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May 26


Hosted by Giau Minh Truong
Produced by William Camargo + Yvette Mayorga
Artists Albany Park Theater Project, Jose Corcoles, Sebastian Olayo, Mimi Rosales + Kia Smith.

Our evening at Giau Minh Truong’s home will entail creating work that envisions what determines a sanctuary whether it be the physical or virtual space. Through Albany Park Theatre Park’s performance, youth will give us an insight on deportations proceedings in Chicago through trauma. We will be raising questions about how space can be inhabited in order to create a sanctuary, Sebastian Olayo's performance will use the sacred space of the bedroom and its solitude as a way to depict growth and the repurposing of identity through the use of drag.

What objects/iconography/virtual realities can be found in these spaces of transitioning? How can space be a form of liberation of expression? Mimi Rosales uses poetry and community gardening in their work, their use of the sanctuary space will allow for an expansion in the outside spaces of the home by using poetry and gardening as a form of social justice to pass along to the audience as a community effort. The audience will learn how to grow their own plants through the performance while experiencing Mimi’s reflectionary words that transcribe identity.

We will establish a sanctuary space for an expression of identity, bi-nationalism, and transitioning. Jose Corcoles work uses film as a medium to intertwine issues of machismo, identity, and South Side of Chicago happenings as a way to bridge the gap of cultural understanding through coming of age and friendship. Jose’s films take place on the South Side of Chicago, in spaces that get forgotten in the media, his film will depict the unprecedented reality of the south side. Showing Jose’s work in Albany Park will further the discussion on the similarities and differences of marginalization in the North and South side communities of Chicago.  
Kia Smith will create a montage combining film and performance that examines what it means to find and exhibit peace in the middle of a storm.

Giau Minh Truong is a company member of A-Squared Theatre Workshop and an at-large artist for various performing arts companies in the Chicago area. For A-Squared, he directed Ching Chong Chinaman, The Other Shore, and short plays for My Asian Mom, acted inup Trial By Water, and designed lights for The Wind Cries Mary. Giau’s other directorial credits include Downward Facing, Lights Out, Everybody, and Theatre of Women for Dream Theatre Company. He directed Sister Outlaw, Mr and Mrs LaQuesta Go Dancing, My Name is Flor Contemplacion, and I Dream Electric for CIRCA-Pintig, Chicago’s long-running Filipino American theatre company for which he served as artistic director from 2007 through 2012. Giau has also directed plays for James Downing Theatre Company and Theatre for a Change. He serves as a teaching artist and program manager for Storycatchers, stage manages with Chamber Opera Chicago and various other companies, and is a resident technical director for Links Hall.

William Camargo was born and raised in Orange County, California and currently residing in Chicago, Illinois. Informed by his parent’s own immigration from Mexico in the early 80’s, William Camargo explores notions of immigration, identity, and culture of the people he meets and is close to, through the medium of portrait photography and urban landscapes. He photographs in cities where immigrants from Mexico came to. His work has been widely published including in Time, Business Insider, The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, The Guardian, and others. William's photographs have also been displayed in art galleries in Los Angeles, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Chicago, New York, Indianapolis and Ventura including DNJ Gallery at Bergamot Station, the Chicago Cultural Center in Chicago, USC's department of Urban Education in Los Angeles, The Loisaida Center in New York and the Christen De Haan Fine Art Center at the University of Indianapolis.

Yvette Mayorga is an interdisciplinary artist and educator. She uses confection, industrial materials, and the American board game Candy Land as a conceptual framework to juxtapose the borderlands of the U.S. and Mexico. The spaces in the “Candy Lands” of her work relate to immigrant utopian visions of the American Dream. The smell, decoration, and personal photographs in work serve to critique the glut of violence at the border. Mayorga has presented her work at The Vincent Price Art Museum, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, EXPO, The National Museum of Mexican Art, Grand Valley State University, and forthcoming at Gallery 400, The Arts Incubator, and Roots and Culture. Mayorga received her MFA in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She was featured in The Guardian, The Inter University Program for Latino Research, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Art News, and REMEZCLA.

