Alliance Richard J. Read  

A look at the BIPOC Performing Arts Alliance

Savannah Sima

Feature Editor

BIPOC Performing Arts Alliance (BIPOC PAA), an organization led by Victoria Silva ’23 and Teresa Ascencio ’23, debuted at Scot Spirit Day on Friday September 3rd. BIPOC Performing Arts Alliance has been in preparation for almost two years.

According to Silva, the organization “started as an idea between me and Teresa Ascencio during one of our acting classes in the second semester of [our] First year. After some discussion, and a few more members added, we brought it to our advisor and were able to begin the process of charting an organization. With a lot of support behind us, we were finally able to be chartered in Spring 2021. It was great to be able to participate in Scot Spirit Day and now to advertise our events for the future!

The three created the idea of ​​having a Latinx affiliate organization for artists. However, the organization was established in the summer of 2020 amid the pandemic and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. The three decided to extend the organization to the whole of BIPOC, in order to be more inclusive and holistic in their work. After six months of the charter process, the BIPOC Performing Arts Alliance was officially created in spring 2021.

Ascencio and Silva both highlighted the importance of Dr. Noriega’s support in shaping the organization, stating: “Not only does Noriega play a key role in improving diversity, equity and inclusion. in the theater department, but he also applied for and won a grant of $ 500 to be used by the BIPOC Performing Arts Alliance for events and guest speakers. Silva added that he “was a key element in the creation of the BIPOC PAA”. Dr Noriega is also a Latinx theater professional with his own theater company in Cleveland named Teatro Travieso.

Now endowed with an official charter and advertising platforms, BIPOC Performing Arts Alliance has a great mission. Many performing arts in the professional world, ranging from music to theater, have been historically whitewashed and whitewashed. For this reason, many artists of color, although they work harder to achieve even the distant success of their white counterparts, often go unannounced. “BIPOC Performing Arts Alliance was created with the main idea that we are the referees and sharers of the performing arts of BIPOC. ”

Ascencio has a similar vision for the general objectives and potential programs of BIPOC Performing Arts: on and off campus. This organization provides a platform for BIPOC students to speak out against racial injustice in the performing arts, to advocate for representation and education centered on BIPOC experiences, and to work with other students. on a significant change at the artistic and educational level. It will also provide students with a variety of resources and experiences to enrich their creativity, find meaningful mentorship and support, and generate further artistic, educational and career-related inspiration.

Silva and Ascencio have concluded with their biggest goals for this year. “The biggest goal of BIPOC PAA is not just to grow, but to have at least one big event that really puts the art of BIPOC at the forefront of this campus. Just like other events (like the Culture Show), the Wooster campus is always bustling with different events and fun new things to discover. We hope to be an informative and instructive discovery for our campus colleagues! Ascencio added that the organization will also work “to improve the connection between students, especially BIPOC artists, at the College after the pandemic and to start creating a safe space and environment for BIPOC artists in Wooster ”.

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