Dear Peñasco Theatre Collective Community,
For the past 16 years artists and performers working through the Peñasco Theatre have dedicated their time, creative energies and unique visions to community building, collective empowerment and social transformation through the arts.
Each year we collaborate with hundreds of school-age youth facilitating innovative arts opportunities in-school and after school that enhance learning, challenge the limits of possibility and strengthen self-confidence and trust.
Our annual summer interdisciplinary youth and teen arts workshops allow us and our participants to dig deeper into the ways that art is a driving force for social change, a vehicle for self-discovery and a medium for telling our stories.
Many of our students go on to study various artistic disciplines at New Mexico School For The Arts.
Since 2009 the Peñasco Theatre artist-in-residency program has hosted almost 300 local, national and international artists bringing a wide array of live performance experiences to an enthusiastic rural audience.
2016 was a year of tremendous growth and change. The Peñasco Theatre Collective, after 16 years as a collaborator, and seminal contributor to Wise Fool New Mexico in Santa Fe, became an official independent project of MAS Comunidad, a Peñasco based non-profit that serves as a hub for many community based programs, focused on promoting health and wellness by creating and sustaining programs and services that respect local culture, encourage creativity and innovation, and improve the lives of people in the villages surrounding Peñasco. We are proud of our long time collaboration with MAS and excited for all the ways that this continued connection will contribute to the cultural, economic and physical vitality of the community.
In addition to a gigantic organizational shift, Peñasco Theatre Collective artists produced a 55-minute adaptation of the Gaza Mono-Logues, stories by Palestinian youth that survived the 2008-09 bombing of Gaza by the Israeli military. The inter-generational production incorporates dance, acro, physical theatre, visual art and an original musical score by composer Luis Guerra. The performance debuted to standing ovations at the Peñasco Theatre and will begin touring in 2017.
The Peñasco Theatre Collective is committed to lateralized, non-hierarchical leadership centering Xicanx, Indigenous, and queer people of color. We are committed to creating alternative systems of organizing and ways that actively fight against the capitalist white supremacist system that is at war with the planet and the people attempting to thrive in harmony with it. We strive to be a true collective that supports and sustains the artists/activists that are part of it, and to be a resource and a refuge for the broader community.
We are grateful for all the contributors to this vision; our generous donors including the Brabson Foundation, the Sheila Fortune Foundation, National Endowment For The Arts, and New Mexico Arts. We wouldn’t be where we are without our community of individual donors, families and participants who continue to support our programs, and our vision in all the ways they can.
We are humbled by and in awe of all the many powerful movements standing together to shift the narrative – despite the sacrifice, the backlash, and the uncertainty. Art has played a vital roll in every social movement on the planet. Artists are the architects of that collective vision. And youth artists in particular possess the courage to question, challenge and innovative.
There are so many needy and worthy causes to support. Any amount given to any one of them contributes to making the world a better, more livable, more equitable place. Your donation to the Peñasco Theatre Collective/MAS Comunidad helps bring vital artistic, cultural and transformative creative experiences to marginalized frontier communities and beyond.
The Peñasco Theatre Collective – Alessandra Ogren, Serena Rascon, Freyr MarieNikesha Breeze, Kayo Muller, Amanda Bissell and Rebekah Tarín
MAS Comunidad – Jean Nichols, Amanda Bissell, John Paul Bradley, Alan Siegal and Pam Fernandz