Participants – archive

Sophia Asakura

Station Museum of Contemporary Art

Sophie Asakura is the Assistant Curator at the Station Museum of Contemporary Art. Her work there also includes curating shows, creating and implementing programming, as well as writing. She is a native Houstonian and a graduate of Vassar College where she studied Art History with a concentration in Russian Revolutionary art. Her studies and work focus on the emancipatory possibilities of art and the social systems within which art operates. Social justice and activism are integral to her work both as theoretical frameworks and practical applications. Sophie has recently spoken on various panel discussions about equity and social justice and had her article about Rice’s Midtown Ion project published in the Houston Chronicle. 

Daniela Antelo


Daniela Antelo is a performance and installation artist living and working in Houston. Through the exploration of body movement in day to day situations, Antelo highlights the absurd of everyday life, as well as the human responses to daily events. Antelo is actively engaged in creating site specific and community involved experimental works.

James R. Ball III

Texas A&M University, Performance Studies

James R. Ball III is an Assistant Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Performance Studies at Texas A&M University. His research includes the politics of performance and the performance of politics, analyzing both the theatrical structures that underwrite public political events and aesthetic performances that intervene in political processes. His book, Theater of State: a Dramaturgy of the United Nations (Northwestern University Press, 2020), investigates global political spectatorship and the theatricality of international institutions. Dr. Ball’s investigation of spectatorship has also prompted work on immersive and interactive performance genres, and he has developed ongoing research projects on performing robots, theatre and war, and civic dramaturgy. His articles and chapters have been published in TDR: The Drama Review, e-misférica, and Brecht Yearbook, as well as in the collections Reframing Immersive Theatre and Popular Music and Public Diplomacy. Dr. Ball has taught courses on arts activism, Cold War theatre, adaptation and intertextuality, carnival and festive cultures, politics and performance, spectacle, Shakespeare, and interactive theatre. Before embarking on his academic career, Dr. Ball produced and directed theatre in New York City and Washington, DC.

Larysa Bauge

The Hague, Netherlands

Larysa Bauge was trained as an orchestra conductor and a visual artist at the Royal Institute of the Arts , The Hague, Netherlands. Her interdisciplinary pieces are influenced by socially engaged and feminist art practices. Working directly within a context, she creates embodied experiences often using sound and participatory approach, reimagining identity, time, and place.

Oli Campelo


Oli started her acting career with the performance group Tutú-Marambá: Pesquisas das Artes do Corpo, in the city of Sorocaba. She graduated from Célia Helena Technical Vocational School in 2014. A cast member of the Coletivo Cronópio from 2013 to 2015, she acted in a comic work named Favor Beber o Leite, Senão Estraga. Oli lived for one year in Anand, India, experiencing traditional and popular festivities and dance events. She played the leading role of a short film named Ana (2019), chosen for the Los Angeles Brazilian Film Festival. In the same year she concluded the introduction to a scientific research in vocal expression in what concerns the physical perception of sounds. In 2019-2020 Oli has been working as a producer for the singer Dani Mattos and with the project Confinamento Camaleão (Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space, 2019), she has also been attending the undergraduate course of Performing Arts at UNICAMP.

Laura Carvahlo

Berlin, Germany / Sao Paulo, Brazil

Laura Carvalho is a multi-media artist who has advocated for vulnerable people in the context of public health programs. It was inside these hostile environments that Carvalho found a fruitful place for the development of her visual production. The precarious, provisional, and dynamic elements of these environments make up the substantial matter of her work.

Laurette Cañizares

Houston Downtown Management District

With more than 15 years leadership in marketing, administration and programming, Laurette Cañizares is an accomplished project management executive with extensive experience in event production and operations. She has generated an impressive portfolio of unique and sustainable concepts in tourism, advocacy and non profit. When Laurette was part of the Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau’s award-winning marketing team, she successfully directed events that positioned Houston as a leisure destination. Managing the Houston Museum District gave Laurette the opportunity to create and produce programming that promoted the year-round resources available to visitors and residents. She practices her passion by collaborating with local arts groups to curate programming that specializes in experiential learning and conceptual art. Laurette graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications from Boston University class of 2002.

