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Yura Sapi

Yura Sapi creates liberated spaces that uplift, heal, and encourage you to change the world with Advancing Arts Forward and BALISTIKAL.

Yura Sapi (or Viviana Vargas Salvatierra) is an indigenous (Kichwa) mestiza, Ecuadorian and Colombian nonbinary interdisciplinary artist, activist, arts manager, educator, facilitator, healer, and founder of Advancing Arts Forward and BALISTIKAL. 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 founded 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. As a citizen of Ecuador, Colombia, and the United States, Yura Sapi actively considers their role in the fight for liberation beyond the U.S. borders thinking specifically about anti-racism, decolonization, and collective liberation. In 2019, Yura Sapi founded BALISTIKAL, a healing and arts space that centers LGBTQ+ community in Latin America. Yura Sapi currently teaches anti-racist performing arts management at CUNY Baruch College. Yura Sapi is a Kichwa language and American Sign Language student. Check out their latest project with HowlRound, The Building Our Own Tables Podcast interviewing Black, Native, Asian and other founders of color of arts organizations finding new ways of working together that aren't replicating the same white supremacy culture we were trying to get away from. Check out their artwork at yurasapi.com.

 

The guest, Rose Kim, with some hair in her face against a space background to the right of the podcast logo.
There's Nothing General About General Admission
Podcast

There's Nothing General About General Admission

With Rose Kim of Art Rat Theatre School

22 September 2021

Yura Sapi speaks with Rose Kim, founder and producing director of Art Rat Theatre. Art Rat Theatre is a production vehicle dedicated to gardening anticolonial, anti-capitalist theatre for a truly diverse new era audience and catalyzing a greater network of independent institutionally marginalized, young adult creatives.

A headshot of the guest, Eric Lockley, against a galaxy background.
Transforming Organizational Structures
Podcast

Transforming Organizational Structures

With Eric Lockley of The Movement Theatre Company

15 September 2021

Yura Sapi speaks with Eric Lockley, co-founder of the Movement Theatre Company. Lockley is a member of the company’s producing artistic leadership team, who work together to create an artistic social movement by developing and producing new works by artists of color. Their work engages audiences in a rich theatrical dialogue, enlightens communities to the important issues affecting our world, and empowers artists to celebrate the many sides of their unique voice.

Money Matters With Ann James of Intimacy Coordinators of Color.
Money Matters
Podcast

Money Matters

With Ann James of Intimacy Coordinators of Color

8 September 2021

Yura Sapi sits down with Ann James, founder of Intimacy Coordinators of Color, whose mission is to support and promote decolonized intimacy education and inclusive hiring practices in the entertainment industry.

A portrait of the guest Ivyon E. against a galaxy background with the Building Our Own Tables logo to the left.
Funding Accountability
Podcast

Funding Accountability

With Iyvon E. of The Parsnip Ship

1 September 2021

Yura Sapi sits down with Iyvon E., artistic director of The Parsnip Ship, a podcast play company that amplifies bold artists for audiences who crave accessible stories and storytellers.

The guest, Teresa Coleman Wash, smiling and wearing a red shirt against a galaxy background.
Being a Neighborhood Resource Center and Owning Our Tables
Essay

Being a Neighborhood Resource Center and Owning Our Tables

With Teresa Coleman Wash of Bishop Arts Theatre Center

25 August 2021

Yura Sapi speaks with Teresa Coleman Wash, the founding artistic director of Bishop Arts Theatre Center, whose mission is to create a diverse and vibrant arts community while creating sustainable opportunities for local and emerging artists through performances and education.

Strong Foundations and Groundings & Solidarity
Podcast

Strong Foundations and Groundings & Solidarity

With Quanice Floyd of Art Administrators of Color

11 August 2021

Yura Sapi talks with Quanice Floyd, founder of Arts Administrators of Color Network, whose mission is to empower artists and arts administrators by providing tools and resources to advocate for equity, inclusion, access, and diversity in the arts.

