2015 was the first full year of work we have done in our new home in the El Paso, TX - Ciudad Juarez, Mexico border, and what a year it has been! We have accomplished so much in such a short amount of time, and what is most exciting to us, we are GROWING! in2improv has now 11 committed volunteers that are implementing and developing our 3 new long-term programs:
Collaboration with CCOMPAZ
The Cattleya Project
As we continue to grow in the El Paso, TX - Ciudad Juarez, Mexico border, we have started to get involved with other projects, which although not always associated directly with our organization, have been greatly influenced by the work and growth of in2improv.
It is hard to disagree with the simple fact that there is much in our world that we wish wasn’t there: violence, pain, suffering, injustice... the list could go on. I strongly believe that in order for lasting social change to be possible, we need to learn how to create new things out of what is there, that means: the good, the bad and the “crappy” of the world. Today, the Cattleya team had a lovely training session with our friend and colleague Miguel Cortes from the Fred Newman Center, who with his experience working both as a therapist and community activist in Ciudad Juarez for many years, further contextualized the work we are doing with The Cattleya Project.
Since September of this year, we have been implementing a weekly-workshop in Sin Violencia A.C., a women’s shelter housing women and children escaping severe domestic violence. The workshops are led by a different team member each week, and they all have a self-care component and a creative component. All of us in the Cattleya team are connected in some way with art-making either through dance/movement, performance, theatre, and/or drawing and design, and even though most of us are hispanic, our experience and knowledge of Ciudad Juarez is extremely varied. Through a combination of historical account, story-making, social therapy group and creative sculpture-making, Miguel led us through a 3-hour exploration of what life is like for women in Juarez, the significance of projects like The Cattleya Project and what doing this work raises for us emotionally.
After reading and discussing the gruesome headlines from newspapers in Ciudad Juarez this past week (Miguel brought a bunch in with him), the session culminated in a collective creation of a sculpture and a new “first page” of our own newspaper... all created from the papers themselves. We literally embodied the spirit of creating new things with the ‘crap’ of our world.
It is after activities like this that I am reminded that along side the violence, injustice, pain and suffering, there is also hope, creativity, love and compassion. I am reminded that this is why in2improv is committed to create spaces where new relationships can be forged and new activities can be created, because in the words of Dr. Lenora Fulani - a major force and leader in the Performance Activism movement - even though we do not know what we are doing and what lasting change our activity is creating, we are doing something and “something is better than doing nothing."
Sandra Paola LR
Join knee-jerk for our summer performances at the downtown farmers market in El Paso!
knee-jerk has started a new venture of doing monthly performances in public/urban spaces around the El Paso/Ciudad Juarez area. To start us off, what better place than the local market? Join us for the first three improvised performances on June 27th, August 1st and 29th. This is a free event!!! Come to support us and enjoy all the wonderful vendors. See you there.
This Saturday, our Director had the privilege to be one of the invited speakers for the second rendition of TEDx El Paso. Her talk centered around the practice of Performance Activism, how it has shaped her life and how (among many other things) it gave birth to in2improv. Her clear message was to step out of your comfort zone and perform in new ways what you already do... because it is not WHAT we do, but HOW we do it that makes a difference. Enjoy!
We are very excited to share with all of you that we are growing! This week we have our first ever formal addition to the in2improv team. Anuja Singhal, after donating the first instrument for our Instruments for Peace initiative decided that this was too good not to help grow! She has joined us as the new Coordinator for the initiative. Welcome Anuja!
Do you know anyone that has a music instrument that is no longer being used? Don’t let it keep collecting dust!
Introducing Instruments for Peace, a new in2improv initiative to donate instruments to CCOMPAZ’s music after school program in Juarez, Mexico. If you or anyone you know lives in the El Paso del Norte region you are eligible to donate! We are now collecting any music instruments (used or new) that are in good condition. You contact us, we pick it up and take it where it’s most needed.
Simple. Inspiring. Life Changing.
Contact us TODAY!