Gloria Ceren


Gloria Ceren is a multidisciplinary artist engaging in themes of disruption, intersectionality, and abjection. She questions how approaching discomfort can affect and reshape our sense of identity, and the broadening of signifying systems. Invested in that which is strange, queer, odd, and otherwise, she seeks to ask, rather than to perpetuate. Her work has been exhibited, screened and/or performed at venues including, The Warwick Museum of Art, (Warwick), Angela King Gallery (New Orleans), DiverseWorks (Houston), Inman Gallery, (Houston), Tempus Projects, (Tampa), Ground Floor Gallery, (NYC); as well as the Carolyn M. Wilson Gallery (Tampa). Ceren was the recipient of the Larsen and Palmer Fund 2016, 2018, and received a James Rosenquist Scholarship in 2015. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Painting at the University of Houston, and relocated to Tampa for postgraduate studies, obtaining an MFA in Studio Art from the University of South Florida. Ceren currently adjuncts at the School of Architecture and Community Design at USF and is a resident artist, tattooing at Dream State Body Art.

Parish Conkling

Co-host, Houston Community College, Philosophy

Parish Conkling is a philosophy professor and program coordinator at Houston Community College. She holds joint MA degrees in both philosophy and literature, and her work focuses on the philosophical grounding of gender, violence, and politics. Parish is past-president of the New Mexico Texas Philosophical Society and hosts Philosophically Drinking, a monthly public philosophy program that facilitates community-based philosophical discourse.  

Lauren Cross

University of North Texas, Interdisciplinary Art and Design Studies 

Lauren Cross is an artist, curator, and scholar, who holds a BA in Art, Design and Media from Richmond, The American International University in London, England, a MFA in Visual Arts from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, and a PhD in Multicultural Women’s and Gender Studies from Texas Woman’s University. She is currently Program Coordinator & Senior Lecturer of the Interdisciplinary Art and Design Studies (IADS) program at the University of North Texas, and founder of the arts non-profit, WoCA Projects, in Fort Worth, Texas.  Cross has been recognized nationally and internationally for her art practice and community work. Her work has been featured in museums and galleries across the U.S., and displayed at the 2015 Edinburgh Art Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland(UK). In 2018, Cross was selected as a Visiting Artist for the Center for Creative Connections at the Dallas Museum of Art, and an inaugural Carter Community Artist for the Amon Carter Museum of American Art. In 2019, Cross was recognized as one of thirteen Women Forwarding Fort Worth by Fort Worth Magazine. 

Jennifer Decker

Mildred’s Umbrella Theater Company

Jennifer Decker is the Artistic Director and co-founder of Mildred’s Umbrella Theater Company. She has dedicated herself for the last two decades to Independent theatre in Houston. She has worked as actor, director, producer or advisor with many other independent Houston theatres. She has an MLA in English and an MLA in Drama from St. Thomas University. Her writing has been published in Laurels, The Allegheny Review and The Houston Chronicle. She also teaches English and Dramatic Literature at Houston Community College.

Ashley DeHoyos


Ashley DeHoyos is a curator, educator and cultural producer from Baytown, TX. She received her BFA in Photography from Sam Houston State University and her MFA in Curatorial Practice from Maryland Institute College of Art. She joined DiverseWorks in 2018 where she has curated and organized visual and performance projects, Bayou City Be All, Collective Presence, and the solo works of Jefferson Pinder: Fire and Movement, and Autumn Knight: M _ _ _ ER. Ashley has spent time working with non-traditional artists, activists, and cultural producers to explore the gallery as a space for cultural exchange and is interested in developing work that is site-specific, community-oriented that addresses cultural and social issues of our time.   In addition to her role as curator Ashley also co-administers The Idea Fund, a Warhol Regranting program in conjunction with Aurora Picture Show and Project Row Houses and organizes the DiverseDiscourse Lecture Series. 

