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Cara Mía Wins National Endowment Grant To Reimagine Community Theater

by Mia Estrada 12 May 2021 6:19 PM

The National Endowment for the Arts will fund Cara Mía Theatre’s neighborhood arts project looking to advance works based on freedom and liberation.

Award-winning playwright Virginia Grise. Photo: Netza Moreno

Dallas’ Latinx theater company Cara Mía announced today it will receive a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. 

The grant will fund Da Grove: Un Taller for Dreaming, a performance lab (also called taller) with residents from Pleasant Grove. It’s designed to gather an inter-generational cohort of “seven women of color to develop and advance artistic work based on aesthetic practices of freedom and liberation,” the press release said.

Award-winning playwright Virginia Grise, who grew up in San Antonio, will lead the project. She joined Cara Mía in late July as a part of the theater’s three-year Mellon Foundation Playwright-in-Residence. 

Award-winning playwright Virginia Grise. Photo: Netza Moreno

“The taller is a space for reflection, embodied research, experimentation, practice and study where we understand art-making as the collaborative process of imagining, building and creating worlds together,” said Grise in the press statement. “ I am excited to discover what we will create together in Pleasant Grove.”

Following Grise’s work, which focuses on giving underrepresented people and issues a voice, the project will further conversations and redirect funds towards community initiatives. The press release states the organization hopes to rebuild “relationships with agencies outside Pleasant Grove, and imagine creative solutions for needed social services and community specific issues.”

The initiative comes during the theater’s 25th season, called Visions of Another World. Da Grove is a part of the theater’s La Siembra Project, an initiative that invests in the work of artists and activists. 

A performance, designed by Grise, will take place outdoors in the neighborhood of Pleasant Grove. The project also received a grant from the Communities Foundation of Texas’ North Texas Cares 2.0 Fund for community building.

“Community organizing takes many forms and Virginia’s activism is poetry and performance,” said executive artistic director David Lozano in the release. “What better way to envision a world of possibilities than through a process of artistic creation?”

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