A headshot of Tara Moses against a galaxy backdrop with the logo for Building Our Own Tables to the left.
Theatres Are Funded by Oil and Gas and Consensus Decision-Making
Podcast

Theatres Are Funded by Oil and Gas and Consensus Decision-Making

With Tara Moses of Groundwater Arts

4 August 2021

Yura Sapi sits down with Tara Moses, a co-founder of Groundwater Arts, an organization that shapes, stewards, and seeds a just future through creative practice, consultation, and community building.

A headshot of the guest, Kyoung Park, against a space-designed background.
Peacemaking Theatre
Podcast

Peacemaking Theatre

With Kyoung Park of Kyoung's Pacific Beat

28 July 2021

Yura Sapi sits down with Kyoung H. Park of Kyoung’s Pacific Beat, a peacemaking theatre collective dedicated to working with artists, non-artists, and local communities to transform experiences of oppression into peace messages through public performance.

 
 
A headshot of Michelle A. Banks against a galaxy backdrop with the logo for Building Our Own Tables to the left.
Creating a Platform for BIPOC, Deaf, and Hard-of-Hearing Artists
Podcast

Creating a Platform for BIPOC, Deaf, and Hard-of-Hearing Artists

With Michelle Banks of Visionaries of the Creative Arts

21 July 2021

Yura Sapi sits down with Black, Deaf artist Michelle Banks to talk about Visionaries of the Creative Arts, an organization Michelle co-founded, dedicated to responding to the critical needs of d/Deaf and hard-of-hearing artists who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color, in Washington, DC.

Creating New Mediums and Hustle Culture
Podcast

Creating New Mediums and Hustle Culture

With Parmida Ziaei of Seda Iranian Ensemble

7 July 2021

In this episode of Building Our Own Tables, host Yura Sapi discusses Seda Iranian Theatre Ensemble, the first Iranian theatre company in Seattle, with co-founder Parmida Ziaei.

A headshot of Maurice Parent against a galaxy background. The Building Our Own Tables logo is left of Parent.
Co-Productions and Rethinking Leadership
Podcast

Co-Productions and Rethinking Leadership

With Maurice Parent of the Front Porch Arts Collective

30 June 2021

In this episode of Building Our Own Tables, Yura Sapi talks about leadership in theatre with Black actor and educator Maurice Parent, a co-producer of the Collective.

Community Organizations and Partnerships
Podcast

Community Organizations and Partnerships

With Samson Syharath and Dmae Lo Roberts of Theatre Diaspora

23 June 2021

In this episode of Building Our Own Tables, host Yura Sapi discusses Theatre Diaspora with co-founders Samson Syharath and Dmae Lo Roberts.

ep. 7 Beto O'Byrne Radical Evolution
Beto O'Byrne and Radical Evolution
Podcast

Beto O'Byrne and Radical Evolution

Building Our Own Tables Episode #7

10 February 2021

For the last episode of this season's Building Our Own Tables, podcast host Yura Sapi talks with Beto O'Byrne of Radical Evolution, a multiethnic producing collective.

ep. 6 Pooja Prema: The Ritual Theatre & Rites of Passage
Pooja Prema and The Ritual Theatre and The Rites of Passage Project
Podcast

Pooja Prema and The Ritual Theatre and The Rites of Passage Project

Building Our Own Tables Episode #6

3 February 2021

In this episode of Building Our Own Tables, podcast host Yura Sapi talks with Pooja Prema of The Ritual Theatre and The Rites of Passage Project.

episode five claudia alick calling up justice
Claudia Alick and Calling Up Justice
Podcast

Claudia Alick and Calling Up Justice

Building Our Own Tables Episode #5

27 January 2021

During this episode of Building Our Own Tables, podcast host Yura Sapi talks with Claudia Alick, founding executive producer of the transmedia social justice company Calling Up Justice.