Mark Duncan

Cornucopia Theatre

Mark Duncan is the founder and  artistic director of Cornucopia Theatre Company, a London-based company that produces works aimed at creating ground-breaking presentations with a focus on accessibility and education. He is also the founder of  Dragonfly Mime Theatre, X Moves the Bass Dance and Faceless Co. He has acted in numerous films for BBC television and a range of theatre companies. (UK). Mark has also directed and produced a wide range of works from “MacBeth,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and “Romeo and Juliet” to the mime opera “Pierrot Lunaire.” Mark recently completed his masters in theatre directing at East 15 Acting School at Essex University. He also has a graduate diploma in acting from Birmingham University (UK) and a BA in dramatic arts from Leeds University (UK).  Mark has specialized training from the International School of Corporeal Mime (UK) and Sélavy Actors Centre (FR). 

Courtney Frances Fallon


Courtney Frances Fallon is a writer, director, artist, and performer who does sculptural and installation work. The form she chooses for a creation is dictated by the concept itself and how the idea will best be communicated – often combining different practices within a single work.

Isa Fontbona

University of Girona (Spain)

Isabel Fontbona is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Girona. Her dissertation is related to artistic and gendered interventions enabled by female and trans bodybuilding practices. Fontbona is a natural bodybuilder competitor and performance artist. Her artistic work merges her research and sports career. She explores this malleability of the body with her own skin, through bodybuilding, in order to question the binary categorization of gender distinction, and in some cases challenging herself to the limits of the endurance of her body.

Elijah Alhadji Gibson

Social Movement Dance Company

Elijah Alhadji Gibson is the founder and Artistic Director of Social Movement Contemporary Dance. He attended the San Diego School for the Performing Arts, studied dance at Sam Houston State University, and received his MFA in Dance from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. In 1999 Gibson joined Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, with whom he toured nationally and internationally for eight years. He has worked with the late Gus Giordano, Margo Sappington, Christopher Huggins, Jon Lehrer, Mia Michaels, and Liz Imperio, among many others, and had the privilege of performing with companies like Instruments of Movement, Cirqua Rivera Dance Theater, Thodos Dance Chicago, and Especialty Tap Chicago. Gibson has performed and taught throughout the world and has served on the faculties of RDA Midwest, Gus Giordano Jazz Intensive, American College Dance Festival Association, Jazz Dance World Congress, Dance Masters of Wisconsin, Chicago National Association of Dance Masters, Leon Dance Arts NY, Embrace Dance Convention, and Key West Modern Dance. His choreography has been performed by dance companies nationally and internationally, as well as by universities throughout the country. Gibson has been on faculty at Shenandoah University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Sam Houston State University, and the University of Texas at Austin.

Edvan Tito Carneiro Guerra

FABEJA – Faculdade de Formação de Professores do Belo Jardim

Tito Guerra has a master in philosophy from the Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil. He also graduated in philosophy from the FAFICA, Brazil. He has teaching experience with an emphasis on Teaching Philosophy, Pedagogical practices, theatrical aesthetics and the thinking of Hannah Arendt. He is currently Professor at the Faculty of Teacher Training of Belo Jardim, Brazil. 

Jeanette Joy Harris

Co-host, Experimental Action

Jeanette Joy Harris is an artist, scholar, writer, and speaker interested in the relationship between politics, performance, and embodiment. Her commitment to accessibility, critical thinking, diversity, and inclusion requires that she move between the creative, academic, and public spheres. In doing so, she establishes temporary creative spaces that encourage discourse and exchange.  She is most interested in how we create communities that overcome disembodiment; how creative practitioners are changing the face of political action; and the dissolution of discipline silos in the performing/performance arena.  Joy has shown work in the US including: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York City, Pittsburgh, Portland, and San Francisco. She has shown work abroad including: London, the Netherlands, Helsinki, Venice (IT), and Brindisi (IT).  Joy workshopped with the International Performance Association in conjunction with Venice International Performance Art Week (IT). Joy has presented papers at University of Cambridge’s Centre for Research on Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities; University of Brighton’s Centre for Applied Philosophy, Politics and Ethics; University of Edinburgh; New Mexico Texas Philosophical Society; American Political Science Association; and the Hannah Arendt Circle. She  guest lectures at Texas Woman’s University, University of North Texas, Houston Community College, and the Jung Center Houston.

