cities region, Americans for the Arts (AFTA) joined with ILI Partners, Facilitators and Fellows to create a pre-conference learning experience prior to the 2019 AFTA National Convention in Minneapolis.
ILI Fellow liza garza and ILI Fellow Alum Eli Lakes form the mother/son musical duo GROW. In 2018/2019, they embarked on a tour of “living room shows” - connecting with like-minded communities to share their original music of Love and Healing. liza shared her experience, thoughts about interculturality and what she holds most dear as meaningful and valuable.
These days, it seems easier to talk online than in person. ILI Alumni Fellow, Shey Rivera Ríos, is trying to change that. Shey Rivera Ríos isan artist and former artistic director at AS220, an internationally renowned arts center in Providence, RI. Rivera uses the mediums of performance, video, installation, and narrative to produce works exploring gender, family history, and colonization in Puerto Rico. After eight years at AS220, Rivera accepted a new role as Director of Inclusive Regional Development at MIT CoLab, in the Urban Studies and Planning department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Rhode Island Black Storytellers (RIBS) recently had their 21st Annual Funda Fest: A Celebration of Black Storytelling which took place from Westerly to Woonsocket, Peace Dale to Providence on January 26 to February 3rd. ILI Fellow Valerie Tutson who is the Creative Director of RIBS and Fund Fest founder wanted a space for storytellers to share, teach and entertain with stories from the African Diaspora.
ILI Fellow Kyoung Park guest blogs on Arts Leadership and the future of his own practice.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Arts Leadership. Last year, I realized Kyoung’s Pacific Beat has outgrown its current limits and that I need to re-imagine its future for the long-term. It was easy for me to imagine what we’d strive for creatively, but I was stumped by what it’d look like to paint that picture in numbers and what it’d take to make it happen. I think of my mentor, Lee Breuer, who started as a playwright and director, and did not return to his creative writing until his 70’s, having lived a life in the theater teaching and directing. I think of Abe Rybeck, who reached out during a moment of crisis to tell me that he, too, started as an artist and then spent a lifetime building an institution.
ILI Fellow Kahōkū Lindsey-Asing helped promote “Ōlelo Hawaiʻi Month” in February that celebrates and encourages the use and normalization of Hawaiian language. Here is his perspective and experience from this year’s activities:
“...for me, every month is about celebrating, encouraging, and normalizing Hawaiian language. ”
Get a glimpse into the ILI intensive experience through this day-by-day look.
ILI Fellow Joel Garcia was an integral part of the community effort to remove the Columbus statue from Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles. Learn how it happened.
“Do good work, do good research and it pays off.”