Yura Sapi creates liberated spaces that uplift, heal, and encourage us to change the world with Advancing Arts Forward.
Yura Sapi (aka Viviana Vargas Salvatierra) is an indigenous (Kichwa) and mestiza, Ecuadorian and Colombian nonbinary interdisciplinary artist, activist, arts manager, educator, facilitator, healer, and gardener at the intersection of the arts, social justice, and healing. Yura Sapi actively considers their role in the fight for liberation beyond the U.S. borders prioritizing anti-racism, decolonization, disability justice, and through this our collective liberation. Yura holds a BFA in Theatre Arts from Boston University and an MFA in Performing Arts Management from CUNY Brooklyn College and values even more their education from the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute’s Innovative Cultural Advocacy Fellowship Cycle IV and artEquity’s National Facilitator Training.
In 2018, after finishing two degrees in the performing arts and spending time in the “diversity and inclusion” field of the U.S. American Theatre, Yura Sapi started Advancing Arts Forward, a movement to advance equity, inclusion, and justice through the arts by creating liberated spaces that uplift, heal, and encourage us to change the world. Advancing Arts Forward hosts and consults for in person and online workshops, university classes, gatherings, discussions, and resource sharings across the country and worldwide. Check out programs like the podcast turned book, Building Our Own Tables interviewing Black, Native, Asian and other founders of color discussing ways of working together that aren't replicating the same white supremacy culture we were trying to get away from as well as the annual Strategic Planning Institute hosted online with Mayday Space.
In 2019, Yura Sapi started BALISTIKAL, a healing and arts space that centers LGBTIQ+ community in Latin America.
In 2020, Yura joined a team of students and alumni to create the School of Theatre Anti-Racist Student Initiative (SARSI) at Boston University.
In 2021, Yura co-founded community garden project Protectores de la Tierra that centers afroindigenous food sovereignty in the Chocoano Colombian Pacific.
They currently live on Embera native land in Nuquí, Chocó on the afroindigenous pacific coast of Colombia. Check out their artwork and learn more about what they do at yurasapi.com.