Autumn Hays


Autumn Hays is a California based artists and arts administrator. Her work focuses on otheriziation, the body as an archive, and personal narrative as radical action. She was the Coordinating Director of the Rapid Pulse International Performance Art Festival, Curatorial Assistant at Defibrillator Art Gallery, and Managing Director of Mediate Art Group who produces the Soundwave Biennale. Hays received a B.A in Visual Arts and a minor in Literature Writing at the University of San Diego California. Her MFA in Studio Art was completed at the School of the Art Institute Chicago. She has received a wide array of honors including two Jack Kent Cooke scholarships and has exhibited her work across the US.

Abbey Hepner

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Abbey Hepner is an artist who investigates health and technology. She holds degrees in Art and Psychology from the University of Utah and an MFA in Photography from the University of New Mexico. She is an Assistant Professor and Area Head of Photography at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Brian Kim

University of Puget Sound

Brian Kim is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Puget Sound. He is pursuing a B.A. in Philosophy and a B.S. in Economics, along with a minor in Sociology & Anthropology and a minor in Mathematics. 

Julia Barbosa Landois


Julia Barbosa Landois is a Houston-based multi-disciplinary artist whose performances use projections, sound, spoken work, and song to examine gender, religion, ecology, and power. Her work has been featured in galleries, museums, and performance festivals in US, Latin America, and Europe. Performance venues include: Contemporary Arts Houston Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, McNay Museum, Fusebox Festival, and Experimental Action.

Brianni J. Lee

Harvard University

Brianni Lee is a senior at Harvard College studying Germanic Languages and Literatures and Philosophy. She has focused on studying the Critical Theory, especially thoughts of Theodor Adorno. She has written on topics including the relationship between theory and action, the problem of postwar poetics, and the historiography of Romanticism.

Jamie Lobstein

University of North Texas

I grew up in west Texas in what Larry McMurtry calls a “narrow grave.” I discovered early in life that studying philosophy is the only kind of work that brings me any contentment, the only thing that forces me to discipline my thinking and work to make my latent capabilities bear fruit.

Artur Matuck

Migranto Collective & University of São Paulo

Artur Matuck is an Associate Professor at the School of Communications and Arts at University of São Paulo (BR), Post-Graduate Advisor at the Interfaculty Graduate Program in Aesthetics and History of Art, and a researcher and coordinator at the Colabor Center for Digital Languages. He has worked in Brazil, USA, Canada, Europe, and Asia as a professor, writer, artist, video director, performer, teleart event producer, and a theorist/philosopher of contemporary communication and art. He is currently an artist and producer of performances with Kapolengo (France) and Migranto (BR).

Erin Murphy


Erin K. Murphy, Director of Residencies & Exhibitions, has been with Artpace since February 2019. Prior to Artpace, she was at the Briscoe Western Art Museum and before that the San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA) where she managed more than 35 temporary exhibitions and installations, as well as serving as the lead editor on associated publications. At SAMA, she co-curated Intercambios: Modernist Photography in Mexico from the Permanent Collection and Of Country and Culture: The Lam Collection of Contemporary Australian Aboriginal Art and in 2018 she organized the general exhibition of the Vignette Art Fair in Dallas, TX.  Preceding her tenure at the San Antonio Museum of Art, she served at various contemporary art galleries and art institutions including the Dallas Museum of Art, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, and others. She earned an English degree from Texas A&M University (BA) and an art history degree from the University of North Texas (MA).

