The 2020 Suzanne Deal Booth Fellows
McGovern College of the Arts–Project Row Houses 2020 Suzanne Deal Booth Fellows: Texas-based José Eduardo Sánchez and Maryland-based Nicoletta Darita de la Brown.
Nicoletta Darita de la Brown
Nicoletta de la Brown is a Maryland-based performance artist, interdisciplinary fabricator, filmmaker, mother of four, and self-love champion. Nicoletta is a Black Latinx and proud first-generation Panamanian born in the United States. She is a chamána (shaman) and comes from a long line of healers. Her work reconceives the life of an artist as thriving, nourishing herself and others during and through her creative practice. Nicoletta is also an adjunct faculty in the MFA in Community Arts Graduate Program at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), former Visual Art Department faculty member at Baltimore School for the Arts and is the Maryland Citizens for the Arts (MCA) Artist Navigator. As the Founder of Vida Mágica Love, a creative platform dedicated to healing-centered services, she produces audience participatory engagements through interactive workshops, immersive activations, and multi-sensory experiences.
The Fellowship will allow de la Brown to expand on her prior project “Spirit / Art,” that investigates divine feminine self-healing through reconstruction and re-definition with the use of video, sound, poetry, performance art, and immersive sculptural installation as creative tools. Through interactive workshops and salon-style gatherings, de la Brown will examine how modern society asks women, and people of color, to hold space to care for others and questions, “When do we care for ourselves?” The goal of Spirit / Art is to co-create with other self-identified healers by discovering new ways of sharing modes of self-healing.
See more of her previous and ongoing work at her website: https://vidamagica.love/
José Eduardo Sánchez
Texas-based José Eduardo Sánchez is a queer, immigrant cultural organizer, language worker, and popular educator. His artistic vision challenges neoliberal individualization and the white spatial imaginary by conjuring the self-determination, resilience, and solidarity of marginalized peoples. He does this by creating invitations for communities in struggle to experience the alchemy of food, language, memory, and other forms of life-making as a way to prefigure and actualize collective healing, justice, and liberation. José Eduardo has a B.S. in political science and is a former Greensboro Justice Fund Fellow at the Highlander Center (2012) and Mickey Leland Fellow at the U.S. House of Representatives (2010). His artistic practice is informed by more than ten years of struggle as part of the transnational labor and immigrant justice movements, as well as his roots in Central Mexico and his experience as an immigrant in the U.S. José Eduardo lives in Houston’s North Side and currently organizes in community with La Unidad11 Houston, Familia TQLM, OLTT, and Antena Houston.
Sánchez will utilize his experience as a cultural organizer, educator, and language worker to further investigate the implications and ramifications of creative placemaking. Through the Fellowship, he will ask the questions: “Whose social practices get to count as Art?” and “Who gets to have a place - both figuratively and literally - in Place-making?”