Nydia Simone and Blactina
Podcast

Nydia Simone and Blactina

Building Our Own Table Episode #4

20 January 2021

In this episode of Building Our Own Tables Podcast, host Viviana Vargas discusses amplifying Afrolatinx and Caribbean stories with an emphasis on women through media and entertainment with Blactina founder Nydia Simone.

Jonathan Castanien and The Sống Collective
Podcast

Jonathan Castanien and The Sống Collective

Building Our Own Tables Episode #3

23 December 2020

In the third episode of Build Our Own Tables podcast, host Viviana Vargas interviews Jonathan Castanien co-founder and co-producing artistic leader of The Sống Collective, which uplifts work that pushes against preconceptions of Asian Americans and reclaims the Vietnamese American narrative. Your donation to Advancing Arts Forward supports liberated spaces that uplift, heal and encourage us to change the world.

Lauren E. Turner and No Dream Deferred
Podcast

Lauren E. Turner and No Dream Deferred

Building Our Own Tables Episode #2

16 December 2020

In the second episode of Build Our Own Tables podcast, host Viviana Vargas interviews Lauren E. Turner of No Dream Deferred, a community anchored theatre production company in New Orleans, Louisiana. Your donation to Advancing Arts Forward supports liberated spaces that uplift, heal and encourage us to change the world.

Petrona Xemi Tapepechul and the Angel Rose Artist Collective
Podcast

Petrona Xemi Tapepechul and the Angel Rose Artist Collective

Building Our Own Tables Episode #1

9 December 2020

The Angel Rose Artist Collective is a multilingual Two-Spirit, Native American Transgender, Intersex, Asexual, Queer+ led collective of artists, healers, educators, and advocates that uplifts Two-Spirit Nation and BIPOC Communities through art & land justice. Your donation to Advancing Arts Forward supports liberated spaces that uplift, heal and encourage us to change the world.

un escaparate colorido
Moving an LGBTIQ+ Arts and Healing Space in Bogotá Online During the Pandemic/Trasladando a la virtualidad un espacio de artes y sanación LGBTIQ+ en Bogotá durante la pandemia
Essay

Moving an LGBTIQ+ Arts and Healing Space in Bogotá Online During the Pandemic/Trasladando a la virtualidad un espacio de artes y sanación LGBTIQ+ en Bogotá durante la pandemia

4 December 2020

Viviana Vargas shares what it’s been like transitioning their Bogotá-based arts, culture, and healing storefront, Balistikal, into an online space during the pandemic./Viviana Vargas comparte cómo ha sido la transición de su espacio físico en Bogotá, de arte, cultura y sanación, llamado Balistikal, a un espacio en línea durante la pandemia.

How We Grew a Student-Centered Anti-Racist Movement at Our Institution of Learning
Essay

How We Grew a Student-Centered Anti-Racist Movement at Our Institution of Learning

10 September 2020

Tatiana Gil, Micah Rosegrant, Viviana Vargas, and Ciera-Sadé Wade—members of the Boston University School of Theatre Anti-Racist Student Initiative (BU SARSI)—speak to how, after a public outpouring of testimonials from former and current students of BU’s School of Theatre—detailing racism, sexism, ableism, and more—they rallied together to innovate ways of addressing the white supremacy within the school.

The Future of Crowdfunding for Theatre Artists of Color
Video

The Future of Crowdfunding for Theatre Artists of Color

An online conference hosted by Advancing Arts Forward

Friday 1 March 2019
Video Conference
The West Side Story Appropriation We Never Really Talk About
Essay

The West Side Story Appropriation We Never Really Talk About

25 August 2017

Viviana Vargas compares West Side Story and La Carreta by looking at the history of Puerto Ricans migrating to New York to better understand an example of cultural appropriation in the arts, its effects, its telltale signs, and some lessons for the future.

Building Our Own Tables
text: Podcast, Building our own Tables, over construction drafting grid
Series

Building Our Own Tables

I hear talk about wanting for racially diverse populations to “get a seat at the table” or “bringing chairs to the table for POC,” meaning that we want our people to have a position at existing organizations and institutions with decision making power.