Esther Neff

Materializing and Activating Radical Social Habitus (MARSH)

Esther Neff is the founder of the thinktank, organizational entity, and performance collective PPL and co-founder of MARSH in STL. Their work has involved organization of conferences, symposia, intentional institutions, platforms, performance art, operas, and written work for Performance Philosophy as well as Routledge and Palgrave Macmillan anthologies.

Melissa Noble

University of Houston, Catherine G. McGovern College of the Arts 

Melissa Noble is Coordinator of Interdisciplinary Initiatives and Lecturer at University of Houston’s Catherine G. McGovern College of the Arts and facilitator of the Blaffer Art Museum’s Convergence Research program. She has previously taught at the University of Washington, Juniata College, the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University and the Houston Grand Opera Studio. Her professional career as a movement consultant and choreographer of 25 years in the areas of theatre, dance, and opera spans across the United States. Her work has been seen with the Pacific Performance Project, Stages Repertory Theatre, Robert Davidson Dance Company, Aero/Betty Aerial Dance Theatre, Houston Grand Opera, San Francisco Opera, the Meany Hall of the Performing Arts in Seattle, On the Boards in Seattle, and the Manhattan Movement and Arts Center in New York. Melissa has a BA in Art/Art History from University of Northern Iowa and an MFA in Interdisciplinary Practice and Emerging Forms from University of Houston. 

Sierra Ortega

Queens, New York

Sierra Ortega is a neuroqueer, interdisciplinary performance artist currently based in Queens, NY. Their practice is at once deeply personal, constantly chaotic, and furiously DIY. Through exhaustive and durational investigations of abjection, alienation, and alterity, they seek to push the limits of human affective capacity and embodiment. They are searching for post-capitalist futures.

Shelley Padilla

Texas Woman’s University, Dance

Shelley Padilla holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in dance and currently teaches at Texas Woman’s University in Denton, TX. Her professional experience includes performing with Colorado Ballet, Ballet Ariel, Collin County Ballet Theater, and Elledanceworks. She is also a former dance and theatre critic. In addition to teaching dance, Shelley holds 200-HR RYT and 200HR E-RYT yoga certifications and teaches Yoga Teacher Training. She has received TWU’s Pioneer Proud Award (2014-15), NCTC’s Gordon Yeargon Adjunct Faculty of the Year (2010), and TWU’s Excellence in Teaching Award (2009) awards.  Shelley is married and has four children.

Francois Pointeau

Radar Talk Intimate

François Pointeau lives in Houston, Texas, where he tends bar for a living. He hosts and produces a podcast show: RADAR TALK INTIMATE featured at François has written and published two collections of poetry, and one collection of short stories. He produced a radio-talk-show for 6 years in Austin. His most recent collection of poems, “Songs of the Rolling Chateau” was released in winter 2019. 

Wilson Rocha e Silva


Wilson Rocha e Silva is a journalist, actor, singer, composer and social activist. He has a Bachelor Degree in Journalism from the Faculty of Social Communication ‘Cásper Líbero’, in São Paulo, 1983. Between 2001 and 2019, he was trained in social inclusion, especially of “impaired” people. In 2019, he completed 3 years of service with CAPS Cotia and was honoured in the Cotia press for 19 years of work with the city’s culture and social causes. He is currently residing in the USA presenting new projects related to Brazilian culture and music. In January 2020, he proposed and coordinated the Folia de Reis at the Urbana Public Library, in Illinois; In February he composed the Brazilian march “Chambana” presented at the Brazilian Carnival in Urbana-Champaign.

