The Chicago Artists Resource has teamed up with StoryCorps Chicago to bring you "Conversations with CAR". Through this collaboration with StoryCorps, the Chicago Artists Resource conducts interviews with Chicago-based artists about their personal experiences and the way these experiences have had an impact on their creative process.
This week's featured artist is Coya Paz.
Coya Paz is is a writer, director, and lip gloss connoisseur who was raised in Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil, and the United States. She is the Artistic Director of Free Street Theater, a cofounder of the Proyecto Latina collective, and served as the founding co-Artistic Director of Teatro Luna for nine years. Recent projects include The Americans, based on interviews with over 100 people in 10 states; DOPE: 420 Stories About Weed, Kush, Pot, Prisons, Parents, and People, which traces the life of a joint from seed to distribution; and Coya Paz is Not _______, a solo performance in verse. Currently, she is working on 100 HAUNTINGS, based on everyday ghost stories told by people across Chicago.
Coya is an Associate Professor in The Theatre School at DePaul University, where she is the incoming chair of the Theatre Studies department, and she holds a PhD in Performance Studies from Northwestern University. She is a regular commentator on race, media and pop culture for Vocalo.org (91.1) and has published several articles on Latina performance, Latina/o identities, and public violence. Coya's writing is featured in the following anthologies: Blacktino Queer Performance, Windy City Queer, Rebeldes: A Proyecto Latina Anthology, and Sexualities in Education: A Reader, and she is currently at work on Ensemble Made Chicago, a full length book about ensemble created performance in Chicago co-authored with Chloe Johnston. She has been a featured reader at dozens of literary events including: Proyecto Latina, Paper Machete, Palabra Pura, and 2nd Story. Above all, she believes in the power of performance and poetry to build community towards social change.
StoryCorps’ mission is to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world. For more information, please visit https://storycorps.org/.