Paul S. Flores
San Francisco, CA
Paul S. Flores is a performing artist, playwright, and bilingual literacy advocate who creates and implements successful justice-oriented arts programs for Latino communities in both urban and rural settings. His work incorporates music, dance, and theater as a powerful tool for communities divided by issues of police violence, racism, gentrification and economic disparity to discover opportunities for solutions, healing, and unification. Flores’ play On The Hill: I am Alex Nieto dramatizes the life and death of Alex Nieto who was killed by San Francisco Police Department, and his previous play, PLACAS, was a deep look into incarceration, immigration, and street warfare based on testimonies of members of MS-13 in California barrios. His solo show You’re Gonna Cry about tech-driven gentrification in San Francisco’s Mission District garnered him recognition as the SF Weekly Best Politically Active Hip-Hop Performer. Flores is a Doris Duke Artist, a MAP Fund awardee, a Gerbode-Hewlett Theater commission recipient, a NALAC Fund for Arts recipient, and a NPN Creation Fund awardee. He is the co-founder of Youth Speaks, and currently an adjunct professor of Theater at the University of San Francisco.
La profunda inmersión de Paul S. Flores en temas de transnacionalidad y ciudadanía llega en un momento crucial en la historia contemporánea. Flores crea obras y narraciones orales que estimulan y apoyan los movimientos sociales que conducen al cambio. La recién obra de Flores, “On the Hill: I Am Alex Nieto” reunió a las comunidades de San Francisco divididas por la gentrificación y la violencia policial. La capacidad de Flores para pintar imágenes vívidas desde la experiencia bicultural latina está informada por su trasfondo personal al crecer cerca de la frontera con México. Flores comenzó a presentar spoken word como miembro fundador de Youth Speaks y Los Delicados en 1996. Se presentó por primera vez en Cuba en 2001 mientras trabajaba en el Centro Cultural La Peña, y desde entonces se ha presentado varias veces en La Habana, México y El Salvador. Su amplio trabajo aborda la historia de los inmigrantes en toda su complejidad, desde la violencia —la migración forzada, la vida de pandillas, la guerra, el encarcelamiento, las familias separadas— hasta las relaciones intergeneracionales y la lucha por preservar los valores culturales. La obra más reciente de Flores, “Tenemos Iré/We Have Iré,” se estrenó en 2019 en Yerba Buena Center for the Arts en San Francisco. Flores es profesor adjunto de teatro en la Universidad de San Francisco.
Photo credit: Joan Osato
From the Journal
We Have Iré
Paul S. Flores is a performing artist, playwright, and bilingual literacy advocate whose work centers around justice-oriented arts programs for Latino communities.Artist Bio
Rosalba Rolón is the artistic director of Pregones Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, a troupe focused on the creation and performance of original musical theater and plays rooted in Puerto Rican/Latino cultures, and community collaboration through arts and civic enrichment.Artist Bio
Yosvany Terry is a Cuban musician, composer, and educator who incorporates American jazz traditions with his own Afro-Cuban roots to produce performances and compositions that redefine Latin jazz.Artist Bio
We Have Iré is a multidisciplinary theater work that explores the lives of Afro-Cuban and Cuban-American transnational artists living in the United States, and their influence on and experience with American culture.
We Have Iré es una obra teatral multidisciplinaria que explora la vida de artistas transnacionales afro-cubanos y cubano-americanos que residen en los Estados Unidos, y su influencia y experiencia con la cultura norteamericana.
Rosalba Rolón is the artistic director of Pregones Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, a troupe focused on the creation and performance of original musical theater and plays rooted in Puerto Rican/Latino cultures, and community collaboration through arts and civic enrichment. She is an actor, director and dramaturg and favors the art of stage adaptation in an acting and musical ensemble setting, working from non-dramatic texts. With Pregones Theater, she has toured more than 500 cities in the U.S. and 18 countries. Her dramaturgical and directing work includes Harlem Hellfighters On A Latin Beat, Dancing In My Cockroach Killers, Until We Win, Hey Yo! and The Red Rose among numerous others. Her creative collaborations as dramaturg and co-director include Betsy! and Brides. She is currently working on two new projects: La Guaracha (as dramaturg/director) and We Have Iré (as director/dramaturg). Rolón received the prestigious Doris Duke Artist Award in 2018 and was recently appointed to serve in the Tony Awards Nominating Committee. In 2017 she was featured in The Primary Stages Oral History Project and in 2015 she received the Teer Pioneer Award from National Black Theatre. She is also a 2008 United States Artists Fellow and board member. Rolón is also a board member of the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures and a member of the Advisory Committee of the NYC Cultural Affairs Cultural Plan.
From the Journal
Yosvany Terry is a Cuban musician, composer, and educator who incorporates American jazz traditions with his own Afro-Cuban roots to produce performances and compositions that flow from the rhythmic and hard-driving avant garde to sweet-sounding lyricism. He brings his inimitable style to stages all over the world, performing regularly with the Yosvany Terry Quartet and Yosvany Terry & Afro-Cuban Roots: Ye-dé-gbé, as well as with the Gonzalo Rubalcaba Quintet and Eddie Palmieri and the Latin Jazz Ensemble. An acclaimed saxophonist hailed by the New York Times as an artist who has “helped to redefine Latin jazz as a complex new idiom,” Terry has worked with notable artists including Chick Corea, Roy Hargrove, Steve Coleman, Chucho Valdes, Silvio Rodriguez, Branford Marsalis, Angelique Kidjo, Rufus Reid, Paquito de Rivera, Meshell Ndegeocello, Cassandra Wilson, Paul Simon, Joshua Bell and Dave Matthews. Terry, who is also a talented chekeré player, received his earliest training from his father, Eladio “Don Pancho” Terry, violinist and Cuba’s leading player of the chekeré. After mastering this Afro-Cuban percussion instrument, he went on to receive his classical music training from the prestigious National School of Arts (ENA) and Amadeo Roldan Conservatory in Havana. Named a Cintas Fellow in 2013, Terry is also the recipient of the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors/New York State Music Fund’s Grant through Stanford Jazz Workshop for Yedégbé, a suite of Arará music. Terry was commissioned to write the music of the opera Makandal with libretto by Carl H. Rux. He is the recipient of a 2015 Doris Duke Artist Award and is presently the Director of Jazz Ensembles and Senior Lecturer at Harvard University.