Henry G. Sanchez

BioArt Bayou-torium

Henry G. Sanchez is an interdisciplinary social practice artist addressing issues of history, social and environmental justice, and the natural sciences. Sanchez received Masters in International Relations-Political Science from Rutgers University in 2000 and an 2014 M.F.A. Art Practice in Interdisciplinary Arts, from the School of Visual Arts. In 2012, Brooklyn, NY, he founded the ENGLISH KILLS PROJECTa bio-art and social practice project proposing community-based strategies to bio-remediate the Superfund site of Newtown Creek. In 2015 Sanchez established L.O.C.C.A.: Law Office Center for Citizenship and Artlocated in Houston’s East End. L.O.C.C.A.’s is an art and social justice platform that collaborates with artists and social justice groups to create programing concerning issues confronting the Latino/a/x, Hispanic and Mexican-American community. Recently, Sanchez launched the BioArt Bayou-torium in April 2019. The Bayou-torium is a science lab in a shipment container situated along Houston main waterway Buffalo Bayou in the East End. The Bayou-torium’smission is to promote an aesthetic and scientific appreciation of the Bayou’s environment while fostering stewardship from the local Hispanic community. Sanchez is an awardee of the 2020 Houston Arts Alliance Support for Artists and the Creative Individual Grant from the Ford Foundation. 

Donald C. Shorter, Jr.

Sam Houston State University, Department of Dance

Donald C. Shorter, Jr. is an artist living in Houston, TX and has holds a B.A. in Liberal Studies from West Chester University with a minor in Dance and an M.F.A. in Dance from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Labels such as activist, choreographer, dancer, singer, actor, gender nonconformist, and drag queen are interchangeable on any given day. Shorter is a former company member of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. During that time he had the honor of creating THE NAZ with Bill T. Jones, which was performed in his one-man show As I was Saying. Donald has appeared in Broadway national tours such as: Hairspray, La Cage Aux Folles, A Chorus Line, and Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Donald is the creator, writer, and performer of his one-woman show GENDEROSITY, which looks at the process of his drag transformation and uses drag to talk about gender nonconformity. Shorter has restaged choreography from the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company at Barnard College, Towson University, and University of Idaho. He has premiered solo works at the Pompidou Centre, American College Dance Festival, ALLGOLD artist space at MOMA PS1, The Actor’s Fund Building, Center for Performance Research, 92nd Street Y, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, and at the Performance Mix Festival. Shorter is a former co-host of the two time New York Emmy nominated PBS Digital Studios web series First Person PBS and is an Assistant Professor of Dance at Sam Houston State University. 

Spread Love Not Rocks


I am an adorable bespectacled octopus who wants people in the Heights to love each other. I enjoy tennis, progressive/liberal Catholicism, and loving my neighbor. I dislike rocks in the city’s easement in an effort to restrict street parking. 

Sarah Sudhoff


Sudhoff is an administrator, visual artist, educator and former photo editor for Texas Monthly and Time magazines. She served as the recent Executive Director for the Texas Photographic Society and the former Executive Director of Houston Center for Photography and owner of Capsule Gallery in Houston. Sudhoff holds an M.F.A. in Photography from Parsons School of Design, New York, and a B.A. in Journalism and Photography from the University of Texas at Austin. She taught photography at Stephen F. Austin State University, Trinity University, and the Art Institute of San Antonio. Sudhoff’s work interweaves themes of gender, science, and personal experience through photographs —staged and found — as well as through performance, installation, and small-scale sculpture. Artist grants from The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation (2013) and the Houston Arts Alliance (2019 & 2017) have furthered her career. Her artwork has been included in exhibitions throughout the U.S. and abroad, including recent exhibitions and performances at grayDuck Gallery, Austin; Colorado Photographic Arts Center, Denver; Texas Vignette, Dallas; Satellite Art Show, Austin; Experimental Action, Houston; Cindy Lisica Gallery, Houston; Galveston Arts Center, Galveston; Pioneer Works, Brooklyn; grayDuck Gallery, Austin; Filter Photo Festival and Roots & Culture, Chicago; and the DongGang International Photo Festival in South Korea. She has participated in artist residencies at Artpace, San Antonio, and the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction, Bloomington, IN.

Courtney Tee

Arts Connect

Courtney Tee is the Data & Advocacy Manager for Arts Connect Houston, a mediocre-but-enthusiastic poet, and, throughout, is striving to inhabit a space that might be called something like “philosopher-practitioner.” She most recently completed a master’s degree at Harvard in philosophy and education and now seeks to leverage that training at its intersections with art, equity, and political action.   

