Yura Sapi and Kai Ramey at the Decolonize Unconference in 2019
Yura Sapi is an indigenous Kichwa descendant and mestiza, Ecuadorian and Colombian nonbinary being of Earth. As a multidisciplinary creator and facilitator they live at the intersection of the arts, social justice, and healing. Their work extends beyond borders and prioritizes our collective liberation through practices around love, decolonization and anti-racism.
Yura creates liberated spaces that uplift, heal, and encourage us to change the world with Advancing Arts Forward. They create spaces like the HowlRound Building Our Own Tables Podcast and the Strategic Planning Institute. Yura shares from Nuquí, Chocó on the Black and Indigenous Embera northern pacific coast of Colombia where they farm with Protectores de la Tierra.
Yura holds a BFA in Theatre Arts from Boston University and an MFA in Performing Arts Management from CUNY Brooklyn College. Yura values their education from the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute’s Innovative Cultural Advocacy Fellowship and artEquity’s National Facilitator Training, among other amazing trainings from healing practitioners, artists, activists, fundraisers, farmers and more.
As part of the Bandung 2022 Residency, A4 and MoCADA presented a conversation with Yura Sapi. They shared about their work at the intersection of arts, social justice, and healing.
More and more theatre companies and educational institutions are issuing statements of solidarity, promising that they are doing the work to become anti-racist. But how do we, the next generation of theatre-makers, hold these institutions accountable to their words? Social justice work is intersectional, so how do we ensure that these companies and schools are investing in all aspects of justice practices, including racial justice, LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights, income justice, body positivity & neutrality, accessibility for disabilities, and more? Moreover, when institutions make mistakes, how do we hold them responsible for their actions? Panelists will share strategies to help young advocates like ourselves continue to unpack ingrained systems of oppression that are embedded in personal belief systems and the organizational structures of the theatre industry and education system.
Discussing their experiences holding Broadway, regional theatres, and schools such as Juilliard and Boston University’s School of Theatre accountable will be Tony award-winner, nine-time Broadway actress, and acclaimed activist Tonya Pinkins (she/her); ADA 25 Advancing Leadership Member, accessibility consultant, theatre-maker, and deaf rights advocate Richard Costes (he/him); MFA Juilliard student and activist Marion Grey (she/her); and Advancing Arts Forward & Building Our Own Tables Founder Yura Sapi (they/them).
“Self-Care = Self-Love Workshop: Manifesting Meditation” – Oct 7, 2020
Join The SoSu Series this Wednesday, October 7th for a special episode dedicated to self love and self care. The episode offers short guided sessions in:
• Self Love Mindfulness Breathing led by Carol King
• Jar of Destiny led by Maya Williams
• Self Love = Self Care Meditation led by Viviana Vargas “Yura Sapi”
• Scripting for Manifestation led by Billie Krishawn
“MINKA Vision with Yura Sapi” – Aug 16, 2020
An interview with Tricia from MINKA vision about changing the world by working with others to create liberated spaces that uplift marginalized voices, experiences and storytelling.
“The Future of Crowdfunding” – March 1, 2019
Inspired from a conversation with The Movement Theatre Company after their historic #25kin25days campaign for Aleshea Harris’ What To Send Up When It Goes Down, Advancing Arts Forward has teamed up with HowlRound Theatre Commons for a panel on the future crowdfunding in the theatre. The panel includes a staff member who works with arts projects at Kickstarter and theatre artists/producers who crowdfund using other platforms such Drip and Patreon. With a panel of theatremakers of color, we will also be holding space to discuss new opportunities that crowdfunding may offer along with what it means to be fundraising for the arts as a person of color.
• Jessica Massart, Senior Performance Lead at Kickstarter
• Eric Lockley and Deadria Harrington, Producing Artistic Leadership Team Members at The Movement Theatre Company, who crowdfund using Kickstarter
• Kit Yan of Kit Yan & Melissa Li, Co-Creators of Interstate, who crowdfund using Drip
• Paul S. Flores of We Have Iré crowdfunding using Patreon
• (Moderator) Viviana “Yura Sapi” Vargas Salvatierra, Founder of Advancing Arts Forward, a moment to advance equity, inclusion, and justice through the arts.