Watch, learn and play with the artists of In the Works!
Be the first to catch a sneak peek of new works in development by Karina Cervantes, Vanessa Sanchez, and Young Tsukune.
Hosted by and featuring MACLA’s latest artistic commission Baruch Porras Hernandez.
About the Artists:
Baruch Porras Hernandez
Baruch Porras-Hernandez is a writer, performer and standup comedian, named one of the 13 Bay Area Writers to Watch in 2016 by 7×7 Magazine.
You can find his writing published with Sibling Rivalry Press, The Tusk, Foglifter and many more. He was named a Lambda Literary Poetry Fellow in 2014, and a Lambda Literary Playwriting Fellow in 2016. He’s been featured in Writers with Drinks, Radar Productions, LitQuake, is a two-time winner of Literary Death Match, winner of SF Write Club, The Moth, BawdyStorytelling, Muni Diaries and is a two-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize. As a comic he’s featured at Tourettes Without Regrets, ManHaters, Marga Gomez’s NYE Comedy Fiesta and all over the Bay Area. He is a recipient of grants from the San Francisco Arts Commission, REGEN Artist Fund, and the Creative Work Fund. He is The Voice of Shipwreck SFmonthly Fan Fiction Competition and Podcast and regularly hosts live shows with KQED. He is the founder and head organizer for ¿Donde Esta Mi Gente?. He is originally from Toluca, Mexico and lives in San Francisco. MACLA and Baruch Porras Hernandez recently put out a call to creators for a new Latinx Super Hero project We Can Be Heroes — spotlighting 5 brand-new LGBTQ Latinx superheroes
TERRY BLAS is an illustrator and writer based in Portland, Oregon. He is the writer behind the auto-bio comics Ghetto Swirl and You Say Latino (featured on NPR, OPB, Vox.com and Cosmo.com.) Terry’s work has appeared in comics Bravest Warriors, Regular Show, The Amazing World of Gumball, Adventure Time, and Rick and Morty. His first graphic novel, Dead Weight: Murder at Camp Bloom, is a murder mystery set at a weight loss camp. Dead Weight has been named by YALSA as a 2019 Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Readers. His latest graphic novel, Hotel Dare, a love letter to his childhood memories in Mexico, will be in stores June 2019. Blas is also a part of the We Can Be Heroes project led by Baruch Porras Hernandez.
Karina Cervantes is the leader of Cypher Dance Company. Based in San Jose, California, Cypher Dance Company exists to create an all-inclusive creative environment. Each dancer is selected based on his or her improvisational skills. Improvisation is the heart of Cypher Dance Company for the simple goal of making dance accessible for all movers and viewers. Cypher believes that when it comes to dance, there is no right or wrong, only preference. At its purest and without rules that create barriers, dance becomes an enjoyed shared experience.Cypher Dance Company welcomes movers from all backgrounds and levels of experience. While traditional dance companies may favor using body molds and specific training in their selection process, at Cypher we proclaim dance to be universal and not exclusive. We believe that all lovers of movement should have the opportunity to experience the thrill of performing on a stage. We believe audiences are entertained and inspired when reflected onstage. Denying talented individuals from exhibiting their contributions to dance because of body type, height, race, or gender is not in our DNA. Together, Cypher Dancers and Audiences, let us shatter society’s superficial and divisive dance norms and make dance accessible and enjoyed by all.
Luna Merbruja is a Mexican-Athabaskan writer and artist. They’re the author of Trauma Queen and the poetry book Heal Your Love. They have been published in the anthologies Nerve Endings: The New Trans Erotic, Resilence, and the 2nd edition of Colonize This! Currently, Merbruja is the Board Chair of Heartspark Press and a project advisor for Mirror Memoirs. Merbuja is also a part of the We Can Be Heroes project led by Baruch Porras Hernandez.
Cristal Olivas is a self taught multi-media artist, with special attention to songs and visual art. Her art follows the cycles of her life, as her creative medium depends on her environment, her materials, and her emotional state. Cristal began to photograph with 35mm film in 2013 after a close friend gifted her first Minolta SLR. After many failed attempts, she has developed her skills and is strengthening her own style in capturing the intimacies of domestic life. She is inspired by those closest to her, by strong lines and shapes and the beauty of the mundane. Being from San Jose, she hopes to leave some kind of footprint of her experience as the city’s vulnerabilities to tech and neoliberal interests continue to heighten.
Vanessa Sanchez is a Chicana dancer, choreographer and educator focusing on community arts education and multi-cultural dance forms. She holds a degree in Dance and Education from San Francisco State University and has trained with master artists throughout the United States, Mexico and South America. Sanchez is a San Francisco Bay Area native and the founder/Artistic Director of the multi-disciplinary performance ensemble, La Mezcla. As a dedicated and experienced arts educator in the latinx community, she works to ensure accessibility to quality arts training and performances, and mentors aspiring teaching artists. As a choreographer, Sanchez fuses various dance styles and rhythms to address the complexities of contemporary culture, telling the untold stories of communities of color while working to create a platform for women of the color in the arts. She is the creator, choreographer and director of Pachuquismo, an all female Tap dance and Son Jarocho theater performance that re-tells the history of the Zoot Suit Riots from the female perspective. Her work has been shown
on stages throughout the United States, Mexico and Portugal. Sanchez has received funding from Dancer’s Group, National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) and the San Francisco Arts Commission.
Roberto F. Santiago received his MFA from Rutgers University, BA from Sarah Lawrence College, and is an MSW candidate at UC Berkeley. His poetry has been published in Apogee, Foglifter, Assaracus, CURA, The Waiting Room Reader, Me No Habla With Acento, and other journals and anthologies. He has received fellowships from CantoMundo, Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Sarah Lawrence College, and Lambda Literary Foundation. Roberto is the recipient of the Alfred C. Carey Poetry Prize and his debut book of poetry, Angel Park (Tincture, 2015), was a finalist for the 2016 Lambda Literary Award for Poetry. Roberto writes and produces his own music, and likens himself to Tennessee Williams in a poodle skirt, Gloria Anzaldúa in culottes, and/or James Merrill in short-shorts. Currently, he works as an educator in San Francisco where he also lives with a fiction writer. Santiago is also a part of the We Can Be Heroes project led by Baruch Porras Hernandez.
Valleygrrls is a 3 piece multi instrumental band from San Jose. They play fuzzed out punky pop love songs inspired by the pains and excitement of relationships.
Young Tsukune is an artist based in San Jose, CA. His music stems from a heavy influence of anime-futurism, trap, lo-fi, hip-hop, and occasionally indie rock. His music is melancholy usually discussing love, struggling to become a success, and the growing pains of adulthood. Even his bubblier lo-fi instrumentals cannot mask a deeper longing that is present in a lot of his tracks. He is currently working on an EP title “My sad-happy life.”