Nessa Voss

Lone Star College, Philosophy

Vanessa Voss is a philosophy professor at Lone Star College, University Park. She focuses mainly on humor, feminist theory, and comparative philosophy. She is working on a larger project in which the concept of God is examined through the lens of humor. 

Patrick Waldo


Patrick Waldo is an entrepreneur and product manager by trade and an independent cultural economist by passion. A graduate in Art History from Grinnell College, he received two masters degrees in Arts Management from Carnegie Mellon’s Heinz College and Cultural Economics (GIOCA) at the University of Bologna School of Economics.

Toni Valle

University of Houston School of Theater & Dance, 6 Degrees

As Artistic Director and choreographer for 6 Degrees, Toni Leago Valle combines writing, acting, and dance to create multi-sensual works that challenge the audience to address political and sociological issues. She is trained in contemporary, modern, and aerial dance. Valle is a professor of practice at University of Houston School of Theater & Dance where she teaches Dance Production, Marketing for Entrepreneurs, and Introduction to Dance. She is the production faculty overseeing three repertory concerts per year and recruits new students. Valle has been Company Manager for Karen Stokes Dance since 2010. Valle has received awards and residencies to produce 7 evening length dance concerts and numerous individual works. Her choreography has been seen at DiverseWorks, Jewish Community Center, University of Houston, San Jacinto College, HSPVA/Houston, and Freneticore Theatre’s Fringe Festival, among others. Valle received a BA in dance from University of Houston.

Julia Claire Wallace

Co-host, Experimental Action

Julia Wallaceis a Houston-based artist, curator, community facilitator, and director of Experimental Action, Houston’s performance art biennial. She has performed in Austin, Chicago, Houston, Leipzig (GR), New York City, and Pittsburgh. Julia served as a facilitator to Performance Art Lab and was one of the founding members of their guerilla flash dance project sexyATTACK. She is the creator and curator of Houston’s Performance Art Night and a founder and former facilitator of the social sculpture Continuum, She was a co-director of Lone Star Explosion 2014 and Experimental Action 2017. She was the director of Experimental Action 2019. She received her BFA in painting from the University of Houston in 2009 and her MA in Arts Leadership at the University of Houston in 2018. 

Dr. Kerry Ward

Rice University

Kerry Ward is Associate Professor of History at Rice University. Her current research is on the emergence of the contemporary anti-human trafficking network in Houston. In 2012-2013 she co-directed the Rice Seminar on “Human Trafficking Past and Present: Crossing borders, crossing disciplines” with James Sidbury and organized the “Houston Connections” series of public events as part of the seminar. She was the Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Fellow at the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University in 2013-2014.  She has published on historical and contemporary maritime bondage and forced migration in the Indian Ocean.  

Miranda Zapata

Texas Woman’s University, Dance

Miranda Rashelle Zapata was born and raised in San Juan, Texas. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from Sam Houston State University. After receiving her BFA, she moved to Los Angeles, California where she danced professionally and taught at a Fine Arts Charter School for underprivileged children. She is a currently pursuing her Master of Fine Arts in Dance at Texas Woman’s University. In Zapata’s artistic process, she reflects and draws on personal experiences and current issues surrounding her. Her choreography creates empathy and awareness towards humanity issues and social justice for people of minority. 

Paulo Zeminian

Migranto Collective & United Metropolitan Colleges

Paulo Zeminian is a professor at United Metropolitan Colleges in the baccalaureate course of visual arts. He has a Bachelors in architecture and urbanism from the University Center of Fine Arts ( São Paulo) and in history from Pontifical Catholic University (São Paulo). He is a specialist in communication, art, and technology from the University Center of Fine Arts (São Paulo) and earned a masters in aesthetics and art history at the University of São Paulo. He currently explores the aesthetics of scalar puppets, participatory art, and interactive theater in connection with street performances and video media. He works in public and private urban spaces. He is a member of Migranto Collective. 

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