Albany Park Theater Project (APTP), founded in 1997, is a multiethnic youth theater ensemble that inspires people to envision a more just and beautiful world. APTP is dedicated to art, to youth, and a vision of social justice. APTP has devised and premiered over 19 original plays based on the life experiences of people whose stories might otherwise go untold: urban teens, immigrants and working-class Americans. APTP's performances have been staged at its home at Eugene Field Park as well as the renowned Goodman Theatre, with the most recent production Learning Curve being staged across four floors of a closed school building. Additionally, APTP nurtures its teen ensemble members with mentoring, tutoring and a comprehensive college counseling program.

Jose Corcoles is a visual artist based in Chicago, IL. Jose’s work aims to upend the image of the meek working-class Mexican, challenging the politics of respectability while seeking non-conventional forms and fusions to tell stories. Through photography and filmmaking Jose explores themes of machismo, sexuality, and class struggle while embracing the full humanity of marginalized groups. After having graduated from Columbia College Chicago in 2013 Jose spent time traveling and working on freelance jobs, he is now focused on developing short and feature films along with photography projects. “I am because I create,” is Jose’s mantra. He reaches back and borrows from his immigrant ancestors, paying homage to his Mexican and Guatemalan roots by sharing the Latino-American experience with South side Chicago style.

Sebastian Olayo (also known as Bash) is an amateur theater and drag performance artist born and established in Chicago, Illinois. Currently completing their Bachelor’s degree in Theater at Columbia College Chicago, they aim to use theater and drag practice to explore themes of gender fluidity, sexuality, identity through cultural renaissance, mental illness, and social justice. They are currently working with Free Street Theater on a play in development, Meet Juan(ito) Doe, set to premiere in September. Cindy Nero, their drag persona, is finishing up her incubation period and getting ready to take the Chicago scene by storm with her drag troupe, The Meme Girls. Sebastian is also the founder of Decolonizing, an upcoming online and zine platform that centers the voices of femme queer, and artists of color revolving around concepts of decolonization and social justice.

Mimi Rosales is a 21 year old queer Mexican immigrant living in Chicago. As a teacher at elementary schools on Chicago's West Side, they are passionate about inspiring youth to be excited about literature. Mimi co-founded Whine Club, a storytelling series that supports women, femmes, and gender non-conforming people. Currently, Mimi is studying Creative Writing at Columbia College, where they also work as nonfiction editor for Habitat Magazine.

Kia Smith is a Chicago native and graduated in 2010 with a BFA in Dance from Western Michigan University. She has performed and toured with The Dayton Contemporary Dance Company 2, The Lula Washington Dance Theatre where she assisted Tamica Washington-Miller, The Joel Hall Dancers, Tyego Dance Project, Red Clay Dance, and as a guest artist with Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre. She has performed works by Wilfredo Rivera, Shani Collins, Ursula Payne, Shonna Hickman Matlock, Crystal Perkins, Debbie Blunden-Diggs, William McClellan Jr., Marlayna Locklear, Robert Priore, Lula Washington, Tamica Washington-Miller, Dr. Sherrill Berryman-Johnson, Bonnie Story, Donald McKayle, Vincent Patterson, Christopher Huggins, Katherine Dunham, Rennie Harris, Bernard Brown, Joel Hall, William Gill, Duwayne Pendarvis, Harrison McEldowney, Eddy Ocampo, Vershawn Ward, Trisha Brown, William Forsythe, Joshua Ishmon and others. Kia has collaborated with Nike, Chicago Opera Theatre, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, directors Vincent Patterson and Catherine Sullivan, actor Jack Black, and world renowned visual artists Manuel Mendive and Nick Cave. Her choreography has been presented at the Sons D'hiver Jazz Festival in Paris, France, Delve Choreographers Showcase ,the Logan Center for the Arts, Chicago Home Theatre Festival, the Jacob Caruthers Center for Inner City Studies, and the Englewood Jazz Festival. She has also worked as a guest choreographer for the South Shore Opera Company and Chicago Fringe Opera. Kia is a recipient of the City of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Individual Artist Grant and worked as a cultural ambassador for the city at Impulstanz Dance Festival in Vienna, Austria in the summer of 2016. She is currently a candidate for a Master of Fine Arts in Dance at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.