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Dear Carmelita | Querida Carmelita

(In honor of Carmelita Torres.  Learn more about her story here.)

Art: Rodrigo Esteva and Mirah Moriarty

In times of forced or voluntary migration, what happens to the traditions and mythologies that

unite people with the land? How can we, as immigrant artists, create fertile ground for this wisdom

to grow for future generations?

After 25 years of dedication as DANCE MONKS (1999-present), we are envisioning activating sanctuaries for the arts, bridging Mexico and the US, focused on the Mexican diaspora/immigrants and indigenous communities. As a bi-cultural (Mexico/US) company working on both sides of the border, our work is embedded in ongoing creative practices of community-responsive listening and exchange, developing relationships over time.  In addition to making spaces for gathering/ Tianguis (markets for selling handmade goods), dance/art making, and classes, we envision growing small community milpas (traditional Mexican food system), and libraries with books in Spanish and indigenous languages.


Arte Migrante| The Migrant Arts Project, is a return to some of the questions that we were asking in Tlaoli: People of the Corn (2016), and Breathe Here (2023) about migration, cultural displacement, and amnesia while observing the potential of the arts to spark needed change.  This project is a seed towards recovering ancestral memory to ignite the renewal of ways of being and relating to the land. During times of environmental and social crisis, it is essential to listen to the voices of those who have not been traditionally heard whose cultures hold knowledge that is vital for these times.  

As part of this project, we will offer migrant families in the Bay Area, San Antonio and San Diego, free art and traditional healing practices, in response to their expressed needs.  In Summer 2025, DANCE MONKS will also hold our first Arte Migrante Summer Festival for children of farmworkers in collaboration with Hijas del Campo. 



SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER, 2024: Oaxaca, Mexico 

Creative Residency for El Regreso de Queztalcoatl | The Return of Queztalcoatl, a new interdisciplinary performance for children based on Mexican mythology, preparations for Querida Carmelita/ Dear Carmelita, an altar and installation for Dia de los Muertos, and Workshops with curanderas of the Nuu Saavi (Mixteca), People of the Rain, and Ben 'Zaa (Zapoteca), People of the Clouds



Arte Migrante| Migrant Arts residency with local migrant families and public altar/installation of Querida Carmelita on November 1

FEBRUARY-MARCH, 2025: Oaxaca, Mexico

Public elementary school and library performance residencies of El Regreso de Queztalcoatl | The Return of Queztalcoatl

     APRIL-JUNE: San Francisco Bay Area, CA 

Performance residencies of El Regreso de Queztalcoatl/ The Return of Queztalcoatl,  Preparations for Festival de Arte Migrante /Migrant Arts Summer Festival with children of migrant farmworkers, Public Talk on theTonapohualli by Rodrigo Esteva

JULY: Brentwood, California

Festival de Arte Migrante, a Summer Arts Festival for children of migrant farmworkers with Hijas del Campo


AUGUST: Ireland 

Artist residency for the development of dance Film, Tuiscint na Talún, old Irish for the wisdom held in the land. Mirah

will travel to Ireland as the first in her family to return to her ancestral homeland and re-trace the route that her father's family likely took after being forced out of the country during the mass evictions known as the famine clearances.

Would you like to host a Arte Migrante residency? Contact us!

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