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Welcome to Season Three with Yura Sapi

Produced by

Yura Sapi: Welcome to season three. Welcome to our liberation. Welcome to the Building Our Own Tables podcast. The Building Our Own Tables podcast is produced for HowlRound Theatre Commons, a free and open platform for theatremakers worldwide. This is Yura Sapi, a being of Earth filled with all light, here to support you on your journey of creation towards our collective liberation. The Building Our Own Tables podcast is produced in partnership with Advancing Arts Forward, a movement to advance equity, inclusion, and justice through the arts. We create liberated spaces like this one to uplift, heal, and encourage us all to change the world. You can connect with us more beyond this podcast by visiting advancingartsforward.org. We offer coaching, courses, organizational consulting, and an artist residency in Nuquí, Chocó.

This season, we're offering medicinal media experiences. You'll hear from different artists, leaders, organizers, and above all, creators who've built their own table, each valuing the importance of community. Throughout the season, you'll hear a combination of words, music, poetry, breathing practices, meditations and visualizations, story sharing, science, history, and ritual. We're learning from visionaries who have built their own tables, receiving gems of wisdom. I'm joined by Abundance Zaddy and their interviews of their community members in Cause Reign along with Nandani Devi, an artist and healing arts practitioner who shares different practices you're welcome to use along our decolonizing, anti-racist healing journey. May you receive that which supports you on your journey and release that which does not.

To support us, let us welcome in all of our ancestors, all of our guides and our beliefs, knowing we are all connected to the bubbling potential that is all that was, all that is, and all that will be. The universe expands as we do. Nature evolves as we do. We remember. We remember. We remember. Let us call upon the four elements that support us since we became: The fire that burns within igniting our imagination, our ability to see into the future. The water that holds us and holds within our memory. The air that lifts us up and carries our stories across to meet each other. The earth, which provides us sustenance.

I offer our gratitude to the sun, the beautiful ball of fire, for giving us the gift of a new day, for providing us and nature with nutrients and healing energy. To the moon for your guidance and love and the holding and ruling of the water on the planet, giving us the hug we always need, providing us with your light in the night, giving us guidance for our actions to flow in harmony with earth. Gratitude to the stars, our connection to the systems, to the universe, ever-expanding. A sky filled the possibility. To the oceans and rivers and waterways that provide us with pathways of connections and sustenance. To the fish and plant life, the bird and animals, the insects, the butterflies, the toads, the spiders, showing up as messengers of information. To all the evil, the harm, the trauma, the grief, the pain, we offer our gratitude for the lessons you share, for the resilience you bring, and for the balance provided, for at the end of the tunnel there's always a light. You are the light. We are the light.

Thank you to the joy, the pleasure, the love which never holds a limit, always receiving us with open arms. Thank you to the ancestors who paved the way, those who received hardship and give us permission to live differently and those who lived free, unapologetic, loving lives to welcome us to continue in their lineage. We thank the plant allies who've always supported us, who taught us the way, and are here to teach us always. Thank you to anyone, anything, any being to which I have forgotten to name. We thank you today and always. Thank you. Yupaychani.

This is Yura Sapi, creator and producer of this beloved podcast. This podcast stems from my journey as a creator of arts centered initiatives, organizations, and the latest LiberArte. LiberArte is a U.S. non-for-profit organization with a mission to build racial, social, and climate justice worldwide.

I'm a light being of earth. I'm a multidisciplinary creator and facilitator at the intersection of the arts, healing, and social justice. I create liberated spaces that uplift, heal, and transform, like this one, with Advancing Arts Forward and I farm with Protectores de la Tierra. I host and produce this podcast which supports you manifesting our collective liberation. I'm of Indigenous Kichwa descent, and I hold Ecuadorian and Colombian citizenship with a lifelong connection to my birthplace on Manahatta Island, Lenapehoking. I extend beyond borders and prioritize anti-racism and decolonization for our globally just future. I co-create Balistikal, an LGBTIQ+ healing and arts initiative centering individuals and causes across Latin America.

I studied theatre arts at Boston University where I connected with embodiments and healing practices applied to art-making. I received important Indigenous knowledge through and despite colonization, which all flows into gratitude for the incredible resilience of us all. Then I studied arts management at CUNY Brooklyn College to find my place as an independent creator and producer. I trained with Art Equity to be a facilitator and with the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute in their Innovative Cultural Advocacy Fellowship.

I'm always learning, and I hold immense gratitude for the healing practitioners, the artists, the activists, the fundraisers, the farmers, the ancestors, and guides who help me along my path. I share from Embera native land in Nuquí, Chocó, Colombia on this African descendent and Indigenous-embedded Pacific Coast where I host artist residencies and learn from the wisdom of nature. This experience is one of transformation. I'm so grateful for the call bestowed upon us in this evolutionary time to do just that. I'm so grateful for the call to evolve at a time when the narrative of death and destruction, loss and grief can take over our envisioning eye. How exciting is it to transform within and expand outward to transform our future and be the future ancestors we've dreamed for?

Welcome to season three. Welcome to our liberation. Welcome to the Building Our Own Tables podcast. There's a reason our art is of the heart. We transform and transcend, share love, and share truths. Creation is the cure for destruction. Storytelling is liberation. Communing is power upon us as an undoing of great feats. So let people in. Be stronger together because there is a weakness in solitude. This is Yura Sapi. You can find out more about me at yurasapi.com or follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn @YuraSapi.

This podcast is produced as a contribution to HowlRound Theatre Commons. You can find more episodes of this series and other HowlRound podcasts on iTunes, Google Podcast, Spotify, and wherever you find podcasts. Be sure to search and subscribe to receive new episodes. If you love this podcast, post a rating and write a review on those platforms. This helps other people find us. You can also find a transcript for this episode, along with a lot of other progressive and disruptive content, on howlround.com. Have an idea for an exciting podcast, essay or TV event the theatre community needs to hear? Visit howlround.com and submit your ideas to the comments. Thanks for joining us.


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Thoughts from the curator

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. For me, a few years ago, I decided to not focus on infiltrating existing organizations, but rather start my own. I know I’m not alone. With the blessing that we all have a role in the revolution, this podcast checks in and learns from BIPOC founders of various organizations in and related to the theatre industry changing the game, making new things happen within, and expanding beyond white and euro-centric experiences. We will learn from these incredible visionaries who have created their own tables of arts institutions, movements, collectives, initiatives, and more. We learn about their processes, pathways to success, and challenges they've overcome. This is an outside-the-classroom leadership learning from folks who are doing the things.

Building Our Own Tables


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