La Sala's unique programming model brings together a group of diverse, multi-disciplinary artists to be the lead artistic advisors of La Cocina: the Cocineros.
The Cocineros cook up the concepts and recipes for the wide range of programming that La Cocina will offer, engaging dozens of artists to create new work and participate in the project.
Fernando Luna is an actor, director, social worker and community activist. He co-founded Latino Theatre Projects five years ago and is extremely proud and honored to have recently directed their production of "Mariela in the Desert" at the Theater Off Jackson. He previously appeared with Latino Theatre Projects in "Anna in the Tropics", "Death and the Maiden", and "Beauty of the Father" and directed its production of "Mujeres de Arena/Women of Sand." He has also acted with Burien Actors Theatre and Vashon Allied Arts. He appeared in the feature film Nothing Against Life and the internationally acclaimed short film Pearl.
Fernando’s artistic vision is to produce plays from Latin America and the Caribbean that introduce diverse cultural worlds that allow theater audiences to more fully understand the Latino/a experience in the twenty-first century and the complexities which arise from the intersections of these cultures with non-Latina/o cultures He is a graduate of The Evergreen State College Masters of Public Policy Program and The Freehold Theater Lab/Studio’s Ensemble Theater Intensive.
Learn more at Latino Theatre Projects.
Monica Rojas was born in Lima, Peru. She became a National Dance Champion at the age of 17. She has conducted extensive research on the music and dance traditions of the African descent population in Peru as a participant artist since 1985. Rojas earned her Ph.D. degree in Anthropology in 2007 from the University of Washington. Her areas of expertise include ethnomusicology, performance, African diaspora, Latin America and the Spanish Caribbean. Rojas is a mother, wife, artist, scholar and community activist.
Currently she is the International Advisor for the Museo Afroperuano de Zaña (Peru) and the founder and director of two Seattle-based arts organizations – DE CAJóN Project and MÁS (Movimiento Afrolatino Seattle), through which she has conducted extensive artistic, educational and community work raising awareness of the cultural contributions of people of African descent in Peru and Latin America respectively. In addition to her artistic and community work, Rojas is the Assistant Director of the Latin American and Caribbean Studies and the African Studies programs at the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington.
Learn more at Monica Rojas.
Photo by Blanca Santander
Wendy Call is a writer, editor, translator, and educator. She has served as Writer in Residence at twenty-one institutions, including five national parks, three universities, two visual arts centers, a historical society, and a public hospital.
Wendy’s narrative nonfiction book, No Word for Welcome (University of Nebraska Press), won Grub Street's 2011 National Book Prize for Nonfiction and the 2012 International Latino Book Award for Best History / Political Book. No Word for Welcome explores how economic globalization intersects with village life in a region of southern Mexico called the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.
Her nonfiction writing and her translations of Spanish poetry and fiction have appeared in more than sixty magazines and literary journals, including The Cincinnati Review, Common-Place, Guernica, Michigan Quarterly Review, Kenyon Review online, NimrodInternational Journal, Orion, and Yes. She co-coordinated a three-day gathering of indigenous Mexican women writers with Irma Pineda and Sandra Cisneros in 2011, catalyzing a network of multilingual writers and translators in Mexico and United States that continues to this day. One of her current writing projects, a cycle of essays on grief and loss, has been supported by grants from the American Antiquarian Society, Artist Trust, and the arts and culture commissions of The City of Seattle and King County.
Learn more at Wendy Call.
Catalina M. Cantú
Catalina Marie Cantú is a multi-genre author and investigator of our multi-cultural world. She is writing a young-adult novel steeped in Mexican lore and mythology that follows a teen’s quest to vanquish her family curse and reclaim cosmic powers.
As an attorney, her non-fiction has been published in De Novo, and in Washington Women Lawyers. The Bon Marché (now Macy's) also published her breast cancer survivor essay. She is a member and a past chair of Los Norteños Northwest Latino Writers Group. Cantú ’s prose and poetry have been heard at local bookstores, libraries, universities, and at The Miracle Theatre in Portland. She is a co-founder of La Sala Seattle, the Latino-Latina Artist Network.
Antonio Davidson-Gómez is an educator and percussionist focused on musical dialogue between cultures. He has studied, performed and recorded in various styles with emphases on Mediterranean and Afro-Latin music. Tony has produced cultural programming, educational projects and community engagement initiatives for over two decades. A Jubilation Foundation Fellow for music education, he has taught at the elementary and secondeary levels. He has written and produced content for KCTS 9 and developed curricula for PBS (Latino Americans, Italian Americans), the EMP Museum/Smithsonian (American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music), in addition to working as a teaching artist in the Seattle school system.
Tony is a speaker on music and culture for Humanities Washington, offering presentations including Saffron & Honey: Muslims, Jews and Christians in Medieval Spain and Mapping Latino Musical Migrations. He is currently the Education Manager for the Broadway Center for Performing Arts in Tacoma, Washington and is included in Creative Advantage, Seattle's teaching artist roster. Recent musical projects include work with Trio Guadalevín, Tango del Cielo and the Eurasia Consort. He holds a Masters in Education from UC Berkeley and has conducted study and research trips in Latin America, Europe and North Africa.
As a teaching artist of many years, I feel passionate to educate anyone interested, but also the ones that haven’t gained access to Arts Education. Through my art programs I’d like to give every child the necessary tools for a competitive future: critical thinking, trial and error and to plant a seed of new possibilities. The process of how an Art Project is made is more important to me than the product to begin with, because with practice one becomes a master. I encourage students to value curiosity through observation and gain self confidence. I like my students to explore a variety of mediums over and over again. After all, nothing makes me happier than to enrich a child's inner channel of creativity.
I graduated from Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes in Mexico City with a degree on Ceramics & Folk Art History in 2000. Every since after I moved to Seattle, the same year, I have tried many venues to promote my Artwork, to expand my knowledge as a TA , to find the time to create new pieces for a exhibit, and always looking at the thin balance line between friends and family.
Nature's Wonders, Celebration of Cultures, Music Diversity, Social Justice, Women's Empowerment are just a handful of core values applied to my classroom and my personal life.
Learn more at http://artmaranth.org/