Sunday, September 1, 2019

September 2019 Meet Our Artists: Rachel DeGuzman

Our Members, Fiscally Sponsored Artists, and other program participants represent a wide range of career stages and disciplines. We love them - and, as fellow artists, we're always inspired by them. With this monthly feature, we hope you'll feel the same way!

Name & Pronouns:  Rachel DeGuzman, she/her/hers

What do you do?  Arts administrator, producer, curator, convener and artivist

What inspires you?  I am driven by the belief that art and creativity – the most authentic and soulful expression of humanity – can provide the most effective platform to center the marginalized and bring us together. I want to foster more opportunity and equity for women of color (WOC). I seek to center the histories, voices and narratives of women of color. Together, with other women of color, I hope to harness our collective power to effect change in and through the arts.
Rochester City Newspaper "Power Peers"
cover story featuring WOC Art Collaborative

What are you proud of?  I am very proud of establishing At the Crossroads: Activating the Intersection of Art and Justice a year ago, and the 20 events it has produced because they were collaborative, inclusive, relevant, and centered the lives and perspectives of women of color. The At the Crossroads Long Table Conversations/ Installations are very meaningful to attendees, some of whom have attended at least half of them. Arts editor of City Newspaper Rebecca Rafferty has attended most of them – acting, in some ways, as a witness (à la James Baldwin) as well as providing critical feedback – and has deemed them (more than once) as some of the most important arts programming in Rochester, New York. 

More recently, I did found and launch WOC Art Collaborative with 10 other WOC creatives. We do have a headquarters and access to a 2,700-capacity rehearsal, performance, exhibition and event space 240 days per year. See more here and here.

What are your goals?  To continue presenting the Long Table Conversations, to deepen the connection to the 20+ collaborators that I worked with in 2017/18, and to establish new collaborative relationships with artists, higher education, presenting organizations, and the Rochester City School District. To establish a collaborative center for real equity in and through art – comprised of a diverse cohort of WOC artists/creatives. All of the aforementioned are in the planning phases or underway.

Do you have any advice for your fellow artists?  Follow your vision. When you encounter a roadblock, regroup, and then reroute. Trust your instincts and don't waste precious time on dead ends or regret.

How does The Field help you?  The Field provides my work with critical fiscal sponsorship and some exposure through its website and programs.

To join The Field community and become eligible for a "Meet Our Artists" feature, sign up for a membership and join our mailing